3/20 Rangers 6, Cubs 2; Cubs 5, Athletics 5 (10 innings)

What went right:

Against the Rangers in Mesa, Ryan Dempster gave up two runs on four hits over six innings, the longest outing by a Cubs pitcher this spring. Starlin Castro and Blake DeWitt each had two hits, including a triple apiece, and Anthony Rizzo had two hits. In Phoenix, Tony Campana was 4-for-5 and Alfredo Amezaga 2-for-3 against the Athletics, in a game that ended in a 5-5 tie. Rodrigo Lopez gave up one earned run on three hits over five innings and struck out four.

What went wrong:

Rule 5 pick Lendy Castillo served up the tie-breaking runs in the eighth against the Rangers, who won, 6-2. Blake Parker gave up a leadoff homer to Oakland’s Jonny Gomes to spark a three-run ninth in Phoenix, and the game ended in a 5-5 tie.


“You get traded for a guy like [Sean] Marshall, who’s an outstading pitcher, and you want to come over here and show what you can do and I haven’t been. It’s all going to work out. I’m going to get it together and get after it.” — Cubs pitcher Travis Wood, who gave up seven runs on seven hits and two walks in two innings against the Mariners on Monday.

Injury report:

Carlos Marmol was pulled from Tuesday’s game in Mesa because of a cramp in his right hand and was to undergo an MRI as a precautionary measure. He started the seventh against the Rangers and got the first two batters out, then hit Chris Robinson. Marmol threw two pitches to Mike Olt and manager Dale Sveum noticed the pitcher flexing his right hand. Sveum and athletic trainer Ed Halbur went to the mound and the right-hander was lifted, although Marmol argued to stay in the game.

Ian Stewart, sidelined with soreness in his right quad, returned to the lineup in Phoenix and was 0-for-2 with a walk.


Paul Maholm will start at Fitch Park on Wednesday in a Minor League game.

Up next:

After an off day Wednesday, Matt Garza will take the mound Thursday when the Cubs play the Rangers for the fourth time in six days. This will be Garza’s fourth start. He’s coming off a solid performance against the Giants in which he gave up three hits and walked one over four innings. Alfonso Soriano will be back in the lineup, batting third. He has four homers this spring, which ranks among the ML leaders. The game will be broadcast on Comcast Sports Net and Cubs.com.

— Carrie Muskat


You do a great job Carrie.

Thank you, and thanks for reading.

Carrie, is Tony Campana’s bench spot going to Joe Mather?

Mather can play 1B, 3B, all OF, has power, and can sub for DeJesus, Stewart or LaHair vs. tough lefties. He does appear to have edge over Campana, Joey

Mather does sound like a great fit for the bench but I think what Campana brings to the game with his speed and defense will be sorely missed. With Mather on the bench it seems that would make DeWitt expendable. I can’t see the reasoning in keeping Mather, DeWitt and Baker on the bench. We would would not have a chance
to win a close game in the late innings as we would if Campana got on base and made the pitcher nervous and caused the infield to rush throws etc. I like what Mather has done this spring but it should be Mather over DeWitt not over Campana.

campana needs to pick it up if he wants to be on the ML roster…. as of right now I don’t see him making the cut

Pick up what? His hitting? Because his defense and speed are already picked up beyond what the ML roster already has and what is sorely lacking on the team. I’m saying he can be more valuable even with a so-so bat than having all three similar players such as DeWitt, Baker and Mather. I believe Campana went 4 for 5 the other day right? Maybe he will come on strong and make the decision to keep DeWitt a little harder for Sveum & Hoystein. I admit, I’m pulling for the kid because what he brought to the team last year was just so DIFFERENT AND VALUABLE than what we have been fed over the past few years. I’m good with Mather and I know DeWitt has been hitting but he certainly isn’t a GOOD DEFENSIVE outfielder by any means and can only sub in LF because Soriano is even worse. Not much to argue about however I can at least see some value in keeping DeWitt but no defensive value.
If Stewart fails at 3B they can then call up DeWitt and give him a last shot at sticking
at 3B, right?

i know what you are saying joey but the kid as of right now doesn’t even have a “so-so” bat. Good defense only takes you so far. You also need to be able to produce. Plus you won’t see Campana in LF or RF you will see him in CF because of his speed. I would love to see Campana be the everyday CF or even a spot starter for giving the other 3 a chance to rest but as of right now he needs to PICK IT UP or he will be right back down in AAA…

Could be, we’ll see if the new Cubs regime put there money where there mouth is and have at least defensive outfielder sub on the roster as well as a base stealer when we need a runner in scoring position. I think Campana does at the very least have a so so bat.

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