Surprise! The Cubs lost in Surprise today to the Rangers. It was a low-scoring affair, and the Rangers were coming with most of their regulars, so … moral victory?
- Hisanori Takahashi had a mixed three innings today for the Cubs. On the one hand, he struck out four. On the other hand, he gave up five hits, two walks, and three earned runs. On the other other hand, it was a pretty potent Rangers lineup (full of regulars) he was facing. On the other other other hand, a lot of the damage came off of lefties, so it’s not like he was even neutralizing the guys he was supposed to. On the other other other other hand, it’s just one outing while he stretches out a bit. No biggy.
- Michael Bowden followed Takahashi with two scoreless innings, allowing just two hits. It’s interesting – the Cubs flirted with the idea of re-converting Bowden into a starter during the offseason, but apparently it isn’t happening. Might he become a long reliever, though? Maybe he’s directly in competition with Takahashi for that role.
- Jaye Chapman and Trey McNutt each threw a scoreless inning as they sit on the outside of the bullpen competition looking in (it’s just a numbers game). McNutt’s inning took just seven pitches.
- Rule 5 pick Hector Rondon continues to give the Cubs no reason not to keep him this year – he threw another scoreless frame, and hasn’t given up an earned run yet this Spring.
- Brian Bogusevic came off the bench and had another double.
- Junior Lake had a single and a triple while manning third today, but what I’d like to get a better sense about is how he’s handling the regular playing time there defensively.
- The Cubs went 1 for 10 with runners in scoring position. Insert “they’re in regular season form” joke. The Cubs had just seven hits and two walks on the day.
Obsessive Top Shortstop Watch: Is It the First Big Move for the Cubs? Yankees’ Possible Pivot, Other Teams Being Annoying, More
Role for Higgins, No Competitive Balance Pick for the Cardinals, Projections on the Reds and Pirates, and Other Cubs Bullets
Lukewarm Stove: Red Sox Still Have a Shot at Bogaerts, Guardians Want Murphy, Relief Market About to Open, More
Fields “Looks Like Himself” in Return, Rodgers Plan, Nagy’s Other Legacy, Beware of Slay’s Kindness, and Other Bears Bullets