Spring Training Game Three: Cubs (0-2) vs. Royals (2-1)
- Game Time – 2:05pm CST
- Coverage – TV: None – Radio: Cubs.com
- Location – Cubs Park, Mesa
Edwin Jackson (0-0, -.–, -.–) vs. Wade Davis (0-0, -.–, -.–)
Field permitting … The Cubs will try to resume their Cactus League schedule this afternoon after rains washed away two games on Saturday. The Phoenix area took in a lot of rain in a short amount of time on Saturday afternoon. The rain stopped and picked back up Saturday night. The parks are not built to withstand the amount of rain that fell in the area on Saturday. So there could be more cancellations Sunday, including the game in Mesa between the Cubs and Royals.
Jason Hammel was scheduled to make his Cubs’ debut this afternoon. Hammel was been pushed to a ‘B’ game in Tempe against the Angels on Monday morning but that practice was cancelled Sunday morning. The Cubs will instead host the Giants in a ‘B’ game at Cubs Park. Edwin Jackson will start today’s game with Carlos Villanueva expected to follow him for a couple of innings.
Chris Bosio has had to shuffle his pitching rotation due to the weather. If the Cubs lose another game today, look for Jackson and Villanueva to pitch a simulated game, like Travis Wood did Saturday, or for the Cubs to find another team in the area to practice against early in the week.
If the field at Cubs Park is playable, this afternoon all starts with Edwin Jackson …
Edwin Jackson is coming off a rough year, one that both Jackson and the Cubs would like to put behind them. Jackson posted an 8-18 record in 31 starts with a 4.98 ERA and a 1.46 WHIP. The Cubs need for him to have the proverbial bounce back season for more than one reason. His contract makes him a viable option for a contender, but he has to show better results early before another team will show interest in him. Once Jackson finds the consistency that has eluded him throughout his career he might finally be able to meet some of the expectations.
Carlos Villanueva is in the mix for a spot in the Cubs’ starting staff. Villanueva began last year in the Cubs’ rotation but shifted to the pen when Matt Garza was healthy enough to pitch. Villanueva is on the final year of the contract he signed last off-season and would be much more valuable to the Cubs, in terms of a trade chip, if he begins the season stretched out and in the rotation. Villanueva was 7-8 last season in 47 games, 15 starts, with a 4.06 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP.
The Cubs face Wade Davis this afternoon for at least a couple of innings. Davis posted an 8-11 record in 31 games, 24 starts, with Kansas City a year ago with a 5.32 ERA and a 1.68 WHIP. Davis is battling for the fifth spot in the Royals’ rotation along with Yordano Ventura, who is also scheduled to pitch today. John Lamb, Francisley Bueno and P.J. Walters are scheduled to pitch this afternoon as well.
Dale Sveum will be back in Mesa today as part of Ned Yost’s coaching staff. And the beat writers should have more than just a few questions for the Cubs former skipper.
News and Notes
According to a report from Mark Gonzales, Junior Lake will continue seeing time in both left field and centerfield. Rick Renteria praised Lake for the hard work he is putting in to learn how to track balls better in the outfield. Renteria told Gonzales that Lake is “power shagging” in the outfield during batting practice to work on his defense.
Rick Renteria called James McDonald’s outing against the Angels a “blip” and he assured the veteran right hander that he will have more opportunities this spring.
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …