Spring Training Miscellany: Cubs 7, Rockies and Diamondbacks 19 – March 15, 2012

The freakin’ Ides of March, eh? Today the Chicago Cubs, in split squad action lost to the Diamondbacks 12-2, and lost to the Rockies 7-5. The Cubs now have a losing record on the Spring (6-7).

If you want to take truisms away from a couple Spring Training games, let me offer you three that we learned* today: (1) if you split the 2012 Cubs’ roster in half, they can’t beat anyone; (2) if you demote a prospect, it’s probably best not to let him play in a big league Spring game that day.

On to the lengthy bits…

  • Bad sign? Good sign? Carlos Marmol was the most effective pitcher in today’s game against the Diamondbacks (except for minor leaguer Daniel Berlind at the very end of the game). He gave up a hit and a walk, but no runs, and struck out one.
  • So, Jeff Beliveau, Alberto Cabrera, and Josh Vitters had rough days. It started with a cut from Spring camp, and ended with each totally crapping the mound (or the plate). Beliveau, coming off a two-inning, five K outing, tried to get out of a bases loaded jam that developed before he entered the game. Instead, he walked two, and gave up a grand slam. At least he struck out two. Cabrera pitched two innings, gave up three earned runs on three hits (one homer) and a HBP. Vitters went 0-3 with two Ks.
  • Junior Lake proved to be the lone exception to truism number two up there, as he hit a three-run homer today. That’ll do, Junior.
  • Rodrigo Lopez gave up his first anything of the Spring, going three innings, allowing two runs on six hits. He struck out two. The performance won’t knock him out of whatever competitions he’s in, if he’s actually in any.
  • Scott Maine gave up an earned run in his inning of work, but it came on just one walk. He and Trever Miller are, presumably, duking it out for the “other” lefty bullpen job (together with James Russell).
  • Tony Campana once again didn’t get a start (and it was a split squad day, so that’s a bad sign), and once again didn’t get a hit when he came into the game late. (Joe Mather started in center field in one of the games, and had a double in three at bats.)
  • Bryan LaHair had three hits in five at bats (and stole a base), which raised his Spring average from about nothing to .240. The lesson there is not that LaHair is “turning things around” or anything of the like – it’s a lesson about small sample sizes.
  • I don’t want to say that Welington Castillo was exposed behind the plate today, but I’ll let you be the judge: there were four steals on him (one caught stealing) today, and he had a throwing error.
  • Marcos Mateo and Blake Parker (legit bullpen candidates) each got an inning of work, with Mateo striking out two and giving up nothing, and Parker giving up an earned run on a hit.
  • Adrian Cardenas filled in for Ian Stewart at third base, who was a late scratch with quad soreness (day to day), and went just 1-5 with a double. He hasn’t really shown much this Spring, I regret to say. Bobby Scales, who filled in for Darwin Barney at second base (another late scratch, soreness in his side), went 1-4. His chances of making the roster are quite slim.

*Of course, we didn’t actually learn these things today, because trying to learn anything definitively true from a single day of Spring Training would be absurd. Although, I suspect that first one is probably true any day of the year…

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

18 responses to “Spring Training Miscellany: Cubs 7, Rockies and Diamondbacks 19 – March 15, 2012”

  1. MichiganGoat

    Yeah I’d say Campana’s chances are getting close to his OBP to make the team.

    1. King Jeff

      Campana Burn!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    2. ferrets_bueller

      NOOOIIIIICE.

      1. MichiganGoat

        Well he still has a 25% to make it, well maybe a 23% chance.

  2. mark

    I thought scales played in japan these days.

    1. Luke

      He did for the second half of last season, but came back to the US in hopes of catching on with a major league roster.  If he doesn’t, I expect he’ll head back to Japan.

  3. Miller

    Brett,

    Do you know who is pitching Saturday in Las Vegas?

  4. al

    Tony Campana lost it when he could not get past the first round of the bunting tourney.

    We don’t need mascots or pinch runners. We need baseball players.

    1. MichiganGoat

      But, but, but he’s a scrappy mascot and he can run really really fast – his speed is a “game changer” did I say he is über fast, cause he’s mega fast and super scrappy – isn’t that enough? What is hitting and fielding? Ultra-mega fast is what makes a ball player.

  5. rcleven

    Could Clevenger be jumping Castillo for the back up spot?

    1. Rick Vaughn

      Would be nice to have a left-handed hitter as the back-up. I think the last time we had that was the great Paul Bako. Who of course single highhandedly took this team to the 2003 NLCS.

      1. Rick Vaughn

        I don’t count Koyie Hill

        1. Brady

          Well you couldn’t because he never hit so therefore he wasn’t a left handed hitter he was a left-handed swinger.

      2. Ryan

        I would’ve loved to have Bako the last couple of years instead of Koyie Hill, who by the way was a switch-hitter.

        1. Ryan

          Whoops…didn’t see your last post. Sorry.

  6. wilbur

    Was at the game today against D’Backs. Marmol did get out of the inning w/o any runs, but besides the two baserunners he put on one of the outs was a laser to LF where the outfielder didn’t move two feet. If he had had to move four feet it would have been past him.

  7. die hard

    Cant see the Cubs breaking camp without either making move for high salary above avg player to give some credibility to the team….or trading away anybody with value for prospects and officially make this year one of rebuilding. But this on the fence approach cannot continue much longer as the payroll much too high for return on production. This current team STINKS!!!!!! and for the money being paid will not do. Bye to Dempster for starters. Then Soto next. Who else?…Or go after somebody to at least get 60 wins.

    1. baldtaxguy

      The trading for prospects is probably of more value into the season when teams need a pitcher (Dempster, Garza) or other specific need.  So I could see a trade for prospects not happening  during ST but later.  Then the starts and at-bats will free up for younger developing players. “…making [a] move for high salary above avg player to give some credibility to the team …”?  Your candidates to replace are probably 1B, 2B, 3B, and RP/SP’s – the rest of the positions are already high salary, average average.  Everyone is looking for “above avg” RP/SP’s so probably a thin market at ST.  Who would you target right now for 1B, 2B, 3B?

      Yes, the team could be viewed as in a “hybrid” state of transition without a 100% committment to either extreme, but I would guess that could describe around half of league’s teams’ current state.  Let’s see where we are at the All-Star break.