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Spring Training Miscellany: Cubs 6, Mets 3; Indians 3, Cubs 2 – March 16, 2014

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cactusThe Cubs nearly came back against the Indians in Mesa, but came up about 90 feet short. In Las Vegas, the Cubs downed the Mets. They’re really into splitting these split squad days. It’s only fair.

  • Chris Rusin keeps performing, and today’s four-inning effort came against a relatively legit Mets lineup. He allowed no runs, one hit, no walks, and struck out two. As I’ve said before, the problem with keeping Rusin on for a short stretch as the 5th starter is that Carlos Villanueva and James McDonald cannot be optioned to Iowa like Rusin can. And if we’re talking about just one or two starts before Jake Arrieta is good to go? I doubt the Cubs dump anyone they might otherwise want to keep in order to give those one or two starts to Rusin.
  • Travis Wood was even more dominant in his outing. After giving up a few well-struck balls in the first, he allowed nothing, and struck out eight over six innings.

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  • Arodys Vizcaino was showing off some great velocity (96/97/98 mph) with movement, but he didn’t quite seem to know where the ball was going. When you’re coming back from the kind of procedures and layoff that he is, I think lacking a little command is understandable. It’ll take time for the whole package to return. The good news is that the velocity and the stuff look great.
  • Jonathan Sanchez walked one and struck out one in a scoreless inning. Hector Rondon gave up an opposite-field homer to Carlos Santana, but otherwise looked pretty good to me. His fastball was sitting in the 96 mph range.
  • Alberto Cabrera walked one in his scoreless ninth in Las Vegas. I’ve got to believe the Cubs would really like it if he could win a spot in the bullpen, given that he’s out of options.
  • Mike Olt had a down day at the plate. He was about two feet shy of a homer to right in his first at bat, but then he struck out twice and fouled out once in his ensuing three.

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  • Junior Lake had a dribbler single, but he otherwise looked pretty ugly striking out twice. To my untrained eye, some guys can handle a whole lot of movement and activity pre-swing, but Lake isn’t one of those guys. He really needs to quiet down at the plate – he’s kind of all over the place.
  • VogelBomb – Dan Vogelbach had a couple hits, including an opposite-field homer.
  • Arismendy Alcantara had three hits, including a homer. Here’s hoping he tears up AAA Iowa from the word go, and the Cubs even more infield questions to deal with.
  • Ryan Kalish continues his excellent Spring: 1-2, 2 BB, 2 SB.
  • Javier Baez had one hit in three at bats, and Kris Bryant had no hits in his three at bats.

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Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor of Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation.

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