[Spring Training Miscellany is a bullet-style post offering what I consider to be the most important bits from that day’s game – it focuses heavily on players who are fighting for a roster spot, or fighting for a particular role on the team. In other words, for example, you’re not going to read too much about Starlin Castro in this feature.]
The Cubs opened up Cactus League play with a blown lead, a comeback, and a late loss. Most of the damage – both good and bad – came after the youngsters had come into the game.
- Adrian Cardenas had a bases-clearing triple in a couple at bats. He’s fighting for a bench job after being claimed by the Cubs on waivers from these Oakland A’s.
- Dave Sappelt, who doesn’t get enough talk when it comes to a reserve outfielder spot (he’s gotta beat out Tony Campana or Reed Johnson, at least), had a hit and a walk in two plate appearances, and scored twice.
- Welington Castillo, one of three primary competitors for the back-up catcher job (together with Jason Jaramillo and Steve Clevenger), had a homer in two at bats.
- Rodrigo Lopez was perfect in his two innings of work, though, absent a rash of injuries, I’m not sure a perfect Spring would get him a job out of camp. Bullpen candidates Rafael Dolis and Trever Miller also threw perfect innings (ok, 1.1 innings in Miller’s case).
- Various younger bullpen hopefuls had a tough go of it. Rule 5 pick Lendy Castillo (whom you know the Cubs would love to be able to stash at the back of the pen) gave up an earned run on a hit and a walk in his inning, and Marcos Mateo (who’s out of options, so that’ll help his case slightly) gave up a couple earned runs on a walk and two hits in his inning of work. Lefty Jeff Beliveau (the Cubs’ Minor League pitcher of the year in 2011) had the worst day of the hopefuls, giving up four earned on three walks and a hit. He simply didn’t have control today, which is unfortunate – it was his dramatic improvement in control in 2011 that made him breakout. It’s just one outing, but it was a really ugly one.
- Darwin Barney and David DeJesus, each of whom otherwise had a nice day, were picked off of first base … in the same inning … by the catcher. Fundamentals and all that.