Yesterday’s game marked exactly one week until Opening Day at Wrigley Field. Am I the only one that feels like Spring Training, and the month of March in general, has really flown by? On to the game notes.
Fresh off officially being named the number four starter by manage Mike Quade, pitcher Randy Wells promptly went out and gave up two first inning runs to Seattle. He did settle down to have a good outing overall. The highlight of his outing was eight strikeouts, but he also issued three walks. Regardless, I am not concerned and look forward to him providing quality depth in the Cubs rotation.
The Cubs bullpen, which is set to be one of the strengths of this team, held the Mariners scoreless the rest of the way. It started with Jeff Samardzija, who only threw 1/3 of an inning to finish the 6th that Wells did not wrap up. I believe Samardzija will make the roster because he is out of options, and despite his uninspired Spring, has some MLB experience to warrant taking him to Wrigley for now. Sean Marshall got back on track with a clean inning that included a strikeout. John Grabow, who has been a question mark due to his health, has made the most of his limited appearances, with another quality outing today. Marcos Mateo picked up the save, which included two strikeouts, to keep his name in the mix for the final bullpen spots.
The Cubs turned in an error free game, and Geo Soto threw out a base runner attempting to steal second base in the second inning.
Despite the pending roster decisions that appear to be coming today, the lead off spot is one question that may not be answered by the end of Spring. Jeff Baker took another turn from the top spot with a left handed starter on the mound. He went 0 for 2, but a positive note was when he was replaced by Blake DeWitt, who went 2 for 2 with 2 runs and one RBI. Quade has been quoted in recent days as to wanting to take DeWitt despite his struggles, and with a positive game Friday, it may be a sign that DeWitt is just relaxing and just playing. I would have preferred to see Bobby Scales or Scott Moore given a shot, considering DeWitt still has an option left (available to be sent down to the minors), but as we know Scales and Moore were reassigned to the minor league camp.
Starlin Castro hit a bases loaded double to tally three RBIs, bringing his Spring total to 15.