Spring Training games totally don’t count. The first two did, but this one didn’t. Yeah. That’s the ticket.
The Cubs lost to the Dodgers today, despite twice having large-ish leads. It’s the kind of game I’d love to hate doing an Enhanced Box Score for – but, since I don’t do them in the Spring, you’ll just have to use your imagination.
- Carlos Villanueva had a rough start to his Cubs career (if you count Spring Training … which I don’t), walking two of the first three guys he saw, and not ultimately making through his first inning of work. It’s one outing, so, like, whatever. Unless both Matt Garza and Scott Baker start the season on the disabled list, Villanueva likely wasn’t going to be in the rotation in April anyway. But he’ll keep fighting for that rotation job, and one bad outing, alone, isn’t going to sink him.
- Darnell McDonald is fighting for an outfield bench job, and he bolstered his case with a three-run homer today. He’ll have to beat out Dave Sappelt and Brian Bogusevic, at a minimum, to make the club, though. Nate Schierholtz and Welington Castillo also went deep.
- A bummer moment came late in the game when Dontrelle Willis – who is with the Cubs on a minor league deal in minor league camp, only – was brought along as a mop-up pitcher, and actually got into the game … only to leave after just seven pitches. I’m sure we’ll get more on his injury later, but he’s gotta be torn up. Guys on minor league deals in minor league camp don’t usually have much of an opportunity to showcase themselves, and Willis probably just busted out on his only shot. He wasn’t going to make the Cubs as it was, but, still. I feel bad for the guy.
- Rob Whitenack also had a bad day, allowing three earned runs … without giving up a hit. Two walks, a HBP, a balk, and a wild pitch. Hopefully it was just a case of the very temporary yips, and not any kind of bad sign about his continued Tommy John recovery.
- Pitching prospect Barret Loux got in a couple innings of work early, giving up a couple hits and walking one. He also struck out. Currently, he’s slated to be one of the more interesting starters in the Iowa rotation.
- Brett Jackson finally struck out. It had to happen some time.
- Jorge Soler went 0-2 with a strikeout, so he’s been dropped out of the top ten on most Cubs prospect lists.