Sunday, March 18, 2012

Cubs win one and lose one in chilly AZ and Vegas today

On an unusual weather day where it was 30 degrees warmer in Chicago than in Arizona, the Cubs lost 7-5 to the White Sox in their split-squad game today in Mesa.  Casey Coleman had a better outing than previously as he allowed two hits, zero runs, zero walks, and three strikeouts over three innings.

Cubs reliever Carlos Marmol during the fifth inning of today's game against the White Sox. (photo from Jake Roth/US Presswire)
The Cubs won their other split-squad game 3-2 against the Rangers in Las Vegas.  Chris Volstad, who is in the competition for a spot in the starting rotation, was impressive, allowing four hits, one earned run, no walks, and three strikeouts in four innings pitched.  The Cubs' spring record stands at 7-11.

It seems possible that Jeff Samardzija has locked in the fourth starting rotation spot with the impressive spring he's had so far, even though he's only started in five major league games in his career.  The first three spots in the Cubs' rotation seem to be locked in to veterans Matt Garza, Ryan Dempster, and Paul Maholm.  If Samardzija wins the fourth spot, that would mean that Randy Wells, Chris Volstad, and Travis Wood would all be competing for the fifth rotation spot.  It doesn't sound like the final decision regarding the fourth and fifth starting spots will be made until closer to the end of spring training. 

Tomorrow, Travis Wood will pitch against the Seattle Mariners, where he will have another chance to redeem himself, since he hasn't had a good spring so far.  The game will be broadcast live on a free audio webcast at 3:05pm CST.   Meanwhile, Randy Wells will start in a "B" game for the Cubs against the Cleveland Indians in Goodyear at 10am, where he also has a chance to continue building his case for a spot in the starting rotation. 

On the other side of the Cubs organization, here's a link to an article in the Chicago Tribune about Cubs' Senior VP of Scouting and Player Development, Jason McLeod's key role in the team's rebuilding process. 

Jason McLeod, left, is a key part of the Theo Trio (photo from Phil Velasquez/Tribune)
18 more days until Opening Day!

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