The Cubs made some roster moves today (Gray, Mateo, Gaub, and Adduci to AAA – Barney, Scales, and Chirinos to minor league camp) and Lou Piniella has made some decisions regarding the pitching staff (Gorzelanny and Silva starters, Samardzija and Marshall to the pen). I’m not going to go over these moves now but will devote an upcoming blog about how the roster and pitching staff is shaping up as we get ready for the last week of spring training.
The Cubs lost to the Oakland Athletics at Hohokam today 5-2 in front of 12,211 fans. One of the story lines of the game was Cubs closer Carlos Marmol’s being roughed up for 3 runs in the 9th inning. Marmol entered the game with the score tied 2-2 at the start of the 9th and was promptly greeted with a Travis Buck HR, then hit A’s Michael Taylor with a pitch before allowing singles to two of the next three batters before being replaced by Justin Berg. I caution you to read too much into this performance by Marmol, it’s still spring training and these types of innings happen. If he’s doing this at Wrigley next month, then we have issues.
On the flip side Big Z started and looked good in 6 plus innings allowing 2 runs on 3 hits while whiffing 6 A’s. Z was taken out after hitting 7th inning leadoff batter Michael Taylor with a pitch. James Russell and Jeff Samardzija each pitched an effective inning.
Marlon Byrd hit a solo HR in the 2nd inning followed by back-to-back doubles by Alfonso Soriano and Jeff Baker accounting for the Cubs 2 runs today. Aramis Ramirez was 2 for 3 and shows no ill effects of the time off with the triceps injury. Xavier Nady may get a start in the outfield tomorrow when the Cubs host the San Diego Padres.
Funny moment today, I was over in the WGN radio booth before the game talking with Pat Hughes and Ron Santo when one of the A’s people came in to prep them about Oakland. The conversation came around to a couple former Cubs Eric Patterson and Jake Fox, when Ron and Pat both told him, “Jake can hit”. The A’s guy replied Fox is 2 for 32 hitting this spring, to which Pat joked “like I told you, Jake can’t hit”. Both Ron and Pat then said “Fox will hit, just wait”…today Fox had a 3 run HR in the A’s split-squad game in Phoenix.