In a pair of Cactus League contests on Thursday, the Chicago Cubs fell short of notching that first blue ‘W’ – tying in a matchup with the Oakland Athletics and falling in the late innings to the defending World Series champion San Francisco Giants.
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Cubs prospect Kyle Schwarber, who was drafted with the fourth overall pick last June, celebrated his 22nd birthday by hitting a grand slam in his first at-bat with the big league club. Outfielder Billy McKinney also hit a long-ball, while Travis Wood and Jacob Turner turned in solid outings for the club – a promising sign heading into camp.
In other big league news, Texas Rangers’ ace Yu Darvish left his start with triceps soreness, while in the Cubs-Giants game, Hunter Pence suffered a hit-by-pitch in a matchup against Corey Black, culminating in a broken left forearm, which is expected to cost him six-to-eight weeks.
Chicago added former Detroit Tigers left-hander Phil Coke on a minor-league deal, giving the club a power option from the left side should he break camp with the club. The team already has a plethora of power options from the right side, but Coke should serve as a quality piece to the puzzle.
Here’s more from around the league:
“Kyle Schwarber grand slam not enough for Cubs” – Cubbies Crib
“Ranking the top 5 MLB starting rotations” – Call to the Pen
“Cubs, Athletics play to 2-2 tie Thursday” – Cubbies Crib