The Cubs destroyed the Rangers today (ok, well, half the Rangers – but even if you cut the Cubs’ score in half, they still win (I’m pretty sure it works that way)) on the strength of 15 hits, including four homers.

The important bits…

  • Joe Mather is completely uninterested in your stories about Tony Campana finally getting hot. Mather went 3 for 3 with a homer and a double today, playing center field. Mather will be making the Cubs, and I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that today’s de-rostering of Andy Sonnanstine is geared toward adding Mather to the 40-man roster. Of course, there’s another guy to add to the roster named Blake DeWitt…
  • Adrian Cardenas had a couple hits in his two at bats (including a triple, plus a stolen base) in relief of Blake DeWitt, who went 0 for 3. I think it’s probably too late for Cardenas – who’s had a fine Spring in his own right – to pass DeWitt, who has, for whatever reason, become a Dale Sveum favorite.
  • Alfonso Soriano hit another homer today, which, like, yeah. That’s what he does right now.
  • Welington Castillo had a hit in two at bats, and Steve Clevenger had a hit in three at bats. There’s still very little separation in the back-up catcher competition, and it may just come down to Clevenger’s left-handed bat.
  • Matt Garza had another fine start – to the extent you remained concerned. He threw five innings, giving up three unearned runs (two hits, three walks). He struck out three while facing a pretty-much-regular Rangers lineup.
  • Frankie De La Cruz – whom the Cubs just picked up on waivers from the Brewers – threw 1.1 innings, giving up a hit and two walks, but no earned runs (though he did allow an inherited runner to score.
  • Marcus Mateo pitched to just one batter and walked him (and left with a forearm injury), while Rafael Dolis (who always seems to get the 9th inning) pitched a scoreless frame with a strikeout.
  • James Russell threw 1.2 innings, allowing nothing, and striking out two. He’s locked into the bullpen.
  • terencem

    And Barney made 2 throwing errors in one inning. Poor guy.

  • Funkster

    BJax hit one out.

  • brittney

    Mather is growing on me. I hope he continues regularly hittin during the season.
    I think our pen is going to be one of the brighter parts of our team.
    Brett, who do you think will be cut to make room for DeWitt? And in your opinion what would the ‘pen look like if you were in Sveum’s shoes?

    • Brady

      Or do we not pick up DeWitt. Maybe Sveum talking him up is just a sales pitch to other teams or trying to help him keep his chin up if we decide to try and send him to AAA and hope he decides to stay with us.

      • Turn Two

        Highly unlikely he is talking up Dewitt to trade him, there are no takers. A mediorce spring and some nice talk from a manager hasn’t changed peoples minds. He was passed on by every team when he went through waivers.

        I will maintain the argument that Tony Campana is needed on this team. He offers a dimension that no one else on our team brings. Mather is your run of the mill scrappy backup, Campana has a game changing characteristic, which I want off my bench. For a team that is not built to score runs in bunches, you need to score them in other ways.

        • Brady

          Well talking up for trade bait was just one reason I listed. If he decides to come back and play for AAA he may do so because he thinks the management believes he can get better (a little motivation and recognition can go a long way). And you never know, maybe someone ends up needing him and thinks he has more potential or something.

        • CubFanBob

          Mather is a poor man’s Derosa it seems. I love Campana just dont if he would be better served in the beginning starting in AAA working on bunting and slashing. I cant believe a player at his age and his speed wasnt taught how to bunt and hit to use his speed from the moment he joined the farm system.

  • Ol’CharlieBrown

    What’s going on with Dolis? It seems like he’s mowed through everyone this Spring..

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      He’s probably the heir apparent to Marmol at this stage.  I think he’ll do fine as a major league closer, when the time comes.

      • brittney

        Luke- do you think if marmol struggles this year with his command, Dolis could slide into the closer role? Maybe put marmol in the pen as maybe a 7th inning guy or one they’d call on to get a certain batter out here and there?

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

          If Marmol struggles, it will be either Dolis or Wood, with the other one pitching the 8th I think.  And either way would be good for Dolis.

          If Dolis looks good through the first half, I’d not be surprised to see Marmol traded.

          • Mrp

            I think it is going to be tough to move Marmol. 16.8 million over 2 years is a lot for a struggling closer. We probably end up eating a good chunk of that even if he does bounce back.

            • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

              If he’s not struggling, that’s not all that bad of a contract based on the contracts given to closers this past off season.  If he’s pitching well, I think he could easily be dealt.

              • Brady

                If he’s not struggling then there would be no need to deal him unless we get a good offer. If he is struggling then we are going to want to move him but cant. Even if he is just ok these next couple years (not as great as he was but not terrible either) I still hope we dont resign him after the 2 years. By that point I think he will be just a dead weight compared to the wealth of talent in the system.

                • brittney

                  I think marmol should be moved by the trade deadline. We have enough young guys that can take over and do the job and probably do it on a consistant basis. I think dolis would make a great closer with wood/castillo being our set up guys. And they’re cheaper (excluding wood but still got a good deal with him)

                  • Brady

                    I’d like to deal him but if he is performing it is still always going to be based on how much people are willing to pay. I’d rather keep him then ship him off for a bag of peanuts and a case of Old Style.

              • Mrp

                I suppose if he returns to what he was before his meltdown, but I guess I’m just pessimistic that he will. His fastball lost some life last year although it really doesn’t matter because he wasn’t able to hit his spots with it anyway (or get it near the zone). His slider didn’t have the same bite either (yeah I know he said he was throwing a cutter but I’m not sure I’m buying that just yet). With that said, I hope you are right though.

                • Brady

                  All I know is that I dont like what I have seen since the 2nd half of last year to now and personally I dont think he will return to form and needs to be generously put down soon but I will always root for him to come back and light it up again because he is a Cub (also I havent heard of him being a douche either). Just because I am rooting for him doesnt mean I am not going to cringe whenever he is taking the mound and pray that he doesnt blow the lead.

  • rcleven

    Ha!! we finally have a third baseman who can throw some leather.

  • gratefulled

    Brenly made a comment today about Clevenger seriously hurting his chances today by not being able to move a runner, 2nd base with no outs, over. Once Clevenger got back to the dugout you could tell that he felt like he failed. I’m not sure if his future is determinant on that one play, but it certainly didn’t help.

    • Brady

      I dont think that hurts his chances. First off it is just 1 play. Secondly, if a good player gets a hit 3/10 times at the plate I think you can’t be too harsh on this not being one of those times. You always want to move the runner over. If I remember the inning right the runner still came in so its no damage done. What is worse is when 3 batters strike out bases loaded no outs. Then you can be quite disappointed. Clevenger did his best to move the runner over and it didnt work, too bad but so be it.

      • gratefulled

        I just think it is a testament to how close the back-up catcher battle actually is. Probably gonna be management’s last and toughest roster decision.

  • brittney

    Stewarts back handed snag on his knees throwing gentry out at first made sports center’s top plays. It was number 4 or 5 if I remember. But I was watching it at 4a while getting ready for work

    • Brian

      Plus, he cracked a home run. I can’t believe his defensive play was only #4 or 5, that was one slick play.

      • hardtop

        there were a lot of other good plays, i wouldn’t take it personally :)
        the way he lofted the ball across the diamond was pretty impressive. if he never finds his swing again, he may have a future as an outside shooter for the bulls… like the kind of shooter korver was supposed to be.

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