3/29 Padres 12, Cubs 11
What went right:
Joe Mather kept on hitting with a double in the third. He also drove in a run in the four-run second and scored on Blake Dewitt’s single. Mather, now batting .418, also made a nice catch of a pop up in foul territory in the third. Chris Volstad helped himself with a two-run single. Kerry Wood made his first appearance since March 18, threw five pitches to one batter, struck him out, then got a fist-pump from pitching coach Chris Bosio and his day was done.
What went wrong:
Volstad was roughed up in the third, giving up four runs on five hits and one walk and blowing a 4-0 lead. He also served up a two-run homer in the second. Alberto Cabrera took the loss, giving up three runs on four hits in 1 2/3 innings.
“We just kind of said ‘thanks’ to each other, for me personally to get the opportunity to do it and they were happy I didn’t take it for granted and just show up and go thorugh the motions. It felt good. … You don’t know how many opportunities you’re going to get to start. Once you become a reliever and have success, a lot of times that’s where you end up in your career. I really wanted to give this a full head of steam and a full shot.” — Jeff Samardzija on getting the news he made the Cubs rotation
Marcos Mateo continues to rehab from right elbow soreness. He will not be ready for Opening Day.
This and that:
* The Cubs spring camp roster was trimmed to 31 on Thursday. Welington Castillo, Randy Wells, Scott Maine, Travis Wood and Dave Sappelt were optioned to Triple-A Iowa, while Blake Lalli, Blake Parker, Matt Tolbert and Edgar Gonzalez were assigned to the Minor League camp.
* The Red Sox sent first baseman Jair Bogaerts to the Cubs to complete the compensation for Theo Epstein, named president of baseball operations in late October. Bogaerts, 19, has played two seasons in the Dominican Summer League. His brother, Xander, is one of the top prospects in the Red Sox organization.
The Cubs now have sent Chris Carpenter and Minor League pitcher Aaron Kurcz to the Red Sox. However, Carpenter revealed on Wednesday he will undergo surgery to remove bone spurs from his right elbow.
“It’s certainly something we had no knowledge of,” Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer said Thursday about Carpenter’s injury. “I don’t think he had any elbow issues for the last two years. It’s unexpected and unfortunate.
* Joe Mather and Blake Dewitt were both told they will be on the Cubs Opening Day roster, but the bullpen is still in a state of flux. The Cubs have to decide on Rule 5 pick Lendy Castillo and who will be the long man. It won’t be Casey Coleman who was told Thursday he will be starting at Triple-A Iowa.
* Steve Clevenger, a converted shortstop, will be the backup catcher, beating Welington Castillo for the job.
“I’m kind of excited, kind of pumped up, ready to go,” Clevenger said. “I feel good about it. I’m speechless right now, trying to soak the moment up. It was a good choice in my career to be a catcher and now it’s paying off.”
Ryan Dempster will face the Dodgers on Friday at HoHoKam Park, making his final tuneup before Opening Day. In four Cactus League starts, the right-hander has given up six runs on 16 hits over 14 2/3 innings. The game will be broadcast on Cubs.com.
– Carrie Muskat