Spring Training Game Seven: Cubs (2-4) vs. Indians (6-1)
- Game Time – 2:05pm CST
- Coverage – TV: None – Radio: Cubs.com
- Location – Goodyear Ballpark, Goodyear
Travis Wood (0-0, -.–, -.–) vs. Justin Masterson (0-0, 0.00, 1.00)
The Cubs get back to work this afternoon behind the team’s lone All-Star from a year ago in his first Cactus League start of the spring. Travis Wood was scheduled to start last Saturday’s contest against the Giants but rain and an unplayable field forced Wood to get his work in at the facility. Wood threw two innings in a simulated game to keep on schedule.
Darwin Barney makes his first start at shortstop this afternoon. The Gold Glove second baseman is the best fielding shortstop on the Cubs’ roster and he will go back to his natural position today. Barney has not played short since 2012 and that was just for three games, and only one start. During his four big league seasons, Barney has 19 games, 14 starts, at shortstop on his resume.
The Cubs play Terry Francona’s Indians twice in the next two days and three times in Arizona this spring. Friday is a split squad day for the Cubs. Half of the team will host Cleveland with Edwin Jackson squaring off against Carlos Carrasco while James McDonald and the other half make the short trip to Tempe to take on Hector Santiago and the Angels.
Len Kasper and Mick Gillispie have the call once again today.
And this afternoon it all begins with Travis Wood …
Travis Wood is coming off a breakout season. Wood posted a 9-12 record in a career high 32 starts with a career-low 3.11 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP. Wood took the hill in his final start with an ERA below 3.00, but he struggled against the Cardinals and gave up three runs on four hits in one inning of work. Wood tallied 24 quality starts last season, good for fourth in the majors.
Wood has said he is out to show last year was not a fluke. Today is the second step in his preparation to prove his critics wrong.
Rick Renteria is expected to run out the following lineup this afternoon in Goodyear:
- Emilio Bonifacio – LF
- Donnie Murphy – 3B
- Nate Schierholtz – RF
- Anthony Rizzo – DH
- Welington Castillo – C
- Mike Olt – 1B
- Darwin Barney – SS
- Albert Almora – CF
- Arismendy Alcantara – 2B
Justin Masterson and the Indians are talking about a contract extension. The soon-to-be 29-year old right hander was 14-10 in 32 games, 29 starts, with a 3.45 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP. Masterson could be a target of the Cubs next off-season if he is on the market. Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer and Jason McLeod selected Masterson is the second round of the 2006 draft before he was sent to Cleveland in the Victor Martinez deal.
Like Travis Wood, Justin Masterson last pitched a simulated game due to the rain in the Phoenix area that washed away a weekend’s worth of exhibition games. This afternoon is Masterson’s second start in the Cactus League. Masterson pitched one inning of scoreless ball with a pair of strikeouts the first time out.
Aaron Harang and Trevor Bauer, both candidates for the Indians’ rotation, are scheduled to pitch after Masterson today.
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …