cactusTake that, Dodgers and all your money! You can’t buy Cactus League games!

  • Kyle Hendricks had a solid start, and the stat line certainly looks fantastic: three scoreless innings, four strikeouts, one walk, one hit. Two of those strikeouts only barely count, though (one was Josh Beckett, who wasn’t taking his bat off of his shoulder; the other was a Dee Gordon attempted bunt hit with two strikes that went foul up the third baseline). Still, he had good movement on his pitches, and the Dodgers weren’t getting any good wood on him when the ball was in play. For a few innings, at least, it was easy to see why Hendricks gives up so few homers.
  • Carlos Villanueva followed Hendricks (interesting that that’s the order in which they appeared, yes?) with three effective innings of his own. He gave up three hits and one earned run, but didn’t walk anyone and struck out two. Villanueva pretty much is what he is at this point, which is an effective swing-man, a solid 4th/5th starter in a pinch, and a decent reliever.
  • Alberto Cabrera (out of options) is trying to make the pen against long-ish odds, and, although he gave up a solo homer, he otherwise struck out the side. Neil Ramirez threw a scoreless, one-hit 8th inning.
  • Luis Valbuena’s two-run homer wound up being the difference in the game, but nobody could even focus on that because … he didn’t flip the bat! I guess Valbuena only flips the bat on singles and random fly outs. I can’t criticize that.
  • Emilio Bonifacio had a beautiful swinging bunt thing where he slapped the ball, with a running start, toward the shortstop. He was safe rather easily, despite a quick, smooth play by the shortstop. But then Bonifacio was thrown out easily trying to steal second.
  • Javier Baez got a late at bat and struck out. It happens.
  • TimBeam

    Baez did WHAT?!

    • Steve

      Yeah, didn’t happen.

    • DarthHater


  • UCF

    Probably a better spot to post this…..but does anyone have an idea where I could get info on who will be on the traveling roster to Vegas this weekend. Cubs.com shows baez and Bryant but who else? Any ideas?

    • Javier Bryant

      Justin Grimm will be there

  • CubFanBob

    I know it won’t happen , but watching Hendricks in that first inning stranding Gordon, and how he handled Crawford , Puig, & Gonzales while keeping Gordon guessing the whole time had hoping the FO puts him on the 40 and gives him the 5th spot till Jake A is ready.

    • http://www.survivingthalia.com Mike Taylor

      I know you meant 25 (cause he’s already on the 40 man roster). If we traded Samardzija sometime in the next two weeks, I’d be comfortable with a:

      Wood (L)
      Arrieta / Villanueva

      rotation. James McDonald, I don’t really see panning out (could be this year’s Ian Stewart).

      • Jason P

        That would be a pretty awful rotation. Not that it matters because we’re going to be awful this year regardless.

        • jp3

          It should be good for 1st place in the reverse standing polls. That rotation could get it done and get us another top 3 pick.

    • ssckelley

      No way we see Hendricks on opening day, the very earliest is June to have that extra year of control. But I am optimistic as well for Hendricks, he looks like a solid middle of the rotation pitcher.

      I’ve said it before and I will say it here. I think this will be the year of the pitcher in the minor leagues. I can see a number of pitchers stepping up this year and proving they are legit prospects.

      • JacqueJones

        it wouldnt be hard to get the extra year of control if he was just sent back down when arietta came back.

      • Lou Brown

        I don’t think the year of extra control on Hendricks would be too much of an issue. He is a 4th/5th starter best case, and I think will be around 30 when he hit FA. With a potential All Star like Baez that would hit FA at 28, that extra year could be worth 25-30 million. If he makes sense I don’t think they will hold Hendricks back.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          Agreed on all counts. The extra year of control (or avoiding Super Two) is not something to fixate on for every prospect – just the guys you have a reasonable expectation could become long-term, very good regulars.

          • MightyBear

            Disagree 4th/5th starter best case. Agree with starting him on the 25.

  • itzscott

    Very intrigued by what Neil Ramirez brings to the table and his quietly solid spring. The guy’s impressively getting the job done yet somehow continues to fly under everyone’s radar and remains kind of the forgotten man in the Garza trade….. Which, between Olt, Ramirez, CJ and even Grimm more and more looks like the steal of the decade.

    What a job Theo & Jed did in pulling off that heist.

  • kridertr

    UCF, if you find Carrie muskats blog she has the posted travel roster


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  • CubFan Paul

    “Javier Baez got a late at bat and struck out…”

    Looking…that umpire is known to be the *worst*

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