cactusFor just a moment, I’m flashing on how it would feel if this game were played in the regular season. Sports needs “bad guys,” and the Dodgers are it for me. I don’t care for their “SIGN ALL THE PLAYERS” strategy (1 part jealousy, 2 parts integrity (I think a team of mercenaries isn’t really what sports is supposed to be about)), and nothing would please me more than to see them flop this year.

Well, nothing save for a handful of Cubs victories along the way. Especially against the Dodgers.

So, yeah. Today felt good, even if it was completely imaginary and not necessarily telling of anything.

  • Chris Rusin is bein’ a dude this Spring. No, Spring stats don’t mean a whole lot, and we’d have to have a few scouts tell us what they’re actually seeing from Rusin, but the numbers are silly good. And he did it again today against a Dodgers lineup full of regulars: 5 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 1 K, 0 ER. You would take that every single time in the regular season, even if it was just five innings. Rusin is going to be very hard to ignore if the Cubs decide to keep a lefty long-reliever type (it’s pretty much either Rusin or Hisanori Takahashi).
  • “Sixth Starter” Drew Carpenter (you’d have to say Rusin is the sixth starter now, yes?) followed Rusin with two shutout innings of his own, allowing two hits and a walk, and striking out two.
  • The lone Dodgers run came in the 9th off of Zach Putnam, who walked one and allowed one hit.
  • The Cubs hammered out nine hits, but took just two walks today, which is becoming something of the norm for them. Hopefully that latter part is a Spring thing. All of the hits were singles, save for a triple by Welington Castillo, a double each by Brian Bogusevic (natch) and Brent Lillibridge.
  • Lillibridge had two hits on the day, and picked right up where he left off before missing a week with a groin strain. He and Bogusevic are your non-roster invitee All-Stars on the positional side at this point, but it’s unlikely both can make the roster. If Lillibridge keeps hitting, his versatility is going to win him a job on the bench.
  • Darnell McDonald also had two hits, but I still think he’s on the outside looking for the 5th outfielder job (it’s likely to be one of Dave Sappelt or Bogusevic).




  • Craig

    How did Stewart do in the minor league game?

  • melrosepad

    I’d like to see Rusin instead of Takahashi if for nothing else than he is already on the 40 man.

    • Rcleven

      Rusin is kind of a waste in the pen. Let him stretch out at AAA. The fifth and sixth starters will be needed the second half of the season.

      • Die hard

        Only if the first 4 are traded at the All Star break if the Cubs are 30-50 then

  • Serious Cubs Fan

    Random: I’m really hoping the D-backs don’t stash starlin peralta in the their bullpen this season or even try and trade him. Raw/high upside with him, hope he comeback to the cubs and gets more development with. What do you think the chances are he comes back?

    • Serious Cubs Fan

      Peralta has looked pretty terrible this spring for the D-backs so it be tough for them to carry that deadweight in the bullpen for 90 days and then have a phantom injury

    • cubfanincardinalland

      They can not trade him. They would have to offer him back to the Cubs first. He has to be either on the 25 man roster or the disabled list, and that for only 90 days of the season I believe.

      • cubfanincardinalland

        After I printed this I realized I am wrong in that they could trade him, but any team still has the same restrictions. So it would only be to a non contending team.

  • db kyle

    1 K in five innings doesn’t really get my motor going. Those balls in play will be htis more often than not in the regular season. But I don’t have a problem with him “earning” a pen spot based on throwing strikes.

    Brett Jackson had two more PAs today, no strikeouts. It’s partially spring fever, but I’m getting pretty excited about his progress. I know why they won’t, but I wouldn’t complain at all if they traded DeJesus or Soriano and installed Jackson in CF. DeJesus just isn’t a CFer.

    • Brett

      Rusin’s game has always been control-oriented, which limits his upside. He’ll give up plenty of hits and won’t get many strikeouts. But if he can keep that insanely low walk-rate going, he could have a Carlos Silva-like career … (take that as you will)

  • Westbound Willie

    He reminds me of pud Galvin.