The streak is over! The Cubs won’t go 0-fer Spring Training! All is right with the world.

Today the Cubs beat the Rockies, as the bats were alight, and the pitching was plenty adequate. Among the notable bits (again, focusing on guys fighting for roster spots or particular roles):

  • Alfonso Soriano batted cleanup and was the DH. Brett approves of both of these things. Unfortunately, there is no DH in the NL. Soriano responded by hitting two home runs and a double in three at bats. Are you watching, anonymous AL team?
  • Blake DeWitt and Adrian Cardenas split time at second today, the former getting a hit in three at bats and the latter going 0-2.
  • Welington Castillo – last year’s Spring darling – had two hits, including a double, in three at bats. He’s trying to step up while one of his primary competitors in the back-up catcher competition, Jason Jaramillo, is dealing with a quad injury.
  • Prospects Junior Lake (1-3 with a double) and Anthony Rizzo (2-3) had nice days. Neither is going to make the team, but it’s fun to dream about the future.
  • Brett Jackson went deep, which makes three total homers on the Spring (one only kind of fake (Spring Training game), and two pretty much fake (intrasquad games)), and he also took a walk. Kid wants on the team, but the Spring is long, and the value of keeping him at AAA for a month is extreme (would you trade one month of Jackson at AAA in April for one YEAR of extra team control in 2018?).
  • Casey Coleman and Chris Rusin, each of whom is likely ticketed for the Iowa rotation, pitched a couple innings apiece, Coleman giving up just two hits, and Rusin giving up a hit, two walks, and an earned run.
  • Andy Sonnanstine saw his first Spring action, and it interestingly came (a) at the end of the game, and (b) in just one inning of work. He gave up a walk and a hit, but no runs. I believe I recall hearing that he was working out some minor injury issues, but it will be interesting to see if he gets a chance to pitch multiple innings at the beginning of games later this Spring (thus indicating that he’s legitimately in the rotation competition).
  • brittney

    I would def keep jackson in the minors for an extra month to gain a year. That month could save them 5-10million dollars (my guess of how much a year would be for him). I love watch the young guys and seeing our future has many bright spots!

  • Spencer

    I’m not satisfied with the win. No pitcher has had a quality start yet.

    • TWC


      • Brett

        That’s what I was going to say. By which I mean “ha.”

        • dick

          Are you giving some love to Jae-Hoon Ha? I never see much about him on BN, but I think he’s promising. He had 45 extra base hits last year as a 20 year….not Rizzo, but quite good.

          • ty

            Ha is a real good prospect. Except for one bump in the road when Cubs tried to develop him as a catcher–he hated that–since then looking good. Pull hitter with surprising power-runs well-above average arm in outfield and good glove. Hope Boston leaves him alone.

          • Brett

            I’m sure he’ll be mentioned frequently this year. He’s no threat to make the roster, and hasn’t been the subject of extensive attention over the past few months (like Lake and Rizzo – deserved or not, I’m just saying they’re in the news a lot around here), so I didn’t mention his game today.

            He’s done some incredible things, and I’m told he’s an excellent outfielder. It seems like he could use a little patience at the plate, though.

            • ty

              Remember Brett if we had not traded Na we could have had Ha with him in the outfield. This actually occurred a couple games in instructional league. Between the two of them nothing dropped safely.

              • Brett

                A: So, who’s playing LF today? Ha?

                C: Na.

                A: Well, then who?

                • ty

                  Na–just Ha!

                • ferrets_bueller

                  The irony of this is that So was once in our system, briefly.

              • Luke

                Ha, Jackson, and Szczur would be a frighteningly good defensive outfield.

                Right now, Ha looks like a 4th outfielder long term, but we could see him as a starting center fielder until Szczur arrives.

                You’ll be hearing plenty more about Ha this season, I can guarantee you that.

                • ty

                  Luke–That group would be exciting and they are headed to the big city on The City of New Orleans with Arlo Guthrie serenading..with a short stop-over in Peoria .

                  • Luke

                    Fitting.  I love Arlo Guthrie.

  • rocky8263

    Go Cubbies! The beer is flowing in Mesa. Hopefully there is still some of Garza’s chicken left.

  • Jeremy

    Nice seeing that Lake and Rizzo had good days.

  • Benjamin Raucher

    Need to bring this heavy hitting into the regular season


    • Brett

      Benjamin (Marcus Raucher), given your string of comments (and the nature of some of them, which are very similar to spam comments that often appear around here behind the scenes), I am a tad bit suspicious of your presence. Care to explain why I’m wrong, and that you’re not a spammer?

      • Caleb

        I searched that name on Facebook and nothing came up. Probably a Taliban sympathizer.

        • TWC

          I googled the name and came up with a police report from some 20-year-old kid who got arrested for serial butt-fondling.  No joke.

        • hardtop

          are you saying they cant have facebook pages? i thought that was the core of their organization 😉

  • daveyrosello

    LF– LaHair
    SS–Lake or Castro
    2B–Lake or Castro
    C–Soto or Castillo

    Your opening day 2013 lineup?

    • FrankAndBeans

      Lake is awhile away from being MLB ready. Probably closer to 2014 or 2015 from what I’ve read.

    • Luke

      Opening Day 2013 might be a touch optimistic for Vitters to be the starting third baseman, but its certainly possible.

      Lake might make it to the majors for a September call up in 2013, but I don’t expect him any sooner that (at least not yet).  I don’t think Lake will be on second either.  If he isn’t playing third, I think he’ll be moved to right.

      The second baseman in the minors to watch are Zeke DeVoss and Logan Watkins.  Watkins is on roughly the same timetable as Lake.  DeVoss is starting behind him, but I expect DeVoss to move up more quickly since he was drafted out of college.  Either one could reach the majors late in the second half of 2013.  We’ll get a clearer picture of the future of second base this season.

  • johnbres2

    I still think of Casey Coleman as a Greg Maddux-type, but he better prove me right soon, or that dream will have to be put to rest….

    • DocWimsey

      The “soon” part is critical. At Coleman’s age, Maddux already had his 1988-1990 seasons behind him, and although he was not quite perennial Cy Young candidate, he was already recognized by a lot of people (albeit not as many within the Cubs organization as necessary!) as one of the best pitchers in the game.

      In fact, I’d revise “soon” and use whatever adverb involves getting a time-machine…..

    • Luke

      I’m not a fan of comparing prospects to Hall of Famers.  Coleman might pitch in a similar manner to Maddux, but he’s not likely to become one of the most dominant pitchers of his generation.

      I do think he could emerge as a solid #4 starter.

      • DocWimsey

        At this point, I’d settle for one year of Rich Hill….

  • PeteG

    I’m sorry but Casey will never be anything more then a spot starter/ long man. What do you guys think about Shark? I personally have fallen in love with his arm. Solid major league 3?

    • JasonB

      Biggest key for him is always going to be control. If he can improve his walk rate mildly from last year’s 2h, then he has a chance. He has to hold those gains and then some in order to even be considered a solid starter because his Ks will decrease if he goes to the rotation.

      • PeteG

        I know his control will need to improve drastically but I think his k/9 will be fine. He’s just such a great athlete that I believe he can put it all together!

    • Edwin

      Fringy middle relief pitcher. He walks too many batters. Even with his “breakout” year last year, he walks too many batters. That’s not going to change. Last year he also had a very generous HR/FB rate, as well as a nice BAPIP. That probably will change. Other than being able to throw hard, he doesn’t have that much going for him. He wasn’t even that good in the minors. Odds are, he’ll be worse this year than last year.

  • Caleb

    Has anyone heard whether Campy’s new muscles are slowing him down any? I think he should have LOST weight, gained speed, and mastered the bunt. Run so fast that you can literally never be thrown out at first. He could get an OBP of 900+ and change the game forever.

    • Brett

      I’ve missed you, Caleb.

  • hardtop

    if he lost anymore weight his uniform would have crushed him… he was a living breathing bobble-head doll last year. i like that you’re thinking outside the box!

  • die hard

    Soriano proves once again that hes got those quick and strong wrists reminiscent of Ernie Banks.He would set DH records if given a chance. Wish Cubs could work out deal with AL team based on incentives. The better Soriano does the less the Cubs eat of salary.

  • die hard

    I still feel Coleman could surprise and make the 25 going north. Theres something about him that shows hes a winner which you cant teach those with more skills. Maddux, Oswalt, Glavine, et al

  • Levo

    Have you thought of doing the box scores for spring training? That’s my favorite thing to look at during the season. I get a good laugh off of them.

    • Brett

      I have thought about it, and decided against it – the nature of Spring box scores doesn’t really lend itself to the Enhanced Box Score. Too many players, too much ridiculousness. Plus, I like to keep the EBS as something special for the season.

      So I do the Spring Training Miscellany posts as a way to recap the game instead.

      • Levo

        Cool. I’ll just be ready come opening day!