Spring Training Miscellany: Cubs 4, White Sox 4 - Homers, Renteria, Prospects, Rizzo, More

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Spring Training Miscellany: Cubs 4, White Sox 4 – Homers, Renteria, Prospects, Rizzo, More

Chicago Cubs

The Chicago Cubs took on the Chicago White Sox today, and both teams won! They also both lost!

… I guess the word is “tied.” The Cubs and White Sox tied today, so we’re all winners and losers … and neither (and both!)! That’s already the Cubs’ second tie in just four Spring Training games. At least that silliness never happens in the regular season, right?

Despite the lack of a significant ending (and aside from the fun of playing the White Sox), there actually were quite a lot of significant parts moving around in this one.

For example – and in case you missed it earlier – check out this lineup:

With the exception of just Mark Zagunis in right field, that’s a very real (inter-league) lineup the Cubs could use this season. Sometimes, of course, Albert Almora will get the start in center field, but Jon Jay will get his fair share of time there, too – especially early on in the season, before Almora really has a chance to run away with the job (fingers crossed).

  • One other notable from the game – check out the amount of tickets these two teams were able to collectively sell on a Monday in February:

  • The guy I was most interested in “seeing,” Brett Anderson, made his Cubs debut today, and by all accounts (first-hand reports, the stat line, and Anderson himself) things went well. To be quite clear, it’s impossible to be certain without laying my own eyes on things, but the line – 1.0 IP, 1H, 0BB, 1K – and the reports were exactly what you’d hope to read:

  • If Anderson can be healthy this year (which is, times infinity, the only goal of this Spring for him), the Cubs will be well positioned in the rotation all season long. Of course, he’ll still be splitting time with Mike Montgomery, but if there’s buy-in on all sides, that could make the whole group better (a rising tide, and such). And from the sounds of Anderson’s postgame interview, he’s fully ready and willing to split time with Montgomery if, for no other reason, because each is probably incapable of tossing 200.0 innings on his own anyway.
  • As for the rest of the staff, they’re still waiting to find out when they’ll pitch for real(ish):

  • Taking a step sideways: look at the familiar face of Rick Renteria manning the ship in the opposing dugout:

  • Never have I wanted more for a non-Cubs manager to succeed. I hope Renteria takes all those shiny new prospects and steers them towards something great.
  • And speaking of prospects, the Cubs still have a few good ones of their own and they’ve been impressing the man that matters most:

  • According to John Arguello on Twitter, Johnson was mostly throwing his offspeed stuff today, but did hit 95 MPH on his fastball. As we know, former starters sometimes make excellent relievers. If Johnson’s commitment to the pen sticks, he would be the type of pitcher that could take a huge step forward in that role (eliminating the borderline pitches, increasing velocity, staying healthy, etc.). Given the ever-expanding price of relievers (which was extremely apparent this past offseason), adding more in-house options could become as important as ever.
  • Cubs shortstop Jemile Weeks was injured while fielding Taylor Davis’ throw on a caught stealing, but did manage to walk off the field on his own.
  • The #Bryzzo empire appears to be expanding:

  • But despite all of the added celebrity from their new venture, one-half of #Bryzzo has, naturally, remained the grounded, amazing person he consistently appears to be:

  • And finally, here are a few more stray shots:


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Author: Michael Cerami

Michael Cerami covers the Chicago Cubs, Bears, and Bulls at Bleacher Nation. You can find him on Twitter @Michael_Cerami