Chicago Cubs 2016 NL Central Championship Gear

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…

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