Dare I make the lame joke about a surprise in Surprise? Edwin Jackson pitched well today in Surprise, Arizona, as the Cubs shut out the Royals 7-0.
- Jackson went 4.2 innings, allowing just one hit and one walk, striking out three. It was as well as anyone could have reasonably hoped his start would go, and almost certainly bought him, at a minimum, another turn in the Spring rotation before the season opens (assuming the Cubs want him to have one), and a real chance to break camp with the big team (probably in a swing role in the bullpen). Likely the great hope, though, is that Jackson can get a team out there interested enough to deal the Cubs a few million in salary relief.
- Following Jackson in relief were Phil Coke, Justin Grimm, Brian Schlitter, Blake Parker, and Neil Ramirez. None really allowed anything, as is probably obvious by the score.
- On the positional side, Matt Szczur hit his fourth homer of the Spring as he’s trying to win an outfield job. Junior Lake matched him, though, with his first homer of the Spring. Miguel Montero isn’t trying to win a job, but he homered, too, for good measure.
- The other outfielder in the competition right now is Ryan Sweeney, who has not had a strong Spring. He had a sac fly in three plate appearances.
- Tommy La Stella led off and went 3-3 with three singles. Sorting out playing time is going to be very interesting for Joe Maddon, especially after Kris Bryant comes up.
- The Mr. Hyde version of Javy Baez showed up for this one, as he went 0-4 with three strikeouts. I really don’t think there’s much chance he’s not the starter at second base to open the year, given his “other” value. So everyone will just have to put up with the intermittent offensive pains.