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The Cubs blow another lead and lose late. Is a theme starting?

The salient points (roster battles, position battles, prospects, etc.) from today’s Spring Training game against the A’s…

  • Non-roster invitee Blake DeWitt had a three-run homer, which is a nice start to his “you screwed up by booting me off the roster” campaign. Not helping? He was at DH, instead of playing in the field. Other competitors for a reserve infield job, Bobby Scales, Alfredo Amezaga and Matt Tolbert, each had a hit in limited duty.
  • Non-roster invitee Joe Mather – a longshot to win a back-up outfielder job – went two for three with a couple stolen bases in his first action.
  • Steve Clevenger had a hit in two at bats as he hopes to win the back-up catcher job. (He did lose in the Bunt Tournament today, in an upset, to another catching competitor, Welington Castillo.)
  • Josh Vitters came in for some praise at third base on a tough play to his left. Most still believe Vitters, 22, will develop the bat for the bigs at third base, but a minority believe he can develop the defense. Some say he’s made huge strides over the last six months, though. It was just one nice play, and he’s no threat to make the roster, but it’s good to hear. He also had an RBI double.
  • Lefty bullpen hopeful Scott Maine pitched a scoreless inning early, but gave up two hits in the process. Blake Parker, whom Dale Sveum singled out for praise earlier in camp, threw a scoreless (no hits, no walks) inning, as did Casey Weathers, the pitcher the Cubs picked up in the Ian Stewart trade.
  • Manny Corpas, a presumed favorite for one of the outstanding bullpen spots, went 1.1 innings, giving up a couple earned runs on three hits. He did strike out two.
  • Bobby Mudd

    A theme after 2 spring training games? The pitchers giving up the runs so far are not anyone we will see for a long time, if ever..What I like so far is one error only, by Mateo yesterday..And the fact that they are committed to being aggressive on the basepaths..Good to see Vitters do well today..Players like him, Rizzo, Jackson are who you want to see well now..Clevenger has a cannon..Backup catching position is something to keep an eye on..

  • NL_Cubs

    It’s the 2nd game of spring training with a mixed roster of “take-a-looks”, wanna-bes and fill ins (especially late in the day when in general, the vets start early, and exit early). Both games with good run production and ending within a run or two. No worries…it’s early spring training.

  • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

    It was a joke, chums.

    • NL_Cubs

      Maybe the new “Cubs Way” can be reflected here in BN. Refrain from “jokes”  about losing themes, lovable losers and 103 years stuff.  No offense, but that negative and presumptive outcome rhetoric gets old, even when intended to be harmless. Just sayin’.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        Dude. A part of the joke is that it’s ridiculous to think that two Spring Training games mean anything – which is the very thing you’re just sayin’.

        • SirCub

          Dude.

          • Ogyu

            The Dude abides.

        • Mike Foster

          Dude, I think the theme is lay-off the negative crap. Plenty of that available from Paul Sullivan if I need a dose…which I don’t. Back to our regularly scheduled entertainment……

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

            Dude. It was one, obviously joking line in a post that was almost entirely positive. Sometimes I think you folks give me shit just get my goose.

            • baldtaxguy

              Keep the jokes coming.  I’m loving the overeactions.  Maybe the “theme” continues in today’s Rockies game?

            • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

              Dude your jokes are the Cat’s Pajamas.

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

            Also, and I’d hope you would know this by now, I’m neither negative nor positive. I never have been. I’m a hopeful fan, who is honest.

            • Katie

              Last time I checked this was *your* website so you can do whatever you want. I think a few people have their banana hammocks on a little too tight and need to chill a little.

  • Mrp

    I’m really liking Clevenger, he had a couple good at bats again today. Does anyone know why he isn’t thought of as highly as Castillo? I am assuming it is his defense because from what I have seen of him he seems like the better hitter. It’s also nice that he is another left handed bat.

    • ty

      A middle infielder-turned catcher–over-achiever-who is scrappy as heck and may be ready for the bigs. He has achieved at every level and minor league fans love him. Randy Hundley tough.

    • JasonB

      His bat doesn’t project as well as Castillos. Castillo should be able to hit for power and decent BA (I’ve heard .270 / 15). Clevenger is not supposed to have nearly the same power potential.

  • ty

    Oh,oh. The last time I was addressed as chum turned out to be a long day per Judge Kerner.

  • die hard

    Maybe expecting at least 40 wins is giving the team too much credit? Has a team won less than 40 in MLB? The day/night adjustment issue cannot be blamed for last two games. Soto coming back soon should calm every one down and get them to focus more.

    • Deer

      might need to stretch out the starters sooner than later. Manny Corpse blows it today, hard to change the culture without early wins.

      • die hard

        maybe they need to play only those who they want to start opening day on the 25 man and create a self fulfilling prophecy?

        • Deer

          You could..but they’ll burn out by opening day. That’s how you get to 40 wins in the regular season despite a Cactus League Championship.

  • Eddie

    Anybody know what’s going on with Soler

    • gratefulled

      I was wondering the same damn thing and I’m too lazy to check any other site. Brett, can you give us an update on Soler please.

      Thanks in advance.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        There is no update, unfortunately. He’s still not a resident in the DR, still not a free agent, and there’s nothing happening until those things happen (and no one seems to know when they will come down). He’ll be signed before July, of that I’m certain. The Cubs will aggressively pursue him when they can formally do so.

        Beyond that, there’s nothing that can be said.

  • ThereWillBeCubs

    Change of subject here: any suggestions for the best way to follow the Cubs without cable? I live in Chicago and would be subject to mlb.tv blackouts.

    Also, I don’t own a radio.

    I’ve seen mentions of various apps and whatnots. Are there reliable/safe sites for streaming games? I’d like to get the best bang for the buck.

    Thanks.

    • ty

      there–you may have to just pick up the daily paper.

      • ThereWillBeCubs

        Oops. Should have mentioned I wanted to follow live.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          It ain’t perfect, but as a last resort, you’ll be able to follow the game thread on the Message Board…

    • Deer

      Buy a radio..you can probably get one at goodwill for less than $5 and it’s better than any app

    • Mick

      Is this Steve Bartman?

  • rocky8263

    C’mon die hard you know every team is going to win 60 and lose 60. It’s the other 42 that decide your season. No way that won’t win 60 games. 60 and 102. Go Cubs!!!

    • die hard

      thats what Casey Stengel thought in 1962 and look what happened there…I have wins at most as follows: Garza 9, Dempster 7, Smardzjia 6, and #4, 5 and 6 starters winning together 8….thats 30…throw in 5 extra wins among middle relievers and its less than 40!!!

      • JasonB

        I’ll take the over – you name the price. Time to put your money where your mouth is.

  • http://bleachernation loyal100more

    man… die hard, more like way hard… i see the rotation giving us 50 wins collectivly… and i think the pen( which may actually be good) can keep us around in games to account for another 20 all perpose wins… 70 wins i think is not dreaming high or low… and not assumeing the absolute worst before opening day. i gotta believe 70 wins is a fair assumption and a good indication based on how we play of things to come with a bit of help next off season… is this sounding crazy to anyone

  • http://Bleachernation Loyal100more

    I think if garza stays healthy and his era stays on the decline numerically speaking he could win 15 games himself… Come on man 9 wins… I’ll take 9 from dempster and 9 from maholm… And another 10 wins easy from the bottom 2 spots. Now I for one believe our bullpen is gonna be a strong point, and of we can get even minimal run support our bullpen is gonna keep us in games and give us a chance to win in the late innings

  • http://Bleachernation Loyal100more

    This team IS gonna be of the scrappy variety… Scrappy teams win late inning games that theyre pen is able to keep them in… I think well win quite a few of those 1 run types.

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