Monday, March 3, 2014

Rick Renteria and Cubs earn first win of the Spring; Cubs and 19 players agree to terms on 2014 contracts

Cubs top prospect Javier Baez

The Cubs and new manager Rick Renteria earned their first Cactus League win by beating the Milwaukee Brewers 4-2 today in Maryvale.  Javier Baez hit his first homer of the spring and also had 2 hits.

The Cubs agreed to terms today with 19 players on the 40-man roster with 3 or less years experience including:

Welington Castillo
Arismendy Alcantara
Mike Olt
Christian Villanueva
Logan Watkins

Junior Lake
Brett Jackson
Matt Szczur
Josh Vitters

Jake Arrieta
Dallas Beeler
Zac Rosscup
Chris Rusin
Alberto Cabrera
Justin Grimm
Blake Parker
Neil Ramirez
Hector Rondon
Arodys Vizcaino

Details about the contracts were not yet disclosed by the Cubs.  In other Cubs news, shortstop Starlin Castro will be out for 7-10 days due to a mild strain in his right hamstring.  The injury occurred during Sunday's game when Castro tried to steal second base.  “We’re just being cautious with him,” Renteria said.  “It shouldn’t set him back at all for the regular season.”

Castro's situation will allow the team to give Emilio Bonifacio a chance at shortstop and to also try out second baseman Darwin Barney at shortstop.  Barney played shortstop at Triple-A Iowa when Castro was called up to the Cubs in May 2010.  “Shortstop’s my natural position,” Barney said.  “I feel very comfortable over there.  The past three years at second base, I’ve still taken balls at short almost every day as part of my workout to stretch my arm out.  I don’t look at it as a transition.  I just look at it as moving back over to short, whenever I have to.”

Tomorrow the Cubs will play the Oakland Athletics at Cubs Park at 2:05pm CST.  Right handed pitcher Kyle Hendricks is scheduled to make the start for the Cubs.

29 more days until Opening Day in Pittsburgh and 33 days until the Cubs Home Opener! Go Cubs Go!

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