Practice Game(s) Recap
Dempster went six innings against the Rangers, allowing 2 runs on four hits and 2 walks and striking out three. Marmol had a scoreless 2/3 of the inning before leaving the game with some sort of hand injury. It was chalked up to cramps but he's getting an MRI anyway. The Cubs scored two runs on either side of a Blake DeWitt triple but were otherwise unable to generate much offense against Neftali Feliz and the Rangers.
Against the A's, Rodrigo Lopez continued his quietly good spring with 5 innings of one-run ball, with four strikeouts. I think he has a good chance to stick around as the long man in the pen given Sonnanstine's and Wood's troubles this spring. Tony Campana had 4 hits, including the Cubs only extra base hit of the day (a double).
Is there a Cubs game today?
Opening Day Starter speculation
ESPN's Doug Padilla thinks that things are moving in a Ryan Dempster direction for the opening day gig. Sveum will most likely make an officially official announcement on Friday. The ESPN guys continue to be under the impression that Maholm has been fighting for a job on the roster, but now believe that his job is safe.
Tempering expectations for Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart missed a few games with a minor quad injury, but a more concerning bit of news is that his wrist isn't completely healed (and might never be):
“It stinks to say, but I’ve kind of got to the point where I have some nagging stuff that’s probably going to linger for a while with my wrist,” Stewart said. “That’s why I always have heat or ice on my wrist. That’s just a thing that’s going to be there.”
That wrist problem (and a hamstring injury) was a big part of his crummy 2010.
Rafael Dolis profile
John at Cubs Den has a nice profile of Rafael Dolis, who will probably take over the closer role from Marmol at some point in the next few years.
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Video of the day
Inspired by technical comment tangent I recently enjoyed