3/18 Cubs 3, Rangers 2

What went right:

Chris Volstad gave up one run on four hits over four innings against the Rangers in another strong spring outing. The right-hander is staying in the race for a spot in the rotation. Bobby Scales hit a go-ahead RBI double in the eighth and Joe Mather hit a tie-breaking homer in the ninth in Las Vegas for the win. Rafael Dolis, a top candidate to be one of the set-up pitchers in the ‘pen, picked up the save. In Mesa, Starlin Castro, Tony Campana and Josh Vitters each had two hits against the White Sox.

What went wrong:

Maybe it was the chilly 51-degree weather in Las Vegas, but the Cubs mustered two hits over the first eight innings. In Mesa against the White Sox, Andy Sonnanstine served up five runs on six hits in one inning.


“I try not to think about too many things and keep it simple. I feel like this is what I should be able to do time and time again. Surprised? No. Happy with the way things are going? Definitely.” — pitcher Chris Volstad after his outing vs. the Rangers in Las Vegas

Injury report:

Blake DeWitt started his second straight game on Sunday in Las Vegas, playing left field. He was hit by a pitch on his right hand Thursday. Ian Stewart and Darwin Barney both expected back on Monday. Stewart has been sidelined with tightness in his right quad while Barney had tightness in his left side.


Dale Sveum could name his Opening Day starter this week. Sveum said he wanted to see Ryan Dempster and Matt Garza pitch one more time before announcing the decision.

Up next:

Travis Wood will try to slow things down on Monday when the lefty makes his second start and third spring appearance, facing the Mariners in Peoria. Wood has struggled so far, and served up six runs on three hits and two walks over one-third of an inning in his last outing. The lefty is a candidate for one of the two openings in the rotation as is Randy Wells, who will pitch in a “B” game in Goodyear against the Indians. The game against the Mariners will be broadcast on Cubs.com.

— Carrie Muskat



I think Garza should get the ball on opening day. I just wonder who is going to be left out of the rotation. I was thinking Travis Wood and Chris Volstad would round things out, but it sounds like Samardzija is going to get a spot.

I think Samardzija and Vostad should get the nod for the two spots, not sure why Malohm is a lock for a spot. Garza is a better pitcher than Dempster but at this point it doesn’t matter who starts on opening day. If they give it to Dempster out of “respect” for his service time that is understandable. Plus, he may very well be gone by the trading deadline so it’s his last hurrah with the Cubs. Are the Cubs hell-bent on keeping the awesomeness of DeWitt on the roster to the point that they will once again use an infielder in the outfield? I would think there are plenty of candidates that can sub for the worst outfielder on the team and it doesn’t have to be another defensivley challenged player. You would think after designating DeWitt for assignment he would be in line to NOT make the team. I know he’s hitting very well but he certainly is not known for his diverse and multi position defensive skills, right?

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