Sunday, March 24, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Cubs 4, Indians 3
By Jesse Rogers
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Here’s a quick look at the Chicago Cubs' 4-3 victory over the Cleveland Indians on Sunday.
The good: Once again Chris Rusin had an effective start. He went 5.1 innings, giving up no runs. His spring ERA is a sparkling 1.93. ... For the third straight game he’s appeared in, Steve Clevenger came off the bench and delivered, this time a run-scoring double in the eighth inning.
The bad: Welington Castillo was 0-for-3 with two strikeouts. His average for the spring is just .175 and he’s struck out in a quarter of his at-bats. ... Brent Lillibridge and Starlin Castro had a rare day where neither got a hit, dropping their respective averages to .441 and .406.
What we learned: Rusin solidified his role as the “next guy up” if there is another injury in the starting rotation. He threw well against decent spring lineups and though he walked three on Sunday he used it to his advantage, throwing “effectively wild,” as he put it. He had a solid spring. ... If Castillo struggles in the regular season, Dioner Navarro could see more plate appearances. He can hit from both sides, has been adept behind the plate and has more experience with pitchers. He’s hitting .262 and has shown the same pop with his bat as Castillo. But there is no change in the offing, at the moment. ... Clevenger just might be hitting his way onto the roster. His ability to come off the bench and deliver hasn’t gone un-noticed by manager Dale Sveum.