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cactusMan, that Billy Hamilton is crazy fast. If he can hit *at all*, he’s going to be a thorn in the side of the NL Central for a long time. Oh, the Cubs lost, by the way.

  • Edwin Jackson looked better than the four earned runs he gave up in his five innings today (three came on a homer (Jackson left a fat one out over the plate), sandwiched among strikeouts, and the other run came on a bunch of dribblers). He gave up a total of eight hits while walking one and striking out seven. The results this Spring for Jackson have definitely been mixed, but he’s feeling fine and I think he’s poised to have a fine year in the middle of the Cubs’ rotation. He simply needs to repeat last year’s peripherals.
  • Jose Veras followed Jackson with another inning in which he allowed baserunners (two hits), but he did strike out two.
  • After Rondon, the Cubs went Hector Rondon, Pedro Strop, and Justin Grimm. Each gave up a run (Strop gave up two on four hits), and only Rondon notched a strikeout. As I discussed earlier today, it’s looking like all of those guys will have a bullpen spot when the season opens, assuming Carlos Villanueva is in the rotation. If Chris Rusin is in the rotation instead, and Villanueva is in the bullpen, Grimm is probably optioned to Iowa to open the year.
  • Anthony Rizzo had three hits, including a double, off of a tough lefty in Tony Cingrani. So that’s cool.
  • Mike Olt took a walk in three plate appearances (1 K), and once again didn’t see a ton of action in the field. He’s scheduled to play third again tomorrow, though, so he’ll be getting the old back-to-back test.
  • Ryan Sweeney is probably ready for Spring to be over – he had another 0-fer day, including a strikeout.
  • Although it wasn’t in the game against the Reds, Starlin Castro DID play today, getting six plate appearances in a minor league game. He had a couple doubles and a walk, which is a nice line, even against minor leaguers. He wasn’t running at full speed (apparently on the Cubs’ admonition), so we’ll see how he feels tomorrow. Hopefully this was a good first step to his eventual return.
  • Ballgame17

    Story of E-Jax’s life…underperformance, “bad” luck…

    • GoCubs

      Yeah…I thought E-Jax pitched like a Rookie–inconsistency of a Rookie. That is unfortunate and that’s why I agree with you that he has been and continues to be an underachiever. Too bad.

    • Picklenose

      I agree. Even though I always hope he will pitch better, it is hard to have any confidence in Jackson’s results as a Cub. Even to the point I wonder if we wouldn’t be better off with Rusin and Villanueva in the rotation.

  • Javier Bryant

    “After Rondon the Cubs went with Hector Rondon”??
    On another note, bought my opening day tickets today! Less than two weeks away

  • Jon

    If only players were evaluated on hypotheticals , Edwin Jackson would be a cy young candidate

  • brainiac

    E-Jax is our ace and evidence that “the plan” is working, and that we’re willing to sign big-money veterans to carry the team to victory. The only evidence.

  • Canadian Cubs Fan

    Ah yes, another year of Brett defending Edwin Jackson. ;)

    • Picklenose

      To be fair, most of us have one or two players we support more than their statistics probably justify. Valbuena has been my vice for the last few years, even to the point where I am hoping to see Olt at third and Valbuena at second before long.

    • brainiac

      E-Jax is our JD Drew

  • Ballgame17

    Jon, never agreed with you more…

  • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

    I can’t wait to look smart midseason on Jackson. And I’ll thank you all to admit your folly.

    Oh, wait. Internet. :)

    • The Real Wrigley

      I’ll be the first to admit being wrong. I hope you’re right. I just don’t see it. Never have.

    • Jon

      The best thing is , it’s a no lose situation! If he actually puts up good numbers you can gloat, if not, well, the peripherals say he should be better

      • Kyle

        Unless, you know, the peripherals were bad.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        Showing some real self-awareness there, Jon.

    • Picklenose

      I would be thrilled to see Jackson outperform my (low) expectations for him. Anytime a Cub player or the Cubs play better than I hoped or feared is good news.

    • Kyle

      I’m on your side, Brett. And if I’m with you, who can stand against you?

      • bbmoney

        That was a pretty outstanding line. Well done.

      • DocPeterWimsey

        It sounds better in Christopher Lee’s voice.

  • Ballgame17

    Brett, hope you’re right. E-Jax is a healthy arm, but no doubt below average. Sad thing is, is that he’s not really overpaid for pitchers nowadays. I’d rather see Hendricks all day over Jackson…

    • brainiac

      i agree with this, if he can hit 180 innings plus and keep the ERA to 4.00, his 12m a year is just right. the problem is just that he’s a #4-#5 pitcher who serves as a #1 on the team, so the context makes him look bad. hope he has tough skin until his contract is up, cause he’s basically our #1 pitcher that we’re going to sign for the next 5 years.

      • Picklenose

        Given that Shark is the opening day starter and Wood is starting the home opener, it is hard to believe that anyone in the front office or coaching staff considers Jackson to be the ace of this rotation.

        • brainiac

          except that there are daily reports that we’re trading shark. so write him off. they anti-player theo propaganda machine has already begun with shark so the fans boo him off the field for a quick turnover. i like wood, but like e-jax he’s a #4ish quality pitcher, and a much lower salary.

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

            “anti-player theo propaganda machine”

            Good grief.

            • DocPeterWimsey

              Ah, I thought that picture of Shark beating up a nun looked photoshopped. (There is no way that woman was a nun: or even a woman!)

  • Picklenose

    anti———-theo propaganda machine?
    I think there has to be a space between drinking the kool-aide and drinking the hater-aide.

    • brainiac

      B)

  • Forgetting Sean Marshall

    We went to the game today. A lot of fun, I was hoping the Cubs could put a few runs together to go ahead but didn’t happen. They sent Watkins home on a no out grounder to the infield, dumb move but it is only Spring Training.

    Strop reminds me of Marmol, I think he is gonna come in a break our heart many times this year and I wish we kept Parker or someone else on the Big League roster and drop Strop.

  • jeff1969

    There are just some pitchers I don’t like to watch pitch. Edwin Jackson is one of them. Joe Blanton, Joe Saunders, Jose Quintana, there’s just something about them, not just the suckage, but there’s just something I just don’t like to see. It’s like it’s annoying to just watch them wind up & pitch. I don’t even like to listen to games they pitch because I then imagine their annoying ways in my head. Just me.

  • Eternal Pessimist

    Yes Jeff, I hear voices too. Dead people, only they don’t know they’re dead…

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