#Cubs Arrieta ready for opener

Jake Arrieta showed he’s ready for Opening Night. The Cubs right-hander tuned up by throwing 102 pitches over five innings, and got plenty of help as Kyle Schwarber, Addison Russell, Matt Szczur, David Ross and Munenori Kawasaki each homered in a 9-5 win Tuesday over the Athletics.

Arrieta, who came out of his last start after two-thirds of an inning to avoid breaking open a blister on his right thumb, was charged with one run on two hits and struck out five. His next start will be Monday against the Angels in the season opener.

“The blister’s good,” Arrieta said. “It was nice to get the pitch count up that high. Today, I got to throw all my stuff, got to pitch through some struggles a little bit with command. I was off a little bit timing-wise but was able to make some good adjustments after a couple to get back on track. … I like where I’m at going into our first game.”

Arrieta has been able to do his normal side work, and said the blister is a “non issue.”

Szczur, told earlier in the day that he had made the Opening Day roster for the second straight year, missed hitting for the cycle by a triple. He doubled in the second, hit a bunt single in the fourth, and hit a two-run homer in the sixth.

“I knew they had faith in me and knew they trusted me,” Szczur said. “It’s a great feeling to be on the squad.”

— Carrie Muskat


I’ve been rooting for Szczur for quite a while now. I hope they find a way to get him some meaningful playing time, so he can prove he belongs.

Don’t look like it will happen now Mat B.
They are probably looking to trade him now, especially as he is out of options.

Aloha Mat – I like Szczur as well, he fights out there, his spirit as they say. But I think he may end up as trade bait along with La Stella in the near future. Since the Cubs signed Kawasaki and Victorino to minor league deals and I think Murton as well, the FO has a lot of options now with both vets and younger folks like Baez when healthy can play both infield and outfield. I would say if Heyward was not resigned then Szczur has a better chance of sticking around because on the days that Schwarber is behind the plate there would have been a need in LF. Now, that is not the case and Soler will probably get a lot of pt in LF because his bat is more explosive. I hope Szczur makes the best of it while he is here too. Mahalo!

Aloha Mat- I made a mistake, I meant to say if Fowler was not re-signed (not Heyward), then I think Szczur has a better chance of sticking around but not now. Though one can never predict the future. Take care now. Mahalo!

Have you noticed that Szczur`s Villanova Wildcats are part of the Final Four, Mat B? Matt S. played both football and baseball there, as many know. During spring training of 2015, we read much of Nova being part of `March Madness` on this blog, but not so much in 2016. I suggest that`s because Joe Maddon`s Lafayette Leopard`s faced Nova in the first round of that 2015 NCAA Tournament. Lafayette had a very forgettable 2016 season, and did not come close to being invited to the `Big Dance` this year. But that doesn`t mean we can`t support the school where Matt Szczur matriculated from winning the `National Championship` in Houston April 4th, the same night our Cubs open the regular season versus the Los Angeles Angels at their place on the left coast. {Finally, that night we will see a game that actually matters.}

Why was Kawasaki playing today when he had been released?

White, he was released, then signed to a Minor League contract, as was Parra and Victorino. He should be with Iowa to start the season.
Reading the articles helps.

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