Torres, Almora start
Plenty of prospects saw action in Saturday’s 4-2 loss to the Reds as CF Albert Almora and SS Gleyber Torres both got the start. Almora ripped a double in his first at-bat and also made a spectacular diving play in center on the warning track. Almora finished 1-2 with a strikeout while Torres was 0-for-2 with a strikeout and a groundout....... Ryan Williams, the Cubs 2015 Minor League Pitcher of the Year, saw his first action of the spring, working a 1-2-3 fifth.....Right-handed reliever Armando Rivero gave up a two-out double but got the final out for a scoreless 8th........Other minor leaguers seeing playing time included 3B Jeimer Candelario (0-1), 1B Taylor Davis (0-1), RF John Andreoli (0-1), DH Daniel Vogelbach (0-1), RF Mark Zagunis (0-1), SS Logan Watkins (0-1), 2B Ryan Dent (0-1)........Watkins saw his first game action after missing last year with an achilles injury.injury.
Cubs sign Ryan Kalish
Add another former Cubs into the mix for the fifth outfield spot. The Cubs have reportedly signed Ryan Kalish, 27, to a minor league deal with an invite to spring training. Kalish inked a deal with the Cubs for the 2013 season, made the opening day roster, and hit .248/.295/.347 in 130 plate appearances (57 games). After splitting the season between Iowa and Chicago, Kalish was granted free agency, signed with the Blue Jays but didn’t play in 2015. Will battle with Shane Victorino, Matt Murton, Juan Perez and Matt Szczur for a possible fifth outfield spot. Murton is recovering from an emergency appendectomy and Szczur has been battling a slight oblique strain.
The I-Cubs have started selling individual tickets and several good seats still remain for the home opener at 3:05 p.m. on Thursday, April 7 at Principal Park. Iowa opens with a eight-game home stand facing Round Rock and then New Orleans.......I’ll reach into the hat and draw out Dallas Beeler as the starter for opening night......The Iowa Cubs are extending the backstop netting to the far ends of each dugout to increase the safety of fans at Principal Park. The extended nets will be installed before Opening Day. The move is in line with Major League Baseball's new recommendation that all stadiums of major league teams and their affiliates extend the netting by Opening Day of 2017. "For years, about a third of our fans have been watching games from behind netting, and it's clear the netting does not interfere with the enjoyment of the game," said Sam Bernabe, president and general manager of the I-Cubs. "In fact, most people forget the net is even there."