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Spring Training Miscellany: Cubs 5, White Sox 1 – March 9, 2012

Chicago Cubs News

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).


Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation.