Friday, March 22, 2013

Cubs reduce spring roster to 35 players and win 4-1 over Brewers; 25-man roster announcements

The Cubs reduced their spring roster from 46 to 35, after cutting 11 players earlier today.  Among the cuts were the following pitchers that were sent to Minor League camp:  Jensen Lewis, Drew Carpenter, Blake Parker, Casey Coleman and Jaye Chapman.

Chris Rusin was optioned to Triple-A Iowa and the other players assigned to Minor League camp include Brian Bogusevic, Brad Nelson, Edwin Maysonet, Johermyn Chavez and Darnell McDonald.

Of the 35 players remaining on the spring roster, Matt Garza, Scott Baker, Ian Stewart and Arodys Vizcaino are expected to start the season on the disabled list.

Dale Sveum announced that Michael Bowden and Dave Sappelt have made the Opening Day roster, as have Brent Lillibridge and Luis Valbuena.  This leaves one spot in the bullpen and one infield spot still open.  The contenders for the final bullpen spot include Rafael Dolis, Zach Putnam, Hisanori Takahashi and Corey Wade.  James Russell, Carlos Marmol, Shawn Camp and Kyuji Fujikawa have already secured spots in the bullpen.  The infield spot is down to Steve Clevenger and Alberto Gonzalez.

"Those days you dread," Sveum said regarding the roster cuts.  "Especially a lot of those guys that went down today, they had good springs.  Bogusevic had a really good spring training.  The Colemans, the Parkers, they all threw the ball well." 

Earlier today, the Cubs were victorious against the Milwaukee Brewers by a score of 4-1 in Maryvale, Arizona.  Carlos Villanueva had his best outing of the spring as he allowed five hits over six scoreless innings, while walking one and striking out four.

Carlos Villanueva had his best outing of the spring against the Brewers on Friday (photo from
“I had that one walk and I’m furious about that,” Villanueva said after the game.  “You hate giving up those free runners.  I don’t know what the percentage is but usually they end up scoring.  You make them earn it.”

With the game tied at 1 in the top of the ninth inning, Darwin Barney hit a two-run, two-out home run that gave the Cubs a 3-1 lead.  Then Dioner Navarro immediately followed with a back-to-back homer which increased the Cubs' lead to 4-1, which also ended up being the final score.

There are just 10 more days until the Cubs open their 2013 season in Pittsburgh!

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