#Cubs vs Indians

The Cubs face the Indians in Goodyear Saturday night. Pierce Johnson gets the start. Here’s the lineup:

Zobrist 2B

Russell SS

Schwarber LF

Bryant 3B

Soler RF

Baez CF

Guzman 1B

Federowicz C

Johnson P

Looking ahead, Jon Lester will make his second  spring start on Sunday when the Cubs play host to the Royals at Sloan Park in Mesa.


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Have y`all noticed that the White Sox`s best pitcher is very unhappy with management over the Adam LaRoche matter? Since he is one of those starting pitchers whom it has been suggested is in the Cubs` sights to be traded for between now and August 1st, this circumstance makes it all the more plausible that could very well happen. {Am positively giddy Schwarber`s Hoosiers have eliminated the Wildcats from the NCAA tournament. Am not a fan of Coach Cal. Big Blue Nation is going to be apoplectic that their team could not even make it out of the `Field of 32.`}

Aloha jhosk- that would be a big coup if “that” pitcher you speak of became a Cub! And at least one of my picks in a bracket won, yes Schwarber’s Hoosiers! Let us hope that Lester has a successful outing today. Take care. Mahalo!

Yes, k.g., I am aware you and jasper are partial to Sonny Gray; am just suggesting Chris Sale is not nearly the long shot he was before this LaRoche controversy. Did you know the Wahoos are headed to Chicago this week to play the Cyclones Friday? It will be an Iowa State crowd, no doubt. Am predicting Malcolm Brogdon`s defensive assignment will be to guard Georges Niang, and to `be all over ` the Cyclones` star like a cheap suit.

Aloha jhosk, yes I really like Gray but if the organization gets an opportunity to talk with the WSox about Sale, that is very cool and why I mentioned the word “coup.” That would bring the total to 3 big players from surrounding teams (2 from them Redbirds)! I hope your Virginia can hang on! Mahalo!

Yes jhosk, K.g and myself were hoping for a Sonny Gray. As far as Sale goes, do the Cubs really want a guy that will challenge Management if something happens he does not agree with? This team does need that nor do I think they would want that.
I have mentioned in the past about how Management has Drafted Pitching in bulk, after Drafting the best position player available the last three years. Plus trades they have made that includes Pitchers. Then add the Pitchers signed via the International route.
This is going to be the year they start to develop, keep your eyes on Dylan Cease.

Aloha jasper & jhosk- fyi, I have a feeling you may already know this but was just reading an article in which Maddon is quoted as saying in the “wake of the LaRoche matter,” he will let kids into the clubhouse up to 3hrs before games and for emergencies. Now, I do not know all what took place, I wish I were a “fly” on that wall/clubhouse dugout. But will also say, that yes baseball is a team sport and given that even if Sale did not agree with the decision that the WSox made in regard to LaRoche, for the good of the team/organization he should have kept mum on the subject. I only say that because he is currently employed by the WSox. Now if he had retired from the game and said in reflection he wished the WSox could have accommodated LaRoche and other players with children so that families could be around their dads, I think that is all right. So, I give Maddon kudos as he got out in front of this topic and it is now a “dead issue.” His players know what to expect. Back to our Cubbies, I think it is neat in a “long-era” where pitching is always a big plus, that the FO went in a different direction and drafted so many potential position players/hitters. As much as I would love for them to all be Cubbies, I could understand if the FO pulled off a mid-season trade for a Sonny Gray! He is arbitration eligible in 2017 and not a free agent until after the 2019 season! I know the FO knows this and probably has a cool “program/worksheet,” with folks like Gray on it and all their information. So, Gray is controllable for a good period of time. I heard the Yankees were going to target Harper in a few years when he becomes a FA because they will have the money and believe they can outbid the Nationals in keeping him; the Cubs spent a good amount of FA $$ this past off-season so I am sure they will work on future trades to acquire needed players. Back to Gray, I think with all the talent in the organization (including prospects), if pitching becomes a big priority and the A’s are out of it come June/July, I am sure Theo/Jed will be calling Beane/Frost about Gray-san! Well, I should get my head out of the clouds now. I am very happy this ST with Hendricks and his consistency. I also hope Hammel can keep up his strength and endurance as he has had a good ST as well. Take care now. Mahalo!

Yes, jasper, it`s the familiar refrain that a club can never have too much pitching. Of all those starters Phil Rogers cited in that fascinating column from a few week`s back, I find Jose Fernandez the most intriguing name, assuming he is still much the same pitcher he was before his Tommy John surgery in May 2014. However, can`t argue with Gray, Chris Archer, or several others who were on that list. As you suggest, if we can develop arms `in house,` that`s all good too, and a less expensive route to pursue. (And I`m referencing prospects we would need to surrender in a potential trade for a young established high value starter who would be under team control for several years.)

Aloha jhosk- I am sure you will be glued to your set today for the next round of March Madness! Just as aside, I like to see how former Cubs and Giants players are doing around the leagues. So, today I bring up the Panda. He is sidelined with lower back stiffness. What is so sad is the talent this man has but he does not use it and is not disciplined. I remember his rookie year watching him play various positions from catcher to 1st to 3rd. There there was his hitting. If he had the discipline he could easily be a .300+ hitter every year and a good defender. I think the Giants are happy he did not take their offer as Duffy has more than answered the question as to who could take over Panda’s spot. What I like about Maddon is that he finds a way to motivate and encourage players to want to do their best, look at how he helped Castro turn things around and for that matter Fowler. Folks want to come into this ST ready to go because Joe will demand it of them but again in a positive way, not disparaging. I appreciate that. Take care now. Mahalo!

Yes, k.g., I`m thinking the Giants are very pleased Sandoval did not re-sign, and the Red Sox have `buyer`s remorse.` I`ve heard that according to FanGraphs, Panda was the worst position player in baseball last season. Even if he`s healthy, many fans want to see the newcomer Travis Shaw beat Pablo out for the starting third base assignment with the Bosox. The Boston FO put out a statement for public consumption that Panda had lost weight over the winter, and apparently there`s no evidence that`s true. {It`s hard to watch was is transpiring in Scottsdale tonight.}

That’s why I have such trust in this Management jhosk. They are looking way ahead, Hammel becomes a FA after this year. Johnson may be ready.
Lackey has two years, Cease, Underwood or Del la Cruz may be ready.
Arietta doesn’t sign, Steele, Edwards, Williams, Stinnett, Sands, Tseng, Conway may be ready and one of the above an Ace by then.
Changing the subject, if I really wanted anyone signed long term right now, it would be Epstein.

Aloha jasper, that is true…Epstein and company, please hang around some more! Mahalo!

Am surprised you did not mention David Berg, jasper. I`ve heard it said he could very well be with the big club by 2017. Saw Josh Conway pitch at the college level when he toiled for the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers, and saw him pitch last August for the Myrtle Beach Pelicans.

Would love to attend a game in Myrtle Beach jhosk. I hope it was a Pelican win, don’t know if I will ever make it there.
As far as Berg, I was just using names listed in the top 30 prospects. However you are correct, there are a few more that could surprise us. Skulina is one. Martinez that came over from the Dodgers in the Barney trade. One of the very young Pitchers ( forgot his name ) that came over in the Campana trade.

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