It was a long weekend for the Chicago Cubs, one in which the organization played five games in three days and went 4-1 in the exhibition season.
The Cubs had a good three days with a couple of exceptions and one big scare.
RHP Jacob Turner will miss at least a month dealing with an elbow injury and LHP Tsuyoshi Wada left Friday’s start in the middle of an at bat after aggravating a groin injury. Wada’s status is unknown but with the setbacks, it’s very unlikely he is still in the mix for the fifth spot in the rotation.
Kris Bryant was scratched from Saturday’s starting lineup in his hometown with right shoulder fatigue. But Bryant still played, as the DH, and launched two more home runs. The Cubs are being cautious with Bryant, who is expected to see time in the outfield in the near future.
Longballs have been the story of the Cactus League so far for the Cubs. Bryant’s six dingers lead all of baseball in Spring Training and the team has hit 19 home runs this spring, the most in either the Cactus or Grapefruit League.
Tommy La Stella was impressive all weekend at third base. La Stella is looking rather comfortable at the hot corner, a position he’s not played in pro ball.
And the Cubs projected starting staff of Jon Lester, Jake Arrieta, Jason Hammel, Kyle Hendricks and Travis Wood allowed a grand total of four runs, three earned, the last time through the rotation. With three of the four runs scoring against Hammel on the hitter friendly day in Tempe.
So if you missed anything, here are the headlines from the weekend with game recaps, home run videos, news from Jed Hoyer and Tom Ricketts and the daily assortment of news links.
Kris Bryant and Jorge Soler Hit Big Flies Early, Cubs Lose Late – Angels 10, Cubs 9
The Cubs dropped another Spring Training game on an afternoon in the valley that will be forever remembered as Will Ferrell day. Kris Bryant launched two home runs, Jorge Soler went deep as well and Addison Russell had a good day at the plate. But Felix Doubront struggled on the mound and the Cubs lost in Tempe.
Rambling about the Cubs with St. Patty’s in Sight
The weekend officially began at the CCO with Friday’s ramblings. Brian shared his thoughts on all things Cubs … and a couple of other non-related baseball subjects.
The Daily CCO: Kris Bryant is Doing What Kris Bryant Does and Other Cubs Spring Training News
Kris Bryant is the talk of baseball. Will he or won’t he start the season with the big league team? Bryant is ticketed for Iowa and Peter Gammons explained why, again. The first round of spring roster cuts are coming, local stations partnered with the Cubs and Joe Maddon doesn’t want to see his players pimp home runs. Respect 90. And other news and notes prior to four games in two days.
Cubs 2015 Spring Training Preview: Right Field
Jorge Soler is the Cubs everyday right fielder, and Chris took a look at the other options for right field in his Spring Training preview series.
Wada Exits with an Injury, Cubs Drop Another Exhibition Game – Indians 7, Cubs 4
The first of four games for the Cubs over the weekend began on a sour note. Not only was the offense a no show early on, with the exception of Matt Szczur, but Tsuyoshi Wada was lifted in the first inning with a groin injury.
Cubs’ RHP Jacob Turner to Miss at Least One Month, Will Begin Season on DL
Jacob Turner received a second opinion on his right elbow and he received the same news the Cubs told him earlier in the week. Turner has a bruised bone and a mild flexor strain, but no ligament damage. The Cubs have shut him down for at least a month. With Turner out and starting the season on the DL and questions surrounding Tsuyoshi Wada, the Cubs pitching depth is not what it was when pitchers and catchers reported.
Travis Wood appears to have the fifth spot locked up. Edwin Jackson is still in the mix and so is Felix Doubront. LHP Eric Jokisch improved his stock with his latest outing, but Dallas Beeler has yet to make an appearance in the Cactus League.
Bottom of the Lineup Deals the Cubs a Win – Cubs 5, Athletics 3
Jake Arrieta was very good Friday night and set the tone for the weekend in Las Vegas. But it was Junior Lake, Tommy La Stella and Addison Russell (5-for-6 with three walks, four runs scored and two RBI) that were the difference in the exhibition game. Lake, La Stella and Russell set the table at the bottom of the lineup and Dexter Fowler and Anthony Rizzo drove in two of the Cubs five runs.
Jed Hoyer Addressed Several Cubs Topics Early in Spring Training
Jed Hoyer made the media rounds at the beginning of the Cactus League schedule. Hoyer talked about the team’s expectations, Tom Ricketts’ statement, the young roster, Javier Baez, Jon Lester, Kris Bryant and assembling an American League lineup for a National League team.
And the Cubs are happy with the way Welington Castillo has performed this spring.
The Daily CCO: Theo Epstein Extension Update and Other Cubs News and Rumors
Theo Epstein hasn’t signed a contract extension after reports suggested throughout the off-season he would have his deal extended. Epstein said he’s happy and thinks his boss is happy with the job the front office is doing. It would seem to be only a matter of time before Epstein signs at least a three-year extension to line him up with Crane Kenney and Joe Maddon.
Tsuyoshi Wada had an MRI, but the team has not released the results. Dontrelle Willis decided to call it a career. And Welington Castillo was mentioned as a possibility for the Padres … actually more speculation than interest from San Diego. Plus a lot of news and notes … and a video from WGN-TV.
Bryant Launches Two Home Runs, Hendricks Pitches Five Perfect Innings – Cubs 3, Athletics 1
The Cubs completed the two-game sweep over the A’s in Las Vegas behind two big flies from Kris Bryant and a sensational outing from Kyle Hendricks. Bryant drove in all three runs on two home runs after he was scratched from the starting lineup.
Kyle Hendricks set the tone for the pitching staff that didn’t allow a baserunner until the eighth inning.
Szczur, Castillo and the Cubs Bash the Brewers – Cubs 10, Brewers 5
Edwin Jackson pitched three scoreless innings. But it was Matt Szczur, Welington Castillo and Mike Olt that paced the offense with Szczur smacking his third longball of the spring. The Cubs won an exhibition game for the third time in two days.
Tom Ricketts: Organization Will Be Disappointed if Cubs Don’t Win the Division
Tom Ricketts spent time on Mully and Hanley (670 The Score) and discussed his team the morning after the first two Cactus League games. Ricketts provided an update on the Miller Park story. Ricketts also talked about the improvements that have been made and Joe Maddon while admitting the organization will be disappointed if the big league team doesn’t win the division crown.
The Daily CCO: Kris Bryant Just Keeps Hitting Home Runs and Other Cubs News
Kris Bryant was all of the talk after he collected his second two homer game in three days. Bryant said it was just normal shoulder fatigue that kept him from starting Saturday’s game and he’s not concerned. Edwin Jackson discussed his outing, Jake Arrieta cracked on Bryant and C.J. Edwards has created a quiet buzz in camp. Plus a lot of news and notes …
One Spring Win on One Hit – Cubs 2, Reds 1
Travis Wood tossed five shutout innings and Brian Schlitter put together his best outing of the spring. A two-out walk by Dexter Fowler kept the inning going for Chris Denorfia … and one big fly later off Johnny Cueto and the Cubs had all the runs they would need on the afternoon.