In case you missed it amidst the Cubs-signing-$3.1-million-Cuban-prospecting, the Scott-Baker-elbow-teeth-gnashing, or the Cubs-moving-to-Rosemont-speculating, the Cubs played a Cactus League game today. And won!
- Dave Sappelt really wants to make the Cubs. He hit his third homer of the Spring today, and he’s blistering hot of late after a cool start to the Spring. I’ve pegged Sappelt as the 5th outfielder since day one, thanks largely to his right-handed bat and outfield versatility (his spot on the 40-man roster doesn’t hurt), and I see no reason to waiver from that. It’s tough luck for someone like Brian Bogusevic, who’s done everything he can this Spring, but that’s the way roster battles in the Spring work.
- Also really, really wanting to make the roster? Brent Lillibridge. He cannot be stopped. He had another couple hits today, including a triple. He’s nearly hitting .500 on the Spring (not that that’s why he’d make the team – in his case, it’s all about whether the Cubs like/need his versatility; and let’s not ignore the fact that he could be a very valuable trade chip if the 2011 version shows up in the first half).
- Edwin Jackson had a very crisp outing today, going six innings (76 pitches), giving up one earned run on three hits and a walk. He struck out three. His velocity was solid, and he’s looking like he’s ready for the season.
- Drew Carpenter followed Jackson with a scoreless frame, striking out two. I don’t think he’s going to be a major factor in the bullpen competition, but I don’t want to overlook him. He’s had a nice Spring, has a nice pedigree in recent years (especially in the bullpen), and could be a legitimately good middle reliever. If it weren’t for Dale Sveum’s he’s-our-sixth-starter comments, I’d probably be higher on him as a bullpen candidate.
- Zach Putnam – a legit bullpen candidate – didn’t fare so well, which has become a regular thing in recent days. He isn’t getting blown out of his appearances, but he seems to be giving up a run or two each time out, after a dominant start to his Spring. Today, he gave up three hits and an earned run in his inning of work.
- Hector Rondon, the Cubs’ Rule 5 pick, got the 9th, and it was another scoreless outing. He’s given the Cubs very little reason not to keep him this year, assuming they were already disposed to doing so (and, since they took him in the Rule 5, I reckon they were).
- Jorge Soler and Javier Baez played today, but they had forgettable outings, so I’ll forget them. They head to minor league camp tomorrow.