cactusThe Cubs came back today, after going down 4-0 early to the minor league Angels. The win brought them to .500 for the Spring, at 15 and 15. That actually gives them the third best record in the Cactus League, if you can believe it, behind the Braves (oh my, Spring Training really does reflect ability!) and the Rockies (oh, never mind).

  • Chicago Cubs starting pitchers have been doing two things lately: (1) walking no one, and (2) hitting the crap out of the ball. In their last 33 collective innings, Cubs starters have issued two(!!!) walks. They’re also 5 for their last 7 at the plate, including a Jeff Samardzija homer.
  • Edwin Jackson played a part in that trend today, with two hits at the plate and no walks on the mound, but he gave up eight hits and five earned runs.
  • Unfortunately Carlos Marmol did as Carlos Marmol does in this one, walking two and hitting another batter. He gave up only one “unearned” run, but, I mean, yeah.
  • Hisanori Takahashi got in two innings of scoreless work, allowing two hits and striking out two.
  • Rafael Dolis pitched a scoreless 9th, but gave up two hits in the process.
  • Steve Clevenger, who’s hoping to be the Cubs’ 25th man, got a late at bat and doubled, while taking over behind the plate.
  • Don’t look now, but Luis Valbuena has gone ice cold after his hot Spring start and hot Winter League play. It doesn’t really matter, since guys go through streaks all the time, but he’s the man at third base against righties when the season opens. So … get hot again, Luis.
  • Scott Hairston hit his third homer of the Spring, and Brent Lillibridge had another hit (a triple).
  • Rcleven

    Ronny Cedeno is now an Astro.
    If only Figgens would sign somewhere else we could stop speculating him comming to the Cubs.

  • cjdubbya

    Hey man, why’d you list the Cubs second? I thought they won today? *insert sexist comment here*

    As an aside, I’m departing from Port Columbus at 7:25am bound for Phoenix. Brett, I may have room in my suitcase for ya if you’re interested. And if your wife would let you take off for a few days to another state with two youngins at home.

    • Brett

      Ha. I look forward to hearing all about the trip … while I watch it snow out my window.

  • RightFieldForLife

    Barring a trade and if Takahashi makes the team, I’m wondering who gets bumped off the 40 man. I don’t see any position player that is likely to get bumped. Most of the guys on the 40 man that are not gonna make the team are legitimate prospects. Lillibridge is making the team and needs a spot, if Takahashi makes the team that is two spots barring a trade or a sudden 60-day DL move. I would think Raley is the most likely. After that the remaining two look to be Dolis or Cabrera and I know the Cubs are high on both. MLB trade rumors says Dolis is out of options, but I’ve heard conflicting rumors on that.

    • dabynsky

      Baseball America has reported, as Brett has pointed out here, that Dolis qualifies for a fourth option year. I would take Baseball America’s word on this over MLB Trade Rumors. There is still a 40 man roster crunch which will probably involve at least one 60 day DL player (Vizcaino) and then another move which could be another 60 day DL player.

    • nkniacc13

      I would guess a couple players go to 60 day DL. Vizcaino and Baker are the first 2 that come to mind

  • cubzfan

    We still need a third baseman. Alexander Guerrero, where are you? (Cuban infielder trying to establish residency in the DR.)

    • EB

      I was wondering if and when we’d hear more about this guy. Seems like he could possibly be an interesting option for the Cubs.

  • ThatDude

    Hey, relatively new to this site. I just wanted to say I really appreciate your work and enjoy the manner in which the analysis is presented. Nice work

    • Brett

      Thanks, TD. I try.

  • Curt

    Luis valbuena the man at 3rd or the always injured who knows if and when hell ever play Ian Stewart , talk about no options .

  • ichabod

    like valbuena

  • Carlito

    In rides Theriot

  • Kyle

    Stumbled across this interesting article today:

    The math is a bit dense, but the moral of the story is: A pitching injury is a massive indicator of the likelihood of another pitching injury in the next two years.

    Sort of puts Garza and Baker’s injuries into perspective.

    • Scotti

      Thanks for the link, and I appreciate Carleton going to the effort, but the fatal flaw in his work is that everyone knows a pitcher goes on the DL (possibly more than once) before he goes under the knife for the vast majority of Tommy John and shoulder issues (likely 90% plus of pitching injuries). Cutting is final. Rest (DL stint) is option #1 when at all possible. Virtually the only time a guy goes directly to the knife is with a complete blowout and those aren’t too common. Shoulder and even elbows usually creep up on you.

      So, yeah, a pitcher is likely to go on the DL in year two because rest didn’t heal his tendon/rotator in year one (and in many, if not most, cases it doesn’t). The rest of the injuries (the other 10, or so, percent) are just too varied to lump together to get anything but statistical noise. A broken thumb is different than a lat injury, than a strained groin, than a twisted knee, etc.–all of that is case-by-case basis.

      Far more interesting would have been a study that shows the recidivism of TJS, rotator cuff, etc. injuries several years out. At least a study such as that would be instructive as to Baker even though it would still leave us in the dark on Garza.

    • hansman1982

      Garza’s injuries appear to be unrelated.

      Baker, well, sure seems Cub-ian for us to get one of the 5%ers (although our injury history the past few years has been pretty good).

      • Kyle

        They may appear to be unrelated, but that’s the point of the study. *Any* arm injury is heavily correlated with any arm injury in future seasons. Players who have had arm injuries at any point in the last two seasons are 8-10 times more likely to have arm injuries than players who have not.

        • Kyle

          (referring to his two elbow problems in the last three years, not the lat)

  • Bill

    Thanks, good article. This article kinds of throws ice water on the theory that Theo should load up on signing pitchers who are coming off of an injury (presumably because they are cheap).

    Also, makes it very difficult to see how the Cubs are going to get anything of real value for Garza in a trade, no matter how well he pitches before the trade deadline.

  • daveyrosello

    Yasiel Puig. Wow. Once again, the Cubs pick the wrong horse. How can any one organization be so vexed, tell me this? Grrrrrr.

    • MichiganGoat

      Yeah Soler is such a bum, how can one team be so vexed with commenters of such amazing reactionary powers. Yeah we really screwed this up our scouting should be fired.


    • bbmoney

      Jake Fox has had great spring trainings before too.

      Puig might be great…..but it’s a little early to say.

      • JR

        Obviously spring training only means so much, but Puig looks to be really good by all reports. It doesn’t mean that Soler can’t be good too, but at the very least you can safely say Puig is more advanced at this point.

        • hansman1982

          Puig is also older than Soler, he should be more advanced.

          It is entirely possible that Soler is more advanced than Puig in 2 years. Either way, the talk of him jumping straight to MLB is premature. The kid barely spent any time in the low minors last year.

          • JR

            No doubt Hansman. I am not against Soler’s potential at all. But there were a lot of questions about Puig and his contract and the dude has been the best player in spring training. I like Soler a ton, but if I would take Puig ahead of him at this point. That’s just me.

        • bbmoney

          I’m not saying as of today he isn’t. I’m just saying…..spring training.

  • Die hard

    Game shows again Cubs will have to slug way to victories this yr with 5-6 or more cause their pitching will give up 4-5 a game….. However in current configuration ballpark favors good pitching as wind blows in more than out…. When move to Rosemont maybe they will correct this

    • MichiganGoat

      Hello palm meet face… Now shake

  • savant

    My wife suprised me with tickets to this game as an anniversary present. We flew in Friday afternoon, went to the game on Saturday and then flew out this afternoon. It was my first time going to a Spring training game, and words fail me in expressing how great of a time it was.

    Highlights of the day:

    Watching Garza do pitcher fielding drills on a minor league field, we were the only fans there. He was much better doing the drills than he has shown in games.

    Rizzo and Castro in batting practice was impressive. Hairston also puts on a batting practice show. Soler took batting practice, and I saw why they like the beast tools description.

    If you ever get the chance to go to Spring training go, it was one of the coolest experinces I have had as a Cubs fan.

    • Brett

      Very cool, savant. Great to get up close to the action.