Sunday, March 24, 2013

Cubs win 4-3 over Indians; Injury updates and Opening Day starting lineup

The Cubs won 4-3 over the Cleveland Indians on Sunday in Goodyear, Arizona.  Chris Rusin made the start for the Cubs and allowed two hits while walking three and striking out three over six innings pitched.

Chris Rusin allowed just two hits against the Indians on Sunday (photo from Chicago Tribune)
Michael Bowden replaced Rusin in the sixth inning and pitched 1 2/3 perfect innings.  Although Rusin was considered for a spot in the Cubs bullpen, the team decided that it would make more sense to keep Rusin at Triple-A Iowas as a sixth starter.

"You've got to stay positive,'' Rusin said.  "It's difficult not to make any team, but you just take it as a learning experience.  I'll go down and work on things I have to work on and be ready when they call.'' 

In other Cubs news, right handed starting pitcher Scott Baker will be shut down and out of commission for at least a month with a right elbow strain.  Baker is still recovering from Tommy John surgery that he had in April 2012.

Scott Baker is still recovering from Tommy John surgery (photo from Chicago Tribune)
The earliest third baseman Ian Stewart could play will be five weeks.  He has been sidelined with a sore left quad since February 21st and will start the season on the disabled list.  Stewart will stay in Arizona until the Minor League teams begin their seasons.  If things progress on track, Stewart could be ready to rejoin the Cubs around the end of April or beginning of May.

Starting pitcher Matt Garza is scheduled to have a bullpen session during the first week of April.  Garza suffered a lat injury this spring after he missed the last two months of the 2012 season with an elbow injury and will start the season on the disabled list.

Relief pitcher Rafael Dolis was optioned to Triple-A Iowa today, reducing the spring roster to 34 players.  Dave Sappelt was scratched from today's lineup since he suffered a bruised neck after being hit during the game on Saturday.  He is expected to be back in a few days.

On a lighter note, shortstop Starlin Castro turned 23 years  old today.  Happy Birthday, Starlin!

Tomorrow the Cubs will play the San Francisco Giants at 3:05 pm CST.  Travis Wood will make the start for the Cubs against Ryan Vogelsong.

Cubs uniforms being prepped for the season (photo by @CarrieMuskat on Twitter)
Manager Dale Sveum has set the starting lineup for Opening Day, which will include: David DeJesus leading off and followed by Starlin Castro, Anthony Rizzo, Alfonso Soriano, Nate Schierholtz, Welington Castillo, Luis Valbuena and Darwin Barney.  Only 8 more days until the Cubs open their season in Pittsburgh. 

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