Chris Huseby singled twice, doubled, walked, and knocked-in three runs, Alvaro Ramirez singled three times, stole two bases, and scored two runs, and George Matheus had three hits and scored twice, leading the EXST Cubs to a 6-5 victory over the EXST A’s in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action at Papago Park Field #2 in Phoenix this morning.
Whether Huseby was put into the batting order as a Designated Hitter just for today as some type of therapy to help him clear his head and deal with his control issues as a pitcher, or whether he will actually be attempting a position move to OF, is not yet clear. But he definitely knows what he’s doing with the bat, and for a 6’7 dude, he showed good speed on the bases, too (sliding head-first into 3rd base, he was thrown out 9-4-5 trying to stretch the double into a triple, but it took a perfect relay to nail him). He also demonstrated a good eye at the plate, working the count in all four AB, and even drawing a walk on a 3-2 pitch.
AA Tennessee LHP Casey Lambert (September 2010 TJS) got into his first game action since undergoing Tommy John elbow surgery last September, and he should have had an easy 1-2-3 inning, except he himself made an errant throw to 1st base on what should have been the 3rd out. This prolonged the inning, and he was eventually relieved with two outs and two men on base (the E-1 was followed by a two-out single) after throwing 18 pitches (13 strikes). The 24-year old Lambert was a closer in college at the U. of Virginia, but the Cubs moved him to the starting rotation at Tennessee last season. However, the move from the bullpen to the rotation and the accompanying increase in the number of pitches he all of sudden was throwing per game is thought to have put too much of a strain on his elbow (he throws mainly breaking balls), so he will supposedly be used exclusively as a reliever (set-up man or closer) when he is returns to Tennessee.
Bobby Wagner once again warmed-up pitchers in the bullpen throughout the game, and he also now has his own catcher’s gear bag, so it seems pretty likely that he is being converted to catcher. One thing that stands out about Wagner is that while he isn’t a particularly good hitter (he strikes out a LOT), he does have plus-power.
Here is today’s abridged box score (Cubs players only):
1. Pin-Chieh Chen, 2B: 2-5 (F-7, F-7, 3-U, 2B, 1B, RBI, CS)
2. Arismendy Alcantara, SS: 0-5 (L-8, K, K, 5-3, 3-U)
3. Brandon May, 1B: 0-4 (E-1, L-1, K, L-4)
4. Xavier Batista, RF: 2-4 (1B, 1B, F-9, K)
5. Alvaro Ramirez, LF: 3-4 (K, 1B, 1B, 1B, 2 R, 2 SB)
6. Sergio Burruel, C: 0-4 (6-3, E-4, E-4, F-7, R)
7. George Matheus, 3B: 3-4 (1B, 1B, 1B, F-9, 2 R)
8. Chris Huseby, DH #1: 3-3 (1B, BB, 2B, 1B, 3 RBI)
9a. Rafael Disla, DH #2: 0-1 (F-9 SF, 5-4 FC, RBI)
9b. Blair Springfield, PH-DH: 1-2 (1B, K)
10. Kyung-Min Na, CF: 1-4 (1B, 1-U, E-1, K, R)
1. Casey Lambert – 0.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 1/0 GO/FO, 18 pitches (13 strikes)
2. Eduardo Figueroa – 3.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K, 3/3, 46 pitches (28 strikes)
3. Frank Batista - 2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 2/2 GO/FO, 31 pitches (20 strikes)
4. Hector Mayora - 1.0 IP, 3 H, 3 R (3 ER), 0 BB, 0 K, 1/2 GO/FO, 21 pitches (13 strikes)
5. Drew Rundle - 1.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 0/1 GO/FO, 25 pitches (15 strikes)
6. Corey Martin - 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 2/1 GO/FO, 10 pitches (6 strikes)
1. P Casey Lambert E-1 (errant throw to 1st base on comebacker to the mound allowed batter to reach base – did not score)
2. SS Arismendy Alcantara E-6 (dropped two-out pop-up in short CF allowing batter to reach base and runner on 2nd base to score unearned run)
Sergio Burruel: 0-1 CS
WEATHER: Partly cloudy and breezy with temperatures in the 80’s