Morning Marquee: Cubs come up short in Thursday action


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.

More from Cubbies Crib

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:

“Hunter Pence to miss 6-to-8 weeks” – ESPN

“Kyle Schwarber grand slam not enough for Cubs” – Cubbies Crib

“Is rough start for Jose Tabata a sign of things to come?” – Rum Bunter

“Ranking the top 5 MLB starting rotations” – Call to the Pen

“Cubs, Athletics play to 2-2 tie Thursday” – Cubbies Crib