Were this a regular season game, it would be about as frustrating as it gets. The Cubs went up huge early, taking advantage of some Ranger mistakes, only to give up the lead late, and lose in extra innings. At least Mike Olt and Javier Baez titillated fans with back-to-back, opposite field jacks.
- Jason Hammel had a mixed outing, working up in the zone a little too much. Ultimately, he’s healthy, and that was the story to watch with him this Spring.
- Alberto Cabrera followed Hammel with a couple scoreless, walkless, hitless innings, striking out one. With none of the Grimm/Rondon/Parker contingent absolutely blowing the doors off of your face this Spring, it’s becoming increasingly likely that the Cubs will elect to keep Cabrera in the pen, rather than expose him to waivers (he is out of options).
- If judging by Spring performance only, it’s gotta be very hard not to give the final outfield job to Ryan Kalish. He had another couple hits last night, including a double that would have been a single for most players. He also reached base on an error, which he’s done a lot this Spring (not that you can entirely credit him for that, but, well, whatever – I noticed). Kalish isn’t showing much pop, though that isn’t really his game. He is, however, showing versatility, a good plate approach, great baserunning, and a .433 OBP.
- Obscured by his homer and double, Javier Baez did have one really ugly at bat in the first against Alexi Ogando. With the bases loaded, Baez seemed to be overeager, swinging at a couple down-and-away breaking pitches that weren’t particularly well-located. It looked like he simply wasn’t identifying the spin, and determined to swing no matter what. It’s something he’ll have to continue to work on, because when it isn’t Spring Training, he isn’t going to see nearly as many fastballs or hangers from fringe roster types. (Baez made a fielding error at second, too, on a ball through his legs, but we’ll cut him some slack on that.)
- In addition to his homer, Mike Olt took a nice seven-pitch walk.
- Brett Jackson, cut earlier in the day, had a triple and a couple strikeouts (though one was a full count strikeout looking, and it looked like ball four to me).