Sveum's 31 flavors: no vanilla today

Sveum's 31 flavors: no vanilla today

Posted by Bruce on Thu, 05/02/2013 - 12:02

As of noon today, nobody has made any threats about moving or anything else around the ballpark. It’s a much cooler day at Wrigley Field, with the wind coming straight in off the lake. We talked a little bit about lineups today with Cubs manager Dale Sveum, whose team takes on the Padres and left-hander Eric Stults.

Starlin Castro again is in the fifth spot, as Sveum is going with his right-handed hitting lineup. Don’t get too used to Castro hitting fifth.

“In our normal lineup, he’s going to hit second,” Sveum said. “I don’t really want to get away from our normal lineup.”

Today’s lineup looks like this:

Sappelt, CF
Ransom, 3B
Rizzo, 1B
Soriano, LF
Castro, SS
Castillo, C
Hairston, RF
Barney, 2B
Wood, P

Sveum said part of the deal is being creative with the lineup and getting Cody Ransom up higher in the order against the lefty.

“With Ransom, you ride a hot guy,” Dale said. “If he’s in a position to hit home runs, you want to make sure he gets 3 at-bats off that left-handed starter.

“You have to be a little creative sometimes with the lineup. You just can’t be so vanilla. If somebody’s really hot and they’re hitting home runs all the time off left-handers, you want to make sure he gets 3 at-bats off that left-handed starter and not hit him seventh to where he might get 2 at-bats. It’s that extra at-bat you’re trying to get that really hot hand at the time.”

Ransom has 2 of his 3 homers on this homestand. He’s 6-for-10 against lefties this year.

Travis Wood is 2-1 with a 2.25 ERA and an 0.97 WHIP. The FIP is 3.93, and the BABIP is at a low .198, which could be cause for some caution if some of those balls in play start falling in.

Matt Garza was back in the clubhouse this morning after his rehab start at Tennessee. Garza said he’ll likely head to Class AAA Iowa next Monday for his next start.

Scott Feldman’s complete game last night was the Cubs’ 16th quality start. The Cubs are 10-6 in quality-start games, with the starters having an ERA of 1.98. In non-quality-start games, the Cubs are 1-10, with the starters having a 6.44 ERA.

The RISP-y business is somewhat better of late. In this series, the Cubs are 10-for-36 (.278) with runners in scoring position. For the season, the Cubs are still last in the majors at .173 (36-for-208).


Chris Rusin gave it a good go in Class AAA Iowa’s 1-0 loss to Round Rock. Rusin, who logged time with the Cubs last year, pitched 7 innings, giving up 6 hits and the game’s only run. Rusin walked none and struck out five as he fell to 1-3 with a 4.33 ERA. Second baseman Logan Watkins went 3-for-3 with a double for his fourth multihit game in five outings. Third baseman Ian Stewart went 0-for-4 in the 13th game of his rehab and is at .094.

As we blogged yesterday, Matt Garza worked 2-2 innings in Tennessee’s (AA) 3-0 rain-shortened loss to Mississippi. Rubi Silva went 1-for-2 and is at .298.

Class A Daytona beat Palm Beach 3-1. Ben Wells tossed 7 innings, giving up 3 hits and 1 run while walking one and striking out three. Third baseman Ben Carhart, a 35h-rounder last year, was 2-for-3 with 2 doubles and 2 RBI. He has a seven-game hitting streak, during which he’s going 13-for-25. He went 8-for-14 with 4 doubles and 8 RBI in the series. The Cubs played an early day game after a night game.

“We all got to bed early at a decent hour and knew it was going to be a show-and-go type of day,” Carhart told the Daytona Beach News-Journal. “Baseball's a game of adjustments, so it wasn't that bad. We all kind of had fun with it.”

The Kane County Cougars got a walk-off single from Dan Vogelbach and a 5-4 win over Bowling Green. Vogelbach has a five-game hitting streak, during which is 8-for-20. Pierce Johnson got no decision, as he worked 6.2 innings and gave up 4 hits and a run while walking one and striking out one. His ERA is at 2.92.

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