The Cubs lost to the Rangers 6-2 and tied the A’s 5-5 (ended after 10 innings) today. At least it’s not a sweep.

As the roster gets more and more solidified, there become fewer and fewer particularly notable bits from the Spring. Eventually, this space will do more in the way of showing the full Spring stats for some of the regulars, but, for now, it’s still primarily about the remaining battles…

  • Battles and injuries, that is. Carlos Marmol left today’s game after facing a few batters. If there was an injury, it was of the non-contact variety – he faced a few batters, threw a couple pitches to the fourth batter, and the trainer and Dale Sveum came out to see him. From the descriptions, it seems like they were looking at his hand. Marmol was apparently calling it a hand cramp, but he’s going for an MRI.
  • Blake DeWitt had a couple hits in four at bats (and he played the whole game). His bench job is pretty secure at this point, which means Adrian Cardenas will head to AAA.
  • So, on the day that all the “Joe Mather is going to be on the bench at the expense of guys like Tony Campana” stories break, Tony Campana goes 4 for 5 with a stolen base. Despite starting the Spring 0 for 16, Campana’s Spring average is all the way up to .240. (Small sample sizes and all that). Do his big performances the last two days change anything? Probably not. I can see the merit in carrying Mather (hoping he stays hot, maybe even makes Jeff Baker expendable (Baker could be a nice trade chip)), and I can see the merit in carrying Campana (game-changing speed, which could be particularly useful in April and May). It’s still likely to be Mather, who went 1 for 3 today at DH (you don’t get late Spring starts at DH if you’re not making the team).
  • Forgotten man in that competition, Dave Sappelt, got five at bats today, and didn’t get a hit or walk. He’ll start the year in Iowa.
  • Rodrigo Lopez pitched well again, going five innings, giving up just three hits, one walk, and one earned run. There could be some value in keeping him with the big club as the swing man rather than sending him to Iowa. Of course, that leaves a question as to what to do with Randy Wells…
  • Lendy Castillo had his first really rough outing, going just 0.2 innings, walking three, hitting a guy, and giving up two hits. Amazingly, he gave up just two earned runs in all that carnage. I’d reckon the Cubs’ preference is still to keep him, but he’ll only be kept if they think he can genuinely contribute out of the pen. I think maybe he can.
  • The Cubs went into the bottom of the 9th against the A’s with a three-run lead, which was promptly coughed up by bullpen competitor Blake Parker. He gave up four hits (including a homer) and a walk. The bad outing pushed his Spring ERA up to 5.40.
  • Another of the right-handed bullpen competitors, Manny Corpas, is rolling a bit. After a touchy start to the Spring, Corpas is dealing – he had another scoreless (and hitless and walkless) inning today, striking out two. He got his inning first after the starter, Rodrigo Lopez, left the game (generally speaking, it tends to be the case that the more relevant pitchers pitch early in Spring games).
  • Lefty Scott Maine threw a scoreless frame, and his ERA stands at just 1.59.
  • TWC

    Next time someone sets the game result miscellany parenthesis line at 16, I’m taking the over.

  • Luke

    I’m glad to see Castillo struggle at least once in the spring.  I’d rather him be rocked and rebound in the spring than have it happen for the first time (at this level) in the majors.

    • Turn Two

      Good old adage, but I think if he can’t get rocked and rebound at any level then he isn’t much of a prospect at all.

  • KidCubbie

    Brett or Luke are we going to see Concepcion anytime this Spring?

    • Luke

      It’s not impossible, but at this point I think he’s more likely to spend the spring in minor league camp.

  • brittney

    I think the phillies should look into a trade for baker. Give us full rights to lendy and a low level prospect and the royals should look at trying to pull the trigger on a trade for soto (we’d get a higher return) or castillo. I like clevenger over castillo for some odd reason that I can’t explain.

  • Jeff L

    Three of the potential starting 5 for the Cubs ranked very low on ESPN ranking of top 500 Major League Baseball players of 2012

    Jeff Samardzija 447
    Chris Volstad 402
    Randy Wells 407

  • Spencer

    Why is Baker a better trade chip than Mather if Mather stays hot?

    • PoopyPants McGee

      because Baker can be of use to teams looking to add offense via platoon against lefties. Baker is also proven commodity off the bench who can play first, third, second, left, and right. Mather hasn’t had anywhere close to the same consistant production that Baker providesand is currently signed to a minor league contract. Mather would need to show a whole lot more to have a higher trade value than Baker.

    • Brett

      Because Baker’s done it consistently for years.

  • Joshua Edwards

    Agree with Brett: “You don’t get late Spring starts at DH if you’re not making the team.”
    That has everything to do with reparing for an off-the-bench-at-any-time role.

    Best case scenario (off the top of my head): Mather exceeds what Jerry Hairston, Jr. was able to provide?

  • Eric

    Did I see that Marmol left the game in the middle of an at bat in the Ranger game. Is there need for concern???

    EDIT: Never mind, I see Brett followed up on this on his next post. Thanks.