On a day focused mostly on a few players cut from Spring camp, the mostly big league team took care of the Giants 8-5. Either Tim Hudson didn’t have his best stuff, wasn’t trying to use his best stuff, or a combination of the two, because the Cubs were making solid contact on him right from the get-go. The Cubs got him for 10 hits in just 4.2 innings of work.
- Kyle Hendricks’ day was probably a little better than the five earned runs with which he was charged otherwise indicates. He cruised through 5.1 innings, but then gave up a homer, a single, a walk, a single, and a double in succession. He was then pulled, and Jorge De Leon couldn’t close down the inning before the inherited runners scored. Hendricks struck out five, and that walk was the only he allowed. His start did nothing to discourage my belief that he can be a very good back-of-the-rotation starter for the Cubs this year with the potential to keep preventing hard contact – it’s rare for a guy without killer velocity or stuff to do that, but his movement and command is so good – and be something even more.
- Jason Motte pitched his first clean inning in a while (mechanical change?), getting two groundouts and a fly out.
- Zac Rosscup, who is one of the last couple lefty relievers in camp not named Phil Coke (Drake Britton being the other), was dominant in the 9th, striking out all three batters he faced (including former Cub Brett Jackson). Rosscup has nasty stuff, but he has tended to walk a lot of guys in his career. The fact that he’s got a minor league option left – and the fact that the Cubs may need to finish out the bullpen with Edwin Jackson – could work against him. He’ll see big league time this year either way.
- Joe Ortiz also pitched a scoreless inning with a strikeout, but he’s already been optioned to Iowa. He may also see time in the bigs this year.
- Each of Tommy La Stella and Mike Olt made an error over at third base today. We could see those two sharing time at third base to open the year, unless one of them really takes off. Despite the error, I would say Olt’s glove (and offensive potential) is good enough for me to want him to be the just-about-everyday starter there until Kris Bryant comes up and another decision must be made.
- Jorge Soler terrified everyone when he crashed into the wall (but not all that hard) and was down for a bit, favoring his right arm. He stayed in the game, though, and seemed to be fine.
- Jonathan Herrera had three hits on the day. Signed to a minor league deal this offseason, Herrera figures to head to AAA Iowa as infield depth because it would be hard to fit him on the roster at this point … though I’m not sure he’ll draw too many starts down there at Iowa in the early going, either.
- Anthony Rizzo stole a base. Boo-yah.