On Saturday, the Cubs made a number of roster cuts, including Shelby Miller and Nico Hoerner. The reassignment of Nico was somewhat controversial.
Naturally, that meant those two players would play important roles in the next spring game the Cubs played. Miller threw three solid innings, striking out four and allowing just one run (a solo homer by Jesse Winker) and Hoerner drove in two runs in the Cubs’ 6-3 victory over the Reds.
Both Miller and Hoerner are likely to make contributions to the Cubs sometime this season.
Hoerner drove in Rafael Ortega twice. In the third, Ortega led off with a double and Nico singled him in. Ortega tripled leading off the fifth and a Hoerner groundout scored him.
The Cubs have been looking for outfield help. Ortega isn’t really anything truly special, but he has had a good spring including a walkoff grand slam against the Athletics. I’d keep an eye on him at the alternate site, he might wind up being useful at some point this season.
The Cubs loaded the bases after Hoerner’s groundout in the fifth, but Javier Baez struck out to end the inning. I’m concerned about Javy. He looks lost at the plate this spring and I hope the possibility of a contract extension hasn’t been on his mind affecting his play.
Brandon Workman got himself into a bit of trouble in the fifth with a walk and a hit, but struck out Eugenio Suarez to complete a scoreless frame.
Rex Brothers, who has a real good chance of making the Opening Day roster, threw a 1-2-3 sixth with a couple of groundouts.
Patrick Wisdom, who won’t make this team, hit a two-run homer in the ninth.
This game was a real throwback, in one way at least. The only broadcast outlet was the Reds’ flagship radio station, WLW. Tommy Thrall, the announcer, called the game solo, much as you might have heard a baseball radio broadcast 60 or 70 years ago. Thrall calls a good game, and must have realized his audience included many Cubs fans, as he put some useful information about Cubs players into his calls.
The Cubs will take on the Texas Rangers Sunday afternoon. Jake Arrieta will start for the Cubs and Kohei Arihara gets the call for the Rangers. Game time is 2:05 p.m. CT and TV coverage will be via Marquee Sports Network and there will also be a radio broadcast on 670 The Score. Site note: I will be on the road all day on my way back to Chicago, so BCB’s Josh Timmers will recap this game late Sunday afternoon.