Today the Chicago Cubs evened their Spring record by taking down the loathsome White Sox, 5-1. Homers were the order of the day, with the Cubs going deep thrice (Edgar Gonzalez, Marlon Byrd, Steve Clevenger).
The notable bits…
- Travis Wood looked decent, but not great, today in his first Spring start. He fumbled a couple grounders, didn’t seem to hit his spots consistently (he was high all day – overthrowing), and gave up a few deep fly balls. His stuff looked OK, but he was helped by a few nice plays behind him. That said, his repertoire doesn’t seem quite as well suited to pitching in the warm, thin Arizona air as it will in Chicago.
- Randy Wells came in and cleaned up a bases loaded mess, and then pitched a couple solid innings, giving up just one hit, and striking one out. Wells has been a Spring Training performer for several years now. I’ll say it again: the rotation decisions are not going to be easy.
- Rodrigo Lopez was once again dominant in his two innings of work. He’s perfect on the Spring, which is the bar I set for him to actually make the rotation. And, even if he remains perfect, I don’t think he gets the job. He could end up pulling out the swing role in the bullpen, though.
- The legends are true: Junior Lake absolutely grew *at least* two inches in the offseason. Kid looks huge. (Sorry, Mom, for calling you a liar when you said there was a chance I could still grow in my early 20s.) It’s very easy to see why folks say he’ll never stick at shortstop, although he did look fluid and comfortable on a couple plays out there.
- Dae-Eun Rhee, unlike his rough first time out, looked nasty in an inning of work, striking out the side. He was down in the zone, and his ball had a nice, late break. It was but one Spring inning, but it was easy to see why the Cubs have long been high on Rhee despite the sometimes mediocre results.
- As noted, Edgar Gonzalez went deep in support of his attempt to make the team as a reserve infielder.
- Rule 5 pick Lendy Castillo looked decent in his one (perfect) inning of work. He struck out one, and obviously has a live arm.
- I’m not at all saying I’m worried, but Bryan LaHair had a rough day. He was 0-3 with two strikeouts, and he was eaten alive by the high fastball (which has been suggested to be the “hole” in his swing).