3/4 Cubs lineup vs A’s

The Cubs play host to the Athletics at Cubs Park in Mesa today with the game scheduled to start at 1:05 p.m. MT. You can listen to Len Kasper and Mick Gillispie on a webcast on Cubs.com. Kyle Hendricks, the Cubs’ Minor League pitcher of the year last year, gets the start. Emilio Bonifacio starts at shortstop in Day 2 without Starlin Castro, sidelined with a mild strain of his right hamstring. Here’s the lineup:

Bonifacio SS
Murphy 3B
Rizzo 1B
Ruggiano LF
Sweeney CF
Wells RF
Schierholtz DH
Barney 2B
Whiteside C

Hendricks P

18 Comments

I’m going to start beating my drum now. I want to see more Matt Szczur!

Good luck Mat B, but I am pretty sure he will be at AAA this year.

More then half our major league roster belong on a AAA roster

People need to remember that it’s early in spring training still. There are a lot of players in camp and a lot of players the Cubs want to get a look at. Also at this point the starters only play 5 or 6 innings and by the end of the game no one from the original starting lineup is in the game anymore. So just because a player is not in the starting lineup doesn’t mean they won’t see the field that day.
As for Szczur, he’s shown off a good glove and good range so far, making a few diving catches already. He’ll probably start the year at AAA and might be called up if there’s an injury or if/when Schierholtz and/or Ruggiano are traded. He’s on the 40-man roster, so it will probably be him or Brett Jackson who get the first call up. Coghlan, Kalish, or McDonald might get the call too, but we’ll see which ones accept their assignments to AAA and remain in the organization after Spring Training is over.

You bring up a great point on: who will accept a AAA assignment or who wont.
I like what I have seen of Coghlan and Kalish, I am not so high on McDonald, because of his age.
Lake did not look good in CF yesterday, throwing air balls to home and to the wrong base. He also did not look all that good At Bat. (my opinion)
It is early, as you say, but he has lots of work to do. Maybe trying too hard?

You never know if a non-roster invite will stick around after spring training or not. If a spot opens up on some other team at the end of the spring, they could refuse assignment, be placed on waivers, or ask for their release and sign elsewhere. The Cubs got Donnie Murphy, Ryan Sweeney, and Luis Valbuena after they spent the spring with some other team, so it’s not a done deal that any of the NRI will simply just go down to Iowa if they don’t make the team.
As for Lake, his original position is SS and he played there for most of the minors. It was only in the past two seasons that he started playing other positions and didn’t switch to OF full time until he came up to the Cubs in the middle of last season (he had some OF experience in the minors, but was also tried out at third and at second). He’s a work in progress in the field, but the hope is that he’s fast and athletic enough that he can make the transition to outfield and learn the various OF positions on the fly. And you’re right, with the mostly new staff and the likes of Szczur and Jackson and Vitters right behind him on the depth chart and vets like Coghlan and Kalish also in camp, maybe he is pushing a bit too hard early on. Hopefully he can work through it and let his natural athletic ability speak for itself.

The majority of outfielders in camp are triple-a rejects from other teams. Ruggiano, Schierholz, Sweeney, Coughlin, Cunningham Kalish, Maier, Mcdonald and Wells have all failed with original clubs and elsewhere. Try Solar, Jackson and lake. I know this great organization is counting on their prime prospects for the future. The question is, how many will actually make it. As a Cub hater, i am interested to see what happens. Also, how many of these top prospects are pitchers. If the Cubs think they will contend With Jackson, Hammel, Wood and the next great thing Samardija, good luck. Waiting for Theo Epstein to be named Executive of the Year. I understand that the Cardinals, Pirates and Reds will all be chasing the Cubs by 2015. HA-HA.

Every team brings in “triple-A rejects” to spring training, not just the Cubs. It’s funny you call Schierholtz a AAA reject considering how he played a full season in the Majors last year and hit 21 homers. I’d say that’s an established MLB player and definitely not a AAA reject. And Sweeney was actually acquired last year by the Cubs, and no one expects him to be more than a 4th outfielder or platoon player. As for the outfield you suggest, Lake is probably going to be the Opening Day CF or LF. Soler is not ready for the Majors yet and hasn’t played above high-A yet. And Jackson’s stock has fallen, so he’s not really in the picture at the moment. In 5 years, they hope that Soler, Albert Almora, and Lake will be their starting OF. Or maybe move Kris Bryant to the OF. Or maybe there’s someone else in the minors or yet to be acquired who will be in the mix.
As for the pitchers, Hammel was acquired to be dealt in the middle of the season, so they’re not counting on him to contend. It’s true, their pitching prospects aren’t as highly-touted as their hitting prospects, but that doesn’t mean they have no pitching prospects. CJ Edwards and Pierce Johnson both project to be part of a big league rotation in a couple of years. Then there are several pitchers who might not make anyone’s Top 100 prospects list, but might turn out to be decent to good pitchers. Like Kyle Hendricks, Neil Ramirez, Eric Jockish, Corey Black, Ivan Pineyro, and Ben Wells, They don’t have a “can’t miss” ace in their minors, but there’s still room for development for some of the pitchers in the low minors, and with the 4th pick of the draft this year they could select a pitcher who will become that “can’t miss” ace. They were probably tempted to draft Jonathan Gray last year, but Kris Bryant was too good of a power bat to pass up.
If the Cubs make the playoffs before his contract is up, then Theo deserves to be named Exec of the Year. And who knows who will be chasing the Cubs? The Cardinals have a strong farm system and there’s no reason to expect they will drop off anytime soon. The Pirates have a few good young players too, so we’ll see how they hold up over the next few years. The Reds and Brewers, who knows?

Playoffs?……….Playoffs?……….Are you kidding me?………Don’t talk about Playoffs until we can first get over 500.

I said playoffs before Theo’s contract is up, which is at the end of the 2016 season. That’s plenty of time to take steps forward. However, I will reiterate that I don’t think a team necessarily needs to take small steps forward in order to become a playoff team. Most notably, the 2008 Tampa Bay Rays won the pennant after losing over 90 games the year before. Like the Cubs, they spent a few years stockpiling young talent and it all came together at the same time in 2008. And just like the Cubs are hoping to do, the Rays have been a competitive team ever since then. And just last year, the Pirates and the Indians made the playoffs after finishing with losing records the year before. If the prospects turn out to be something and their pitching is good enough, there’s no reason the Cubs can’t be a playoff team before Theo’s contract is up, maybe even as soon as 2015.

Very nice jim kane, being a Cubs hater it is obvious you are not keeping up with Cub prospects? I imagine with the recent articles about Cub Prospects, somehow has your attention.
If you read some of the comments on here before posting, you would find that about 50 50 of the commenters on here dont really mind if Samardizja is traded. So no great thing or hopes on him from some.
Soler or Jackson will probably be at AAA. I am guessing that Ruggiano/Shierholtz will platoon 2014, waiting for the prospects to get some At Bats at AAA.
Coghaln and Kalish were or are not career AAA ball players. Coghlan was the 2009 Rookie of the year and set back with injuries. Kalish had a injury, then the same surgery as Peyton Manning. Both pretty young, worth taking a chance on? Why not?
Maier, McDonald, Cunningham and Wells I agree with you. But with all the split squad games in ST, why not give them a chance? Maybe catch that lightening in the bottle as they say.
Pitching, look up who had the most quality starts in the NL last year. Look up what Feldman, Maholm, Soriano, Garza, Soto and Dempster brought back to the Cubs Organization.
You will sound much more intelligent the next time you post.

If you hate the Cubs….what the Hell are you doing here?…………did the Cardinals website go off line?

cubs rotation was actually pretty solid last year if you actually did a thing called research…. it was the bullpen and run production that was terrible…. and yes our OF could be one of the worst OF ever…. we know that… there is some depth in the minors so hopefully one or two of them can eventually fill those holes…. increased revenue should be coming soon with the reno starting in the next year or so. That should allow us to spend some dough in FA on the remaining holes. So yes it sucks now and we are the laughing stock of the Central but things do look like they could get better

cubstalk, last time i looked we are able to express our opinions in this forum. If you do not like dissenting opinions, close this blog to free thinking people. to jiggs, its funny all the above mentioned are gone. Its good regarding all those quality starts but all are gone now. Like to get a rise out of all Cub fans. Nothing personal. Do not judge my intelligence when you follow a team that has a history of futility. Very sensative are all of you.

jim kane, not sensitive at all. If you actually read the post I put up, I was asking if you realize the return on all of those that are gone?
Intelligence? I may have been misundersttod there jim kane, I am sure you know your team very well, I was assuming you didnt know the Cubs system and the pitching prospects all of the trades brought in?
Not questioning your intelligence, I am sure you understand that when you become a fan of a certain team, you cant just turn it off? So as I follow my team of futility with its history, it is my team.
It shocks me that a man of your intelligence even bothers to stop and chat with us low life Cubs fans, what a honor it is. :)

I don’t see rooting for a baseball team to be a way to judge intelligence. Maybe picking a team to win the division or pennant or World Series is, but rooting for has nothing to do with intelligence. Many of us root for the teams we root for because that what our family and friends rooted for too. Or maybe you just live in the area and want to root for your local team. Or maybe they have/had a player or two who you really like.
What I do judge baseball intelligence on is knowing who players are and what their actual situation is. Calling Nate Schierholtz a “triple-A reject” is a sign of low intelligence, since he played a full season last year and hit 21 home runs. Saying Justin Ruggiano is a AAA reject is a sign of low intelligence, because he spent the entire season on the Marlins last year. Saying Ryan Sweeney is a AAA reject is a sign of low intelligence because he did spend most of last season in the Majors and put up decent numbers for a 4th outfielder. Also a sign of low intelligence, not knowing that the Cubs aren’t the only team who brings in non-roster invites (or AAA rejects as you call them) to Spring Training. If you were an actual baseball fan, you’d know this is a common practice of every team from the Boston Red Sox to the Houston Astros.
Another sign of low intelligence is coming onto another team’s message board just because you “like to get a rise out of all [their] fans.” An intelligent person, while maybe holding a different view or opinion on the subject, would welcome civil discussion and debate and enjoy engaging others in conversation. A dim-witted moron such as yourself just wants to make inflammatory comments and see what happens and has no interest in actually discussing or learning anything. So yes, I will judge your intelligence. Based on the criteria laid above, I judge it to be extremely lacking. I think overall the people who post on here about the Cubs are intelligent, which is why I enjoy posting on here myself. If you want to post to “get a rise” out of anyone, go find less intelligent fans like yourself elsewhere.

Very nice Doug. Once again there should be a LIKE under the comments.

never called anyone a low life. chill out.

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