Saturday, February 23, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Cubs 11, Angels 2
By Jesse Rogers
TEMPE, Ariz. -- Here’s a quick look at the Chicago Cubs' 2013 Cactus League opening game victory, an 11-2 win over the Los Angeles Angels:
The Good: Brett Jackson continued a good start to the spring by tripling in his first two at-bats, while Luis Valbuena homered to lead off the second inning. Those are players fighting for roster and/or starting spots. Travis Wood had an easy second inning of work. The Cubs' hitters picked up where they left off in intra-squad games, putting up 11 runs, including a five-run second inning and four-run eighth inning. Their approach at the plate has been solid.
The Bad: Wood started out slow, walking the leadoff man and then giving up a double. Both runners scored before he settled down.
Prospect Watch: All the major prospects who played had hits. Junior Lake hit a long home run to left -- after striking out twice -- while Jorge Soler doubled in a run. Both Logan Watkins and Javier Baez had hits and scored runs as well.
What we learned: Whatever Brett Jackson did over the winter is starting to pay off, and the fact that he’s having success early is only going to inspire him to keep at it. Valbuena handled his business at third base and at the plate, which is good news considering Ian Stewart is out up to three weeks with a quad injury. The jury is still out on Travis Wood, as he’ll need to show consistency, but his second inning was solid. Overall, the Cubs' approach at the plate in a small sample size of intra-squad games and one Cactus League contest has been very good.
Jesse Rogers covers the Cubs for ESPN 1000 and ESPNChicago.com