The Cubs ended up 3-1 in the split squad games over the last two days. The Cubs split the two games Friday before winning Saturday afternoon in Las Vegas behind Kris Bryant and Kyle Hendricks and in Maryvale in large part to Matt Szczur, Welington Castillo and Mike Olt driving in six runs.
The team sent shock waves through the fan base Saturday when the Cubs tweeted Kris Bryant had been scratched from the starting lineup with right shoulder fatigue. Soon after the announcement, the beat writers indicated that Bryant would take over after one at bat for Anthony Rizzo and be the team’s DH for the remainder of the game.
And Bryant’s two tape measure home runs accounted for all three of the Cubs runs and overshadowed the outing turned in by Kyle Hendricks.
Kris Bryant said after the game that he first noticed his shoulder soreness Thursday. While he didn’t blame the fatigue on his throwing error, he admitted that could have been the cause. But his shoulder has not slowed down his bat. Bryant has two, two-homer games since Thursday.
Kris Bryant said what he’s experiencing is normal fatigue in the shoulder. He will be ready to play third base Sunday when the Cubs take on the Reds.
In eight Cactus League games, Kris Bryant is 9-for-20 with a ground rule double, six home runs, three walks, five strikeouts, nine RBI and 28 total bases (.450/.522/1.400/1.922).
According to Christopher Kamka, Kris Bryant has already matched Luis Valbuena’s team leading six home runs from last spring. Luis Valbuena, Jose Bautista, Mike Trout and Chris Heisey tied for the most homers (6) hit during Spring Training last year.
Edwin Jackson had a good outing Saturday, at least as far as the box score is concerned. Jackson did not give up any runs, earned or unearned, over three innings but he still found himself in deep counts.
According to the report from Cubs.com, Jackson threw 51 pitches over three innings, 29 for strikes, and he kept everything simple.
Joe Maddon has been watching Edwin Jackson and “comparing notes from the past.” Maddon has found there are things he’s not doing now he did in the past. Maddon thinks they can get Jackson back to where he was before he signed with the Cubs.
News, Notes and Rumors
• Jake Arrieta thinks Kris Bryant is just smoke and mirrors #450ftpopups.
• C.J. Edwards is creating a quiet buzz at Cubs camp according to Comcast SportsNet. Edwards has impressed Joe Maddon, who compared him to Jack McDowell, and David Ross. Maddon called Edwards “an interesting cat.”
• Kyle Hendricks admitted he would rather hit two home runs than pitch five perfect innings.
• According to Kiley McDaniel, LHP Brady Aiken will likely make his season debut Thursday for IMG. McDaniel reported Aiken threw a simulated game Saturday and will likely be restricted to a 50-pitch count limit Thursday as he gets stretched out.
• Contributions of David Ross go beyond the numbers according to Bruce Levine. And Ross hopes the Cubs carry three catchers. Welington Castillo has impressed Ross, who said Wely is “one of the best human beings” Ross has been around, and he thinks Castillo will be in the game for a long, long time.
• Joel Sherman examined the myth about MLB power bats.
• Bruce Levine reported the Cubs and White Sox game Friday, March 20 at Camelback Ranch sold out.
• According to Baseball America, the Tampa Bay Rays signed former Cubs’ farmhand C Yaniel Cabezas to a minor league contract.
And last, but not least, the Sun-Times reported LHP Tsuyoshi Wada is still in the mix for the fifth spot in the rotation despite missing time with hamstring and groin injuries.
This Day In Cubstory
2012 – Cubs sent Aaron Kurcz to the Red Sox as the second player included in the compensation for Theo Epstein leaving Boston with one year remaining on his contract. Chris Carpenter was dealt to Boston Feb. 21, 2012 for a PTBNL. The deal would be completed until March 29 when Jair Bogaerts was sent to the Cubs as the PTBNL.
2006 – Cubs granted Bryan Corey free agency
2002 – Cubs traded Michael Tucker to the Royals for Shawn Sonnier
1982 – Cubs released Mike Tyson
1980 – Freddie Bynum, born
1979 – Kevin Youkilis, born
1977 – Athletics purchased Jerry Tabb from the Cubs
1977 – Cubs acquired Gaylen Pitts from the Athletics for Jim Tyrone
1965 – Cubs signed free agent Harry Bright
1947 – Cubs signed free agent Bill Lee
1946 – Bobby Bonds, born
1938 – Bob Locker, born
1933 – Dick Scott, born
1925 – Rabbit Maranville broke his leg sliding in an exhibition game in Los Angeles. Maranville returned to the Cubs lineup on May 24.
1870 – Doc Casey, born
1868 – Roscoe Coughlin, born