Spring Training Miscellany: A’s 3, Cubs 5 – February 28, 2013

cactusMy schedule is completely messed up, and I feel like I’m writing this in the middle of the night, even though the Cubs/A’s tilt just ended.

Today the Cubs took down the A’s at HoHoKam, largely thanks to 12 not-so-powerful hits (eight singles, four doubles).

  • Scott Feldman made his debut, allowing four base runners in his two innings of work (a couple walks, a couple hits). Not ideal, but it was his first outing.
  • Feldman was followed by the man who’ll likely follow him in the rotation in April. Travis Wood made his second appearance on the Spring, giving up just two hits and one earned run in his two innings of work. He also struck out one. Wood remains on pace to open the season at the back of the rotation, assuming Scott Baker is on the DL (and especially if Matt Garza is on the DL, too). Wood’s only real competitor for that number five job to open the year is Carlos Villanueva.
  • After Wood, Carlos Marmol, Kyuji Fujikawa, Hector Rondon, and Zach Putnam each threw a scoreless frame. Jensen Lewis gave up three hits and an earned run in his inning of work, though he did strike out two. He’s clearly got good stuff, but the ability to consistently harness appears to be what has kept him from being a bullpen fixture over the past few years.
  • In the outfield, each of Dave Sappelt and Darnell McDonald had a double (McDonald added a single), and Brian Bogusevic came in late and singled. As far as fifth outfielder options go, the Cubs really do have some nice ones.
  • On the prospect front, Jorge Soler went 1-3 and pegged a runner advancing to third from first on a single. The throw from right field was described as a bullet, with oohs and aahs aplenty.
  • Junior Lake had two hits, including a double, and Javier Baez had a single in three plate appearances.
  • Scott Hairston has the early ugly line on the Spring: three at bats, three strikeouts. He was probably just trying out a new swing.
  • Brett Jackson replaced Hairston late, and took the Cubs’ only walk on the day.

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

31 responses to “Spring Training Miscellany: A’s 3, Cubs 5 – February 28, 2013”

  1. Dylan

    I don’t know what’s more important: Brett Jackson taking a walk or that was the only walk.

    1. jblades

      His ability to take a walk has never been a problem. He has a good batting eye. It’s the strikeouts that have plagued him.

      1. terencem

        The fact that people lump Jackson with Vitters represents a complete failure of Chicago-area sports writers to explain anything beyond STRIKEOUTS. Nothing personal, Brett. I don’t think you’re guilty like the rest of them.

      2. Dylan

        Gotcha. Thanks for the clarification. I must be thinking of Felix Pie or something.

        1. Rich H

          With no improvement at all Brett Jackson is Mickey Tettleton with speed(walks are not a problem hitting anything other than flies is). If he played catcher he would be a no brainer to make the roster. Too bad he plays the outfield

          That being said if his contact rate can come up to at least say below average then we have a good player that could make an All Star team at some point. If his new swing doesn’t work then we have a AAAA player that can go to the walk rate HOF.

  2. BluBlud

    I really do think Brett Jackson is ready for the bigs this time around.

    I wonder Lake as a chance to make the team fresh out of spring. If there is a prospect with a chance, I would assume it’s him. Our infield is pretty week on the bench, and he has look pretty decent.

    1. Danny Ballgame

      If the options are Stewart, Vitters, or Lake, it’s pretty hard to “like” anybody besides him

    2. willis

      Unless he’s going to play every day at 3rd, which he won’t, he needs to start in AAA getting a start every day to finish his polish. The kid is badass no doubt, but putting him on the bench would stunt his growth.

      Saying that, if Stewart punks out and gets cut, never know what could happen. I would think regardless though Lake is at AAA. But, come July or August, he could very well be manning 3rd for the Cubs.

      1. Mick

        With Lake’s emergence at 3B, Vitters will need to find a new spot. Who’s his main comp in Iowa’s OF and 1B? There’s only a few weeks left until final roster cuts but at this pace Jackson is destined for an early season call up a la Rizzo from last season. Question is, what will the FO do to create room in our big league OF? Wasn’t it a foregone conclusion that the Cubs had the worst OF in MLB? Hmmm.

    3. TheDynastyStartsIn2016

      A LOT would have to happen for Lake to be the starting 3rd Baseman, and no way you should keep him on the team if he doesn’t start. He needs regular at bats.
      Plus, well….it is only spring training. With you on Jackson.

  3. fromthemitten

    friendly reminder that the Lions went undefeated in the preseason before going winless in the regular season :)

    1. terencem

      Yeah, you have to enjoy Spring Training for Spring Training and not apply much of anything you see to the rest of the season.

  4. 5412

    Hi,

    I have been pretty vocal about Jackson taking too many called strikes. Boy do I want him to prove me wrong.

    You comment about 8 singles and 4 doubles is likely to be the song for the year after reading the interview with Sveum. Not that many boppers in the lineup. To beat the other team it will have to be death by 1,000 cuts. They are going to need a lot of OBP guys getting on in a row I am afraid, and an occasional HR is a plus.

    Thanks for the update,

    5412

    1. Rcleven

      We really don’t know what we have just yet. Mostly seen the kids play. Castro has been effective with doubles power this spring and the power has been coming from some strange sources. Rizzo has been making contact but hasn’t shown the power we know he has.
      With Sveum getting a look at everyone I doubt we’ll see our regulars until the last week of March or a little before.

  5. Dan

    Just read an artical on espn about Robertson Cano in extension talks with the Yankees could u imagine him in the cubs lineup next year 2-4 would be Castro cano and rizzo? Move Barney to 3rd or trade him for good prospects?

    1. santos toupe

      barney to 3rd are you kiddin. cano would go to 3rd b4 barney. plus barney would have more value traded as a middle infielder, which if you forgot has a gold glove to his name.

      1. ETS

        I don’t think there’s anyway we go after cano, but in that situation I think I would put barney at short, castro at 3rd and cano at second.

    2. arta

      NO!

  6. Kubphan82

    Brett,

    Paint me green and call me an alien… But is there ANY worth or VALUE in trading one of our 5th OF, if they all continue to be good options. I know it’s ST, and I know we wouldn’t have a Campana return, but if the Cubs trade the best 5th OF option, get a prospect or fringy prospect, and then still not be displaced in current talent…

    Would that be an option, even remotely possible given the nature of ST games “not meaning anything”….

  7. Corey Costello

    Anyone have a video of Baez nabbing the runner?

  8. Dustin S

    Listening to this one, it sounded like the Soler throw out at 3rd was the highlight of the game from the crowd response. A decent game all around but, but not too terribly eventful.

    In the pre-game Sveum didn’t sound overly positive about Stewart hitting soon. More than a week away at least from starting to hit he said. The kicker was Sveum saying today, “If he gets on the field too late in spring training it will be difficult to get enough at-bats to evaluate (him) when everyone else is getting their at-bats,” Add in Valbuena playing pretty well and Sveum always talking him up, and you can see where that’s heading.

    1. Noah

      Despite the fact that Thed have allowed Sveum to have a say on things like who the 25th man on the roster was last year, I have a feeling they’ll likely force Stewart on him. I base this on nothing but intuition, but my guess is that instructions are going to come that Stewart is to get the first shot at playing every day.

  9. Jeff

    Really sounds like Sveum is just dying to let Valbuena play third, not a long term option that excites me much, glad he’s just a manager not a GM.

    1. DB Kyle

      What’s the problem there? He’s the best 3b on the roster.

      1. Jeff

        You’ve got to be kidding me, defensively they are both sound. Both will hit .220 over a full season. Stewart at least, if healthy, I know I know, could hit 30 Hrs, Valbuena would hit maybe 15.

        There is no way Valbuena is a long term answer at 3rd base, rather see Villanueva over Valbuena.

        1. DB Kyle

          Not everything has to be about “long-term answer.”

          Valbuena is better defensively, a better contact hitter and draws just as many walks. The only thing Stewart does better is the power that would show up if he were ever healthy and not sucky simultaneously, but it doesn’t matter what Stewart would do if he was healthy because he’s not. At his best, he’s coming off wrist surgery, which is generally not a good thing for a hitter.

  10. hutch

    cano has more gold gloves than barney and can barely hit his weight. If cano becomes available throw the kitchen sink at him. Hes a top 5 player in baseball. Barney can find a nice spot on the bench or another team

    1. daveyrosello

      Bench–not another team. Barney would be an ideal reserve IF on any team, shoot, that’s the role many of us envisioned for him in the first place when he was drafted. I’d keep him for that, especially if he could cover 3B in a pinch, which I imagine he could.

      re: an earlier post–I’d like to see the Cubs give Lake a real shot at 3B, what do they have to lose? Seems like an all-upside, no-risk move to me. Lord knows Valbuena, Stewart (always hurt) and Vitters (ugh) aren’t the answer.

    2. Saving Grace

      Cano will be 31 in Oct.
      His age,length of contract he’ll want and dollar amt. doesn’t seem to fit the profile of what the Cubs want to do in regards to free agents.
      And Boras is his agent.

      I think he resigns with the Yankee’s

  11. Jason

    The Cubs will not sign Cano. To old for them. They need to get a stud front line pitcher. Hint Hint David Price. My guess is Barney will probably get traded at some point and Lake will be manning 2nd. Rizzo at 1st for many years to come. He’s going to be a GREAT leader on this team. Castro will stay at SS and Baez at 3B. Jackson in LF, Almora in CF and Solar in RF. The future looks bright, hopefully!!!