Matt Garza has been cleared to start throwing, that’s encoraging!!!!

CBS Chicago

MESA, Ariz. (AP) — Starlin Castro wanted a third at-bat. He got it and then pulled up lame.

Castro left in the bottom of the fourth inning after pulling up on a ground ball to shortstop Wednesday during an 11-7 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Cubs said their shortstop had left hamstring tightness.

“It was a little bit tight but not too bad,” Castro said. “I felt it when I touched the base. It scared me. I don’t want to be hurt. I feel too good this year.”

Castro, who was the designated hitter, played in 162 games last and expects to do so again this year.

“He was jogging around in the training room a little bit,” Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. “It was more tight than a pull or anything. He pulled up quite a bit, and he was kind of hobbling, but it doesn’t seem…

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Not That Steep of a Mountain

The Cubs are off to a great start, they continued their winning ways by defeating the Colorado Rockies yesterday, 4-2. Christian
Villeneva and Dave Sappelt hit two homers. Starlin Castro got a hit and the rest of the Cubs were firing on all cylinders.
It’s an encouraging sign that the Chicago Cubs are in first place in the National League, going 3-1. Not bad indeed.
Looking through the spring training stats, I don’t see the Cubs near the top of the standings, but they’re still trying to find ways to win. Ok, I’m a realist in thinking this trend will not continue into the regular season once other teams big bats get swinging, but this is a very encouraging sign.
Wellington Castillo has been real impressive. His OBP is .429 and although it doesn’t lead the team, he’s shown to be the most consistent player so far.
So yeah, the Cubs aren’t doing anything flashy but chipping away and as the cliché goes, “Doing the little things” and getting the job done.
I wouldn’t want Dale Sveum’s job deciding who to cut.
Today, the Cubs take on the Dodgers. Game time is 3:05
Play Ball!
–Mark

We Believe

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I met someone on the weekend who has season seats for the Cubs. Now, you might think, “So what?” but to this baseball fan I thought it was really cool that I talked to someone who has actually sit in the Friendly Confines. You know what he said to me? “Two in a row, brother.”
He called me brother. Then I began to realise that maybe that is what Cubs fans mean to each other. We’re some form of family that stretches across nations and seas and continents. We share a belief that someday we’ll be there when this drought of a championship ends. Yup, we believe.
I’m a little disappointed with Apple TV. We bought it thinking that we could watch every Spring Training game, or at least the ones that are broadcast. Apparently we can’t. It’s available on the X-Box but not Apple TV. That sucks. I feel like I wasted my money. Not that it matters too much. We’ll have the regular season and I can watch the spring games online, but disappointed by it all.
In other news, The Cubs lost a close one to the Dodgers but the good news is that they continued to show the emerging talent pool with Wellington Castillo, Nate Shierholtz and Darnell McDonald all hitting home runs. Up next they play the Rockies today at 2pm.
Alfonso Soriano could be a Yankee. I think it would be a great fit and you know that would open up some cash for the Cubs. I think it’s inevitable.
Play Ball!
—Mark

Edwin Jackson

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Edwin Jackson
The Chicago Cubs off season signing of Edwin Jackson to a 4 year 52 million dollar deal brings a lot of hope to the organization. In the wake of a Anibal Sanchez re-signing with Detroit, the Cubs went and signed a quality pitcher in Jackson.
Keeping in mind that this is Jackson’s seventh stop in the majors many feel that the Cubs will be his last stop and hopefully bringing the first World Series to the club since 1908.
Edwin Jackson was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2001 as an outfielder, but eventually emerged into a pitcher.

So, the real question here is Edwin Jackson worth the money the Cubs invested in him? Or will the Cubs be hanging their heads in four years? I was questioning this deal, but the more I think about it, the more it makes sense. Edwin is only 29 years old, so he’s just getting into his prime which the Cubs will need in a couple of years when more prospects make it into the majors. Right now, Jeff Samardzija and Matt Garza are their guys, so bringing Edwin on board gives balance to the rotation. Nobody’s denying that Edwin’s, um, been around the bases but everyone needs that chance so why not the Cubs.

I think Edwin’s going to emerge as a great leader. He’s won a ring with St. Louis and he could win another with the Cubs.

Play Ball!
–Mark

A Beautiful Day in the Desert

Cheers all around after Luis Valbuens hits a Homer

Cheers all around after Luis Valbuens hits a Homer

Ok, ok; Don’t get too excited, it’s only spring training. The Cubs just walloped the future World Series Champions Los Angeles Angels 11-2. Luis Valbuena hit his second Homer in two days-Holy Cow!!!

I knew there was a catch somewhere. The Angels weren’t playing, Mike Trout, Josh Hamilton, Albert Pujols. It’s still an encouraging win and a true sign that baseball is back and the groundhog was wrong-there’s only two weeks left of winter.

It’s kind of like David vs Goliath here, but if there is any reason for being optimistic is the fact that the Cubs rising stars shone through and showed Cubs fans everywhere that there are good things coming in the years ahead.

Jorge Solar showed signs of the great player he will be. He got a hit,run and an RBI. Heck, Brett Jackson had a pair of triples.

Today, the Cubs play the Giants at 3:05

Nobody cares about what happens before April but today the Chicago Cubs are number 1.

—Mark

Cubs vs Angels

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The Cubs kick off their Arizona league schedule with a match up against potential AL favourite and Josh Hamilton’s new residence, LA Angels.
It’s going to be a tough outing, but also a chance to see future stars like Jorge Solar, Josh Vitters and Brett Jackson.
I’m disappointed that it’s not available on MLB.TV but there is the Blue Jays game on.

The Cubs will play 39 games this spring including one against a WBC team on March 15th. This also is the final year at HoHoKam field. The Cubs will start playing at Mesa next year.

The Angels and the Cubs are playing three times during Cactus League play. Travis Wood gets the call to the mound for todays game.

So, some of the things to watch for is
• Starlin Castro reducing his errors
• Where will Velbuena end up at?
• Can Darwin Barney continue with his Gold Glove season last year?
• Anthony Rizzo can turn into the Bat for the Cubs
• Do the Chicago Cubs call up Josh Vitters and Brett Jackson, keeping them in the lineup?
• What about Jorge Solar?
Game Note: Ian Stewart will undergo an MRI after an injury due to a mild strain. Results are expected Saturday.
Every Cubs fan knows this is a rebuilding year, but we do expect to see their stars of the future shine this year. It all begins today.

Ian Stewart is out for 10-14 days with a mild quad strain. At least he’ll be ready for opening day.
Play Ball!
–Mark