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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Spoda17

    The pitching injuries continue to happen… D-Backs in some poo-poo now…

  • David

    At least one TOR for Shark… at least one for Wood…. one coming from this year’s draft… One coming from Volglebach when he becomes awesome. 2016 will be our year!!

    • Max

      David, a little crazy there. If Shark, Wood, & Vogelbomb could be moved for two legit TOR prospects, I’d be thrilled.

    • Funn Dave

      How long is Wood under contract?

  • PcB

    If Alcantara can tear things up in AAA, things will get super interesting.

  • BlameHendry

    Was getting a little worried about Alcantara after starting the spring 0-for-13 but today was a bit of a relief. Looks like he’s still got it, maybe he was pushing too hard trying to impress.

    Hopefully he starts banging on the door at AAA this year.

  • cubbiekoolaid2015

    Was at the game in Vegas today and took some video…. Here’s Alcantara and Vogelbach going deep.

    • spearman

      Thanks for the video.
      That’s a some nice backside power from Vogelbach.

      • cubbiekoolaid2015

        Vogelbach and Alcantara were extremely impressive today. People will fall in love with Vogelbach’s approach.

    • Featherstone

      Thanks for the video uploads. I just had a quick question, Alcantara is a switch-hitter right? It appears like hes batting right-handed though vs a right-handed pitcher in that video. Any idea why or are my eyes being deceived?

      • spearman

        He’s batting lefty. The angle may be throwing you off.

        • Featherstone

          I see it now, The angle must have been throwing me off, thanks.

  • Steve Ontiveros’ Mustache

    I don’t understand the Rusin has options and Villanueva and McDonald don’t argument. If Arrieta is ready to go three starts into the season, then somebody needs to get removed from the active roster to make room for him. If Villanueva or McDonald are the 5th starter, who gets pulled off the roster to make room for Arrieta? Does starting Rusin at AAA just delay the decision on cutting McDonald? Or is the contention that Villanueva/McDonald will stay on in the bullpen after their starting stint, and the person that is pulled from the roster when Arrieta is ready is a bullpen person that has options?

    • Bret Epic

      Villanueva moves to the bullpen after Arrieta comes back.

    • Brett

      You pretty much summed it up in your two questions – delaying the decision is a good thing (because injuries could happen, for example, which allow you to DL a guy instead of dropping someone for nothing); and the other possibility is that the 5th starter gets moved into the bullpen, and a bullpen arm gets optioned down to Iowa.

      It’s mostly the “delay” thing – so much happens, rosterwise, in a given year, that the longer you can delay the decision to potentially lose someone, the better.

      • Jason P

        But is it really worth it to put a worse product out on the field — however slight it may be — for the sake of not losing James McDonald? He’s the definition of a replacement level player.

        • Funn Dave

          “But is it really worth it to put a worse product out on the field”

          That’s been the crux of probably 2/3 of the arguments on this board over the last few years.

  • cubbiekoolaid2015

    Game ending DP. Alcantara to Baez to Vogelbach. Cubs win!!

    • Funn Dave

      Dope. I just watched that more than any of the HR videos. Thank you.

  • cubbiekoolaid2015

    I’m not sure it was mentioned earlier but in the Mets very first AB Eric Young Jr was clearly out at first(called safe) and I believe Renteria wanted to challenge. He was out of the dugout and on to the field as fast as I’ve ever seen a manager. I’m guessing because their was absolutely no video for today’s game, he probably was not able to challenge. Long story short, if that was regular season, I think Renteria would of won that challenge.

  • Jason P

    If Rusin’s the best candidate, he should win the job. The upside is you put the best possible team on the field, the downside is you lose a couple hundred grand and James McDonald.

    No contest.

    • Funn Dave

      Wouldn’t you rather have him when we don’t suck? Just to play devil’s advocate….

  • SenorGato

    Dunston Jr. looks like he’s put on some good size. 2014 would be his draft season. CF is a position this organization has a lot of room to grow. Almora/Hannemann/Dunston Jr. give the Cubs three interesting CF prospects with Almora obviously on a totally different level from the other two.

  • mtcubfan

    Lake needs to pay attention to his 3d base coach when rounding third. He intentionally ignored the hold. Although he scored, he will not always be so lucky.

    • Bill

      He probably missed the coach because he was turning around to see where the ball was. I’m not sure why the coach held him up but it wouldn’t have been close at the plate if Lake wouldn’t have turned around.

  • Medicos

    Bill and mtcubfan: I was a coach in the Chicago Public League for nearly 20-years and both of u make great points about Junior Lake’s base running skills. The worst thing that Lake did even though ignored the coach’s hold sign was that he rounded the base too far and that’s why the play at home was so close. At least Lake looks like a ball player and I think he has the potential to be a highly successful MLB player.

  • SenorGato

    Here’s some CF cam Tyler Beede to help reinforce that he should be a Cub on draft day.