3/11 Extra bases

* Travis Wood is hoping the Cubs get all the dropped balls and strange plays out of their system this spring. On Tuesday, the Cubs lefty was charged with five runs on nine hits over 2 2/3 innings, with two runs scoring on singles that never left the infield. The Rockies took a 1-0 lead in the first, and with two outs in the third, Nolan Arenado was credited with a triple on a ball that center fielder Junior Lake lost in the sun. Wood gave up hits to the next five batters, including a two-run homer to Kyle Parker, before he was lifted.

“It’s going to happen, it’s part of baseball,” Wood said. “You see it every year. I’ve got to come back and help him out of the inning. I felt I made some good pitches and they put some good swings on them.”

The Rockies also got a couple breaks. Wood could only shrug after his outing.

“I said it’s just one of those days,” the lefty said. “Luckily, it happened in spring, so we can move forward from that and get ready for the next one.”

* James Russell, slowed this spring because of a tired arm, will make his Cactus League debut on Wednesday in the Cubs’ game against the Mariners. Russell has appeared in more than 70 games in relief in back to back seasons, and manager Rick Renteria said he is very cognizant of a pitcher’s usage. The Cubs do have another lefty, Wesley Wright, who could pick up some of the workload for Russell during the season.

* Javier Baez is taking ground balls at second and third before batting practice and Renteria will try to get the Cubs’ top prospect at one of those positions in a Cactus League game soon but is looking for the right shortstop to match up with. Baez will open the season at Triple-A Iowa at shortstop.

“We’re going to make sure when we do put him there we’re really comfortable and confident he can handle that side of the diamond,” Renteria said. “I think it’s pretty close.”

Darwin Barney started his second game at shortstop on Tuesday, and Renteria said that would be the most likely pairing with Baez because they want someone with experience.

* Mike Olt, who has not started at third to protect a tender right shoulder, is “getting close” to playing there in a Cactus League game. Olt did make a perfect throw on a double play in Monday’s game against the Giants, which impressed Renteria.

* Shortstop Starlin Castro, sidelined with a mild right hamstring strain since March 2, was able to do some light baseball activity on Tuesday. He was expected to get into games early next week.

* Edwin Jackson will face Minor League hitters on Wednesday at the Cubs’ complex to stay on schedule, while James McDonald gets the start that night against the Mariners. Renteria said Tuesday he has yet to talk to Jackson since his last Cactus League start March 7 when the right-hander decided to only throw fastballs, but didn’t tell either the manager or pitching coach Chris Bosio. Jackson gave up three runs on four hits over three innings against Cleveland.

“I’m sure we’ll have the discussion, and that will be between me and him,” Renteria said.

– Carrie Muskat

8 Comments

Travis wood is going to have a big wake up call this year IMO ….. Possible flash in the pan alert… Not going to say I told u so yet but it’s coming

I hear yourself. You are and have been a big fan of Shark, and I respect that . I have not agreed, but am willing to concede when I’m wrong, unlike some on this site. The jury is out at the moment. Actuallly that jury will be out for the entire season, I predict. My opinion is that neither Wood nor Shark will be part of our rotation if and when we become legitimate contenders.

Wasnt last year Wood’s first full season? How many seasons has Samardizja been around?

Funny u ask… It was his second full season of starting… Yes his second… The first season with no innings restrictions

Also Travis wood has 564 innings in ml while shark has roughly 550….. Soooooo amazing what happens when we look at the stats…. Stats don’t lie or have biases or opinions

Well you point out something I didnt realize. As you know I do look at STATS, that is one I did miss. With Wood being so much younger, I would have never believed that their IP would be so close.
I am hoping Wood is not that flash in the pan, he had such a good year with the Quality Starts. With him being a quality LH starter, he may fit between Hammel and Arrietta very nicely after Samardizja is traded.

my thing is we honestly should not be considering trading shark unless we are getting a pretty sure fire #2 or #1 pitcher in the deal. The market for pitching is not only scarce but also very expensive. THats just the market and to play at a high level you are going to need to pay some of the others at a high level. Shark is a 2-4 WAR pitcher at any given time so I feel comfortable paying him 15mill-17 mill per year. He has the potential, is a homegrown talent, and doesn’t have the miles a normal pitcher of his age has on their arm. The FA market the next few years doesn’t prove to be very deep in TORP arms.

I understand what your saying petrey10, I really do. My problem with Shark is, if I am Management, I just want a guy to perform, be one of the guys and shutup when it comes to contracts. Dont talk to the media or team mates about it. Its between you, your agent and Management. No one else and I mean no one else, needs to know.

Then again, you sign a guy to what he wants, say 17 Million? How many years will he demand? Then Management is looking at what they have coming through the system. Will those guys be ready before Sharks contract is up? Will they be better? What do you do with Shark if that happens while hes making 17 million a year and the better pitchers are making 1 million?

Either way its a gamble. If I am Management, keeping in mind the value I can get in return and that fact the guy wont shut the F up about his contract. I trade him a month ago.

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