39 players are on 40-MAN ROSTER (roster is full)
Three players are on 60-DAY DL (do not count against 40-man roster)
One player is on 15-day DL
13 players have been optioned to the minors
* bats or throws left
# bats both
* James Russell
* Travis Wood
# Dioner Navarro
* Anthony Rizzo
* Luis Valbuena
* Julio Borbon
* David DeJesus
* Nate Schierholtz
* Ryan Sweeney
15-DAY DL (1):
Matt Garza, P
60-DAY DL (3):
Scott Baker, P
* Steve Clevenger, C-IF
Arodys Vizcaino, P
Alberto Cabrera, P
Rafael Dolis, P
* Brett Jackson, OF
Junior Lake, IF-OF
Trey McNutt, P
* Brooks Raley, P
* Chris Rusin, P
Dave Sappelt, OF
Jorge Soler, OF
Matt Szczur, OF
Christian Villanueva, 3B
Josh Vitters, 3B-1B
* Logan Watkins, INF
Cubs visit the Mariners in Peoria for a 3:05 CT game. Cubs starter Aaron Heilman has pitched well this spring (13 K's and 2 ER in 10 IP), but the tea leaves seem to be suggesting that the fifth starter's job will go to Sean Marshall, who has pitched even better (just 1 ER and 1 BB allowed in 14 2/3 IP).
Sam Fuld and Andres Blanco slammed home runs and Sean Marshall took a shutout into the 5th inning, as a Cubs "split squad" drubbed a Seattle Mariners "split squad" 8-1 in front of 10,910 happy fans at sunny Dwight Patterson Field at HoHoKam Park this afternoon in Mesa
Sean Marshall threw four shutout innings as the Cubs jumped out to an early 2-0 lead, but the bullpen could not keep the Rangers down, as Texas rallied to defeat the Cubs 7-2 at Dwight Patterson Field at HoHoKam Park in Mesa today, before a crowd of 11,082 under cloudy skies with temperatures in the mid-60's.
Sean Marshall,threw three perfect innings and Alfonso Soriano, Jake Fox, and Aramis Ramirez slammed home runs, helping the Cubs dump the Oakland A's 6-4 under overcast skies and 80-degree temperatures and in front of 6.500 fans at Dwight Patterson Field at HoHoKam Park in Mesa this afternoon.
Jake Fox slammed a three-run homer and Joey Gathright had three hits, a walk, an RBI, a run scored, and a stolen base (and made a nice running catch in right-centerfield as well), as the Cubs defeated the Milwaukee Brewers 7-4 in Cactus League action at Dwight Patterson Field at HoHoKam Park in sunny Mesa, Arizona this afternoon, before another smallish crowd (6,711).
You'd think Lou would let his regulars get some hacks against Johan, since they may see him in the first round, but he seems to have gone the opposite route and sits most some of his regulars. Curious.
The Cubs want to try and take 2 of 3 or at least 1 of 3 from the Mets and hope the Brewers take 2 of 3 from the Pirates or sweep them. That would set up a tie between the Mets and the Brewers heading into the final weekend and increases the odds of them having to use their aces (C.C. or Johan) late in the season. That's more of a concern with the Mets when it comes to the Cubs playoff situation, but the more innings C.C. racks up now, the better chance he'll be less effective by the time the Cubs may face him in the playoffs. The Cubs also need to win 5 of 6 for 100 wins assuming the Monday make-up versus the Astros is not played.
Sean Marshall gets the start because of the doubleheader on Wednesday and he'll be on a limit of 80 pitches. If that doesn't get the Cubs to at least the 6th, expect to see Jason Marquis out there for an inning or two.
Lou, obviously bored with winning with his normal lineup, lets the scrubs try to extend the Cubs five game win streak and nine game road win streak.
Just a little scheduling note, that Lou has tabbed either Jeff Samardzija or Sean Marshall for Sunday's start against the Marlins due to today's doubleheader. That is if Marquis cannot go on short rest.
"I can't bring Harden back on short rest, but I can bring Marquis back possibly," Piniella said Wednesday. "By him pitching the day game, it gives him a little longer time. If not, we'll either pitch Samardzija or pitch [Sean] Marshall."
Other than possibly using Marquis on short rest, there was another reason Harden will pitch tonight's nightcap.
"I know he's told us his preference would be to pitch at night and in cooler weather," Piniella said
About a week ago, the Cubs set an ugly precedent by losing three in a row to the Rays. I see no good reason to set another today by losing their fourth in a row.
Sean Marshall takes the mound and it could be his last start for awhile. When Zambrano returns, Marshall could be headed to the bullpen to give Lou another lefty while Eyre nurses his sore groin or he'll head back to Iowa. Unless he does something special today and someone craps their pants before a decision has to be made (looking at you Marquis).
Back-to-back ESPN Sunday night games and I'll be watching this with one of my oldest friends who's visiting for a few days. I've tried not to hold it against him that he's a White Sox fan all these years. But sometimes I can't help it...
Sean Marshall was supposed to start for the Iowa Cubs tonight against Albuquerque in Des Moines. Instead he's on his way to Pittsburgh, exchanging roster spots with Carmen Pignatiello. Apparently Lou Piniella huffed and puffed and blew 'Piggy' back to the minors after the southpaw showed his appreciation for making the big club by walking both hitters he faced in Monday's 10-8 torture tilt.
The Cubs are a little over two weeks into spring training with about three weeks before Opening Day. It's time to check in on the yearly ritual of spring training battles. What's the fun of spring training without a little competition? The Cubs have a few spots up for grabs and today I'll look at the starting rotation battle between Jon Lieber, Ryan Dempster, Jason Marquis and Sean Marshall. I won't pretend that Sean Gallagher has a legitimate chance, although I guess I am pretending that Sean Marshall does.
Unable or unwilling to trade for some of the top notch talent that was moved over the offseason, such as Johan Santana, Erik Bedard or Dan Haren; the Cubs head into 2008 with much of the same talent that was good for the second best ERA among NL starting staffs last year. Carlos Zambrano, Ted Lilly and Rich Hill
will anchor the staff, and if Marquis and Marshall win the jobs, you'll have the same starting five that took the mound for the bulk of last season.
That though, appears to be the least likely scenario, as Ryan Dempster is getting his wish to compete for a starting spot and the Cubs signed Lieber on a one year deal. It appears to be a bit of a logjam at the moment, but the bullpen or the trade market can alleviate that "problem" at the end of spring training.
Let's take a look at the strengths and weaknesses of each candidate after the jump...
"Some of the best advice I've gotten is, I was sitting with Ian Stewart, talking about hitting and I was feeling for my swing as you do early in the season," Jackson recalled. "He asked if I was comfortable at the plate and I said I'm not very comfortable right now. He's like, 'You need to be yourself at the plate and be comfortable and be the type of hitter [you] want to be.'"
Interesting tweet in the tweet box: z'Remember when Rizzo was striking out a lot? No K's in last 31 AB's..tied for 2nd longest active streak in majors"
Don't know if that includes last night, but it sure goes a long way to explaining his improved hitting. It's a curious thing, though, the difference between the way his season started and now. How does that happen?
The Cubs will wait to see how Matt Garza (lat) feels and how his bullpen session goes Saturday before they make a decision about activating him.
Garza declared himself ready to rejoin the Cubs' rotation after six scoreless innings during Thursday's rehab start. It's probably just a formality at this point before the team announces that he'll rejoin the rotation next week. Carlos Villanueva is the likeliest candidate to be demoted to the bullpen.
Remember Albert Almora? The Cubs’ first-round pick last June is almost all the way back after breaking his hamate bone in mid-March. He’s been playing center field and hitting in extended spring games in Arizona and should soon be assigned to the low-A Kane County Cougars. There’s no sign yet of Junior Lake, who suffered a stress fracture to the top rib on his right side in mid-March. Outfielder Reggie Golden, a second-round pick in 2010 recovering from two torn ligaments in his left knee, appears close to completing his recovery.
"Analysis: This is Appel or Gray, assuming one of them goes first, with Appel the preference. The Cubs are in the catbird seat in this draft -- they don't have to pay the premium that comes with picking first overall but are guaranteed to get one of the two huge arms in the class."