The Cubs came back after a Diamondbacks comeback yesterday (driven by some Cubes moments), and the Cubs ultimately won their final preseason game with a three-run 9th. Save some drama (and wins) for the regular season, boys.
- Jason Hammel threw four scoreless innings, just as Edwin Jackson had the day before, which hopefully means both are ready to roll right out of the gate. Hammel struck out five, gave up just two hits, and walked no one.
- Starlin Castro made his long-awaited return yesterday, going 0-2 with a walk. More importantly, he looked comfortable at the plate, and he ran at what appeared to be full speed. I figure there will still be a little catching up and adjusting in the early going. Maybe it won’t take long.
- Newly-appointed bullpenner Brian Schlitter got in an inning of work, giving up an earned run on a hit and a walk. The other seven runs came off of Jonathan Sanchez and Marcus Hatley, neither of whom recorded an out.
- Blake Parker threw a scoreless, one-hit inning in which he struck out the side. Perhaps he was angry that he didn’t get that final bullpen spot, and took it out on the D-Backs. Given the way seasons go, if Parker stays healthy and pitching well at AAA, he’ll be back up at some point.
- Neil Ramirez was once again dominant in an inning of work, striking out all three men he faced. His future – including his role – remains one of the most intriguing AAA storylines heading into the season.
- Lendy Castillo even got in an inning of work, with one strikeout. He’s got big league reliever upside, you’ll recall.
- Prospects Arismendy Alcantara (homer), Dan Vogelbach (two walks), Rubi Silva (hit/run/RBI), and Christian Villanueva (hit/2 RBI) did most of the damage for the Cubs.
- Ryan Kalish was 3-3, which is swell.
- Javier Baez was 0-2 with a strikeout and a throwing error, which is less swell.