The Chicago Cubs traveled to Scottsdale Stadium on Saturday to face the San Francisco Giants. Tim Lincecum was the scheduled starting pitcher for the Giants, however the pitcher was scratched because of an injury. That didn’t play to the benefit of the Cubs as the team lost to the Giants on Saturday 9 to 7.
The Pitching: Carlos Villanueva was the starting pitcher for the Cubs and improved upon his Cactus League debut for the Cubs last week. Villanueva allowed only one run on four hits and one walk while striking out one in three innings of work. Barret Loux struggled on Saturday for the Cubs. Loux surrendered four runs on three hits and one walk in his two innings of work. Robert Whitenack was the only Cubs’ pitcher on Saturday to pitch a scoreless inning.
The Offense: Center fielder Brett Jackson only had one at bat for the Cubs on Saturday but it was an impressive one as the prospect hit an RBI double in the eighth inning. Right fielder Brian Bogusevic was 2 for 2 on the day to go along with a base on balls. Catcher/first baseman Steve Clevenger was 2 for 3 on Saturday to go along with 2 RBIs. Catcher Dioner Navarro was 1 for 3 with 2 RBIs as well on Saturday against the Giants. Prospects Logan Watkins was 1 for 2, and Matt Szczur was 0 for 2.
The Game Notes
- There is going to be a competition for the Cubs’ fifth outfielder spot on the bench. Entering camp, the expectation was that Dave Sappelt would be the Cubs’ fifth outfielder, however, a competition is growing. Bogusevic has impressed during the early portions of Spring Training and has outplayed Sappelt, a trend that continued in Saturday’s game against the Giants. If Bogusevic can continue this trend, then there is a chance that he could unseat Sappelt as the team’s fifth outfielder. Though, given Sappelt’s potential for power, he still may be the likelier candidate. Though, Bogusevic may not be a bad outfielder to hold onto in case of an injury.
- Steve Clevenger’s versatility could be the reason why he makes the Cubs’ opening day roster. While Navarro will be the primary backup to Welington Castillo, Clevenger could very well make the team as the third catcher, but more importantly, the primary backup to first baseman Anthony Rizzo. Clevenger played first base on Saturday, and has experience playing the position in his previous years in the Cubs’ farm system.