cactusThe Cubs were without a couple of their offensive regulars, but most of the starters today were guys whom we expect to be in the Opening Day lineup. That the offense struggled is probably something to get used to.

  • Jeff Samardzija gave up some hits and a couple walks, but, to my eye, he was dealing. He struck out eight Mariners in 5.1 innings. Bruce Levine mentioned on Twitter that the Blue Jays had scouts out in force to watch, so if they were looking for sharp stuff and command, they saw it.
  • Mike Olt, who had a solid single in three at bats, played at third base for the first time this Spring, and looked fine. He didn’t really get many chances, but showed some quick reflexes on a sinking liner while he was pulled in (knocked it down, didn’t otherwise make the play, though). Not a ton you can take from one game.
  • The bullpen was generally effective, with Arodys Vizcaino throwing a very quick scoreless inning and Blake Parker did the same. James Russell gave up Samardzija’s second run with a walk, a double, and a sac fly allowed. Justin Grimm gave up an earned run on one hit and one wild pitch in his inning of work.
  • Junior Lake had an ugly strikeout and a double, but the big play was a fantastic homer-robbing catch in left field – his first start there this Spring. I’m doing the mental math: if Lake is a well above average defensive left fielder (not at all a given), can he be an overall above average player, considering the probably light bat for left field? I’m thinking probably not.
  • Ryan Sweeney struck out twice more today, and he’s just not looking great at the plate (though one was a called third strike that was probably a touch out of the zone). His swing looks to my untrained eye to be much longer than last year, and kind of slow. He and his wife did have a baby in the offseason, so maybe he’s still catching up on his Z’s. I won’t be too worried until we get well into April, but, for now, he seems to be really scuffling.
  • jp3

    They were scared to hit to Olt

    • Mike

      That’s MIKE OLT! Get it right.!

  • Patrick G

    I hope the jays get desperate enough to trade for shark

    • Serious Cubs Fan

      I doubt it at least before the season. I think the Jay’s will wait till the trade deadline and evaluate if they are in contention and if they are then they’ll compete with another team in a very small bidding war to receive his services. I think the Cubs will get a 1 good upper level Pitcher (my guess Stroman) and then 2-3 lower level high ceiling arms.

      But we will wait and see

    • Blackhawks1963

      Huh? Has anybody take a look at Toronto? They are going to be bad and a mortal lock to finish in 5th place again in the AL East. They have the ancient Dickey and Buerhle settled in their rotation and that’s it. And their pen is of an equal mess. Why exactly would that hapless team have interest in Samardzija?!?

      • BT

        BP has them finishing ahead of the Orioles, and virtually tied with the Yankees. They aren’t good, but they aren’t white flag bad.

      • Jr 25

        Blackhawk do some research first before you rant. Jays finished 9th last year in baseball (bullpen wise) 3 games under .500 and had a 3.37 ERA. Yes their starting rotation is a mess, but at the sametime they have the young arms to trade for Shark. And if they stay healthy they will be a lot better than last year.

    • Jr 25

      Trust me with the way the Jays potential 4 and 5’s have been pitching and AA’s job on the line the Jays will get desperate fast.

  • woody

    That is crazy giving Lake a double on that play. Somehow the outfielder botched the play. Should have been caught. I was high on Junior coming into ST, but now I am wondering if he should even be on the 5 man roster.

    • woody

      25 man roster.

  • Serious Cubs Fan

    I didn’t watched the game but I went to and saw the 20sec highlight clips, and all were of Samarzija getting hit hard in the 6th inning with some pretty great catches by Schierholtz and Lake in OF.

    Samardzija was getting Teed-off that inning. Not good. Was he getting hit hard all game?

  • Crockett

    Did Morrison really throw a, “f*** you” at Lake for that catch?


    • Mike

      Yeah I saw that too. Classy one LoMo.

    • college_of_coaches

      Wow, what a clown.

  • Jason P

    “if Lake is a well above average defensive left fielder (not at all a given), can he be an overall above average player, considering the probably light bat for left field? I’m thinking probably not.”

    Using an online WAR calculator, if Lake posts a .320 OBP and .410 SLG with very good defense in left, he can be a 2.3 WAR player. That’s basically average.

    If he can only post a .305 OBP, his becomes a 2.0 WAR player.

    However, one thing we can say for sure is that if he doesn’t become a well above-average fielder, he becomes a 4th or 5th outfielder at best.

  • TommyK

    Did MIKE OLT! have any strikeouts?

  • itzscott

    With the whack-o lineups that Happy’s been putting out there, is there any wonder why the team BA is .232 and their OBP is 29th out of 30 teams?

    Two weeks to go and one has to wonder when Happy’s going to start taking these games a bit more seriously to try to get an admittedly bad team used to winning instead of accepting losing.

    • Blackhawks1963

      Priceless. Already calling Renteria names and going to throw him under the bus for spring training lineup construction. I got news for you pal, the 2014 Cubs are going to be bad and eternally struggle to score runs no matter who is filling out the lineup card.


      • MichiganGoat

        dude hes been doing this since the first game and every single game since then

    • Jon

      “Happy” is a great nickname

  • Blackhawks1963

    Logan Morrison has always been massively overrated and an asshat. This latest antic should come as no surprise. Let’s see of Lloyd McClendon asserts himself and puts an immediate halt to this sort of horsecrap from LoMo.

  • Jon

    Masterson extension talks have broken down in cleveland

    • FullCountTommy

      Very good to see, if they can somehow sign him and shields all of a sudden that 2015 real gets very interesting

  • Andrew_Ruth3

    Finally decided to go ahead and register today. Die hard cubs fan all the way out here in northeast PA. Just mentioning i’m a cubs fan is sometimes followed by fits of laughter… but reading this everyday has become quite an addiction. I feel more informed about baseball every time I open BN not only because of Brett and Luke but because the discussions are great. I also have friends from New York and New Jersey who happen to love the Cubs… they are EVERYWHERE.

    • cub4life

      yes WE (including you) are everywhere (SE Va here), and welcome to one of the craziest and best places on the net.

    • brainiac

      yes we are everywhere and serious about the cubs. and we’re unique because many fans now mix business (worship) and (baseball) pleasure as part of their fandom.

    • Brett

      Welcome, Andrew – and thanks!

    • Spoda17

      NEPA here as well Andrew… welcome to BN…

  • ssckelley

    Jeez not another diehard!

    Kidding, welcome!