If you’ve been around long enough to remember, you’ll recall that we believe the primary focuses (foci?) of Spring Training games are (1) who’s making the team? and (2) who’s playing where? Those are the Spring Training Battles, and they mean a whole lot more than the actual outcome of the games. So that’s what’s up. And off we go.

The Cubs exploded all over the Athletics in their first Spring Training game, 9-3. Save some for the rest of Spring Training, guys – er, and the season. To the Battle notes:

  • Sean Marshall threw two hitless innings, and unless he’s traded, he’ll make the team – the question is simply whether he’ll be a starter or reliever.
  • Mike Parisi, the Cubs’ Rule Five pick de jour, is also gunning for a spot in the rotation, but he’d be happy to settle for a spot in the pen. He threw two innings and gave up a solo home run, striking out two.
  • Tyler Colvin has an outside shot of making the big club as a back-up outfielder, and although his ability to handle center field defensively might make more of a difference than his hitting, his hitting sure isn’t lacking. Already drawing rave reviews for his batting practice spectaculars and his added muscle, Colvin homered and doubled twice.
  • Starlin Castro went 1-3 with a triple, but he’s still highly unlikely to make the club.
  • Chad Tracy and Brad Snyder each had a hit in a couple of at bats.