Man, 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.