Hey, hooray! The Cubs beat the White Sox! So what if the pitching was collectively crappy; so what if Carlos Pena reminded us of what we fear he’ll be; so what if – oh yeah – it was just a Spring Training game? With many of the roster decisions in the rearview mirror, there aren’t many battle-related points left to make, so this feature will probably include more thoughts on the regulars as the season approaches…
- Worried about Matt Garza yet? I’m still not, strictly speaking. Yes, on the balance, it would be better if he were tearing it up, but his struggles don’t necessarily portend doom. And to be sure, today was a struggle. He started out quite well, but a tight strike zone was (once again) his undoing. In the end, he gave up 8(!) hits and two walks in five innings. And he gave up a home run to 59 year old Omar Vizquel.
- Braden Looper was only slightly less effective in his two innings of work, allowing four baserunners and an earned run. He’s clearly no longer in the running for a rotation spot, but he could grab a bullpen spot if he impresses. Soon.
- James Russell stunk. The rotation-bullpen back-and-forth is probably not easy, but the Sox smacked him around like his name was Jeff Russell (with a middle nickname “Samardzija” – see what I did there?), to the tune of three hits and two earned runs in an inning. Given the Cubs’ all right handed rotation, a third lefty in the pen is a near lock. And with Scott Maine given the (premature?) boot this week, Russell is the guy. Hopefully he gets it together.
- Darwin Barney took the news of his first career Opening Day roster spot well: he went 2-4 with a triple and a couple RBI. He’ll be getting some early season starts at second base, you can be sure of that.
- Koyie Hill Aneurism Watch: He went hitless again today, but actually walked twice in three plate appearances. Finally, a top showing, no? No. Welington Castillo walked in his only plate appearance, making him the overall winner on the day. Again. You should probably talk to a doctor about that throbbing in your head.