After the Cubs took a drubbing from the White Sox, we move on. We need not speak of it. We'll pretend it never happened.
The Cubs take on the Reds tonight at 8:05. Here is your preview...
News and Notes...
- The Cubs cut 3 players today: OF Matt Szczur, RHP Dayan Diaz (no surprise because we saw his name already listed in minor league camp), and C Michael Brenly -- again, no surprise. Brenly was in camp early to help handle pitchers. He has not seen much playing time. Szczur was probably the most surprising, but he hasn't played well and the Cubs have a lot of other players they'd like to see in the outfield right now -- Dave Sappelt, Scott Hairston, David DeJesus, Brett Jackson, and even Brent Lillibridge will see the bulk of the time in CF, which is Szczur's main position.
- I'm hearing that the Cubs are no closer to dealing Carlos Marmol than they were last year at the deadline. I'm not expecting a deal until the deadline, though the Cubs can be stealthy when it comes to such things.
- A nice article by Vineline on using stats to evaluate minor league players. Kyle Hendricks figures prominently on the lists.
- Jesse Rogers held a chat today and fielded questions on Jorge Soler, Junior Lake, and more...
- It's raining hard in Mesa, so we may not have a game at all.
- Sappelt LF
- Barney 2B
- Hairston CF
- Soriano DH
- Valbuena SS
- Navarro C
- Soler RF
- Lake 3B
- Bogusevic 1B
Starting Pitcher: Nick Struck tries to build on his last good start and position himself for a call-up later this season if and when the Cubs trade starting pitchers at the deadline.
5 Things to Watch for...
- It appears that Dale Sveum is going to take Brent Lillibridge north regardless of what he does this spring which means that there may not be an opening for position players. Bryan Bogusevic, however, is trying to change that as he looks to continue his hot spring. We've assumed that the 5th OF'ers spot is Dave Sappelt's to lose and while you don't want to put to much stock in the spring, he's been outplayed so far by Bogusevic. If Bogusevic makes the team, then we may see Brent Lillibridge play some CF against lefties. Dale Sveum has said he will play in the OF when he gets back from his injury. Both Sappelt (LF) and Bogusevic (1B) are in the lineup today.
- Bogusevic's defensive play at 1B will factor into his chances to make the team.
- Depending on what happens with Ian Stewart, Junior Lake could climb as high as #3 on the depth chart with Valbuena and Lillibridge likely ahead of him as far as 3B options. When it comes to 3rd base, 3 is a crowd and Lake will start in Iowa but as we mentioned yesterday, Sveum sees him as a possible call-up midseason if he plays well at Iowa.
- Jorge Soler is back in his familiar RF where he has the prototypical arm. We've already seen him nail Josh Reddick at 3B, so let's see if any Reds challenge the Cubs talented young outfielder.