cactusThe Cubs went down early to the Royals in Surprise, but rallied with six runs in the 8th and 9th innings to win. The Cubs went down early to the Mets in Las Vegas, and rallied to tie things up, but ultimately lost big. C’est la vie.

  • Jeff Samardzija’s start against the Royals didn’t match that of James Shields, who struck out 10 over six innings, giving up just one hit. Samardzija gave up seven hits and three walks over his 3.2 innings, which is obviously awful, but he seems to have one start like this every Spring.
  • The winner in that Royals game, by the way? Recently-returned Rule 5 draftee, Marcos Mateo (who gave up a solo homer and struck out two). Chang-Yong Lim threw a scoreless, hitless, walkless inning with a strikeout.
  • The offense in that Royals game was non-existent until the reserves came in, with the exception of Brett Jackson, who had a couple hits – including a homer – and drove in five (one strikeout). Mike Olt went 0-4 with two strikeouts.
  • Over in Vegas, starter Tsuyoshi Wada was hit hard early (4 ER, 5 H, 2 BB, 2 IP). It was the first time I’d seen him pitch, and he didn’t look to be hitting his spots particularly well. He’s likely fighting for a spot in the AAA rotation at this point (if he wants to stick with the Cubs). One of the guys he’s fighting with, Carlos Pimentel, looked pretty good in his 2.2 innings of work, walking one and striking out four.
  • Zac Rosscup, whom we haven’t seen much this year and is going to start out in the Iowa bullpen, gave up three earned on two walks and a homer. Justin Grimm gave up four hits in his inning of work, allowing two earned runs.
  • Blake Parker threw a scoreless inning, walking one and striking one out.
  • Javy Baez went 0-4 with a couple strikeouts, and, at times, looked unnecessarily hack-tastic. He’s a young man with a fantastic bat, but he does still need some seasoning.
  • Anthony Rizzo was the big stick in that Mets game, going deep twice and walking once. If it were the regular season, I’d be all RIZZOMG.
  • theHuch

    Hoping B-day can keep this up. Would much rather see him manning center than Lake!

    • theHuch

      *B-Jax… stupid dumb phone!

  • Mike

    Rizzo’s second bomb looked like he got jammed a little but still managed to get it out. I know the wind was blowing out that way but still, that’s pretty impressive.

    PS. Can we please cut Wada at this point please? I think we know what he can and can’t do at this point. An 85 mph fastball with shitty placement isn’t something we have room for on this team.

    • Rich H

      Wada was a “lets see what he has left” signing. It was a minor league deal with the typical June opt out. If you have a guy like that in AAA there is no harm done because we let the kids start and have him and Sanchez man the pen.

      • Mike

        I don’t think we have room for him in AAA either though. He just doesn’t look like has much left in the tank.

        • Rich H

          I think it is probably a toss up between him and Sanchez as that guy in AAA if it was my decision but we got 2 weeks and you never know.

  • Seth

    Was wondering when Rizzo was going to hit his first spring homerun. Might as well be two in a row.

  • bobdawg78

    Looks like the Tigers need some SS help, Iglesias looks like he might miss most of 2014. They’re rumored to be looking at Drew, but perhaps we should offer them Barney for a lottery ticket or two. Barney looks to be expendable with Olt looking like he might take 3rd to start the year, thus Valbuena and Murphy could platoon at 2nd.

    Moving Barney now, would also allow Bonifacio to make this team as a super UT player, with a chance to eventually take over 2nd. Barney doesn’t seem to have a long term future on this team, so we might as well get him traded sooner rather than later, and give guys like Bonafacio and other place holders a chance for playing time to hopefully raise their trade value come trade deadline.

    • brickhouse

      I don’t see Detroit wanting Barney as a starting SS on a contending team. Besides you would not get much for him in a trade.

  • http://BleacherNation blewett

    I thought Carlos Pimentel looked good today, as did Blake Parker. Justin Grimm struggled, but I really like his sinking fastball. Wada is toast.

  • Cerambam

    Grimm’s inning wasn’t as bad as the line shows as it started with a semi-error. Also, Baez looked pretty foolish in his at bats. He didn’t deserve that last strikeout because that third strike out pitch was way outside, but he swung at some major garbage for his second strike. Overall, one appearance doesn’t change anything either way, but it is clear he needs more time at AAA as Brett says.

  • kridertr

    To everyone that is jumping all over junior lake about his spring training so far, look what yasiel puig has done this spring. Just saying lol

    • DocPeterWimsey

      Puig has had an abysmal BABiP. He’s put the ball into play 30 times in 35 non-BB PAs and gotten only 5 hits, 3 of which were doubles. When you get only 2 singles on 25 batted balls, you know that the baseball goddess is not smiling upon you.

      Lake, on the other hand, has put the ball into play only 11 times in 19 non-BB PAs. He’s gotten 3 hits from those 11 batted balls, so his BABiP is just fine. He’s just not making contact. Now, we have a huge Small Sample Size Alert here: Lake is not going to K 40% of the time. However, 30+% is not out of the question.

      So, don’t look at what Yasier Puig has done, because it doesn’t make Lake look good at all.

      • hansman

        Duh…Doc. BABIP only exists to make Cub hitters look bad…when we want it to.

        • DocPeterWimsey

          Oh, is that how it works… Well, then, I’ll let others debate whether Puig hasn’t been getting hits because of lack of confidence or over-confidence!

          • ssckelley

            Doc, save some face and let it go.

            • DocPeterWimsey

              Hmm, I think “be gracious” might be a more appropriate phrase! (I suck at that, btw.)

              • ssckelley

                No, saving face is perfect as your argument that baseball is not mental is the dumbest argument I have seen you and Kyle make on here. If you want to keep believing it then fine but to keep on rubbing it in our noses like you are right is making you look stupid. The stat thing I get, you win that argument all day with facts and numbers. But there is no magic stat that helps you win the argument that a players confidence has nothing to do with hitting.

                • Pat

                  I think a players confidence may have something to do with how they are hitting, however I doubt that by the major league level how a player is hitting has much to do with their confidence.

                  Players hit better when they are locked in, sometimes aided by luck, but ascribing being locked in to confidence level is a huge assumption.

                  Michael Jordan had plenty of games where he hit less than 30% of his attempts from the floor. Do you really think he was less confident those days than the ones where he hit 60% or more?

  • ssckelley

    Can Pimentel make this team?

    • Q-Ball

      Probably not, though if he pitches well at Iowa, could see Wrigley this year. Pimental needs some AAA experience, and the Cubs have too few slots available to give one to Pimental. They would also need to clear a 40-man spot, though I think someone like Murphy may get DFA’ed at the end of camp

    • Mike Taylor

      He’d only played 6 games in AAA last year for Round Rock as a reliever after being used as a starter in 21 games that same year in AA, putting up some respectable numbers. He’s been great this Spring, but our bullpen is pretty much set:

      LR Villanueva
      LR Cabrera (out of options)
      LOOGY Wright
      LOOGY Russell
      SU Parker
      SU Strop
      CL Veras

  • kridertr

    I thought batting average and wins and losses and ERA were the only stats that mattered lol

  • kridertr

    Yeah I didn’t dive into puigs stats too much just was watching their game tonite and saw he was really struggling

    • DocPeterWimsey

      Puig is struggling, but probably in a Vegas sort of way! I suppose that the lack of power might be a little bit of a concern: in 30 batted balls, he should have 4 or 5 XBH, not 3. However, 3 still is a pretty probable outcome. He might also have hit more grounders than typical in 30 batted balls. However, with only 30, it’s tough to get too concerned: the error bars on the expectations are pretty big!

      To an extent, I’d offer the same caveat with Lake’s whiffing at such a ridiculous rate. However, all of the data suggest that a 25% K rate is pretty probable for Lake, so a 40% stretch over a short period of time is less improbable for him than it is for others.