Cubs fall to Indians
Ian Happ hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth but that was the Cubs only runs as they lost 4-2 to Cleveland at Sloan Park. Happ’s had an impressive spring, hitting .409 with four homers and 13 RBI, but will start the year in the minors.
Other Cubs prospects playing on Friday were Jason Vosler (0-0), Albert Almora (0-2), John Andreoli (0-2), Taylor Davis (0-1), Jeffrey Baez (1-1, R), Ian Rice (0-1), Chesny Young (0-1), Darryl Wilson (0-0).
John Lackey tossed six solid innings, allowing a solo homer in the sixth, one of five hits. Lackey issued one walk and fanned five in his longest outing of the spring. Jhondaniel Medina surrendered a two-run homer in the seventh and Dylan Floro gave up a run in the eighth. Felix Pena tossed a scoreless ninth.
Cubs head to Vegas for two games with the Reds on Saturday and Sunday while the split squad back in Arizona faces the Rockies at Talking Stick on Saturday and host the Padres on Sunday.
Schwarber gets work behind dish
Kyle Schwarber knows he’s going to spend a majority of his 2017 season in the outfield but the Cubs former first-round pick saw his first action behind the plate on Friday, catching four innings of a minor league game. Schwarber told reporters it was his first live action behind the plate in over a year and he felt good. Willson Contreras and Miguel Montero are expected to handle a majority of the catching duties this year with Schwarber filling in as the third backstop.
Iowa roster taking shape
With the Cubs cutting players from training camp and sending them to the minors, the I-Cubs roster is starting to take shape. While the pitching staff currently has more arms than roster spots, look for Eddie Butler, Alec Mills, Ryan Williams and Jake Buchanan to anchor the rotation. Carlos Corporan, Taylor Davis and Victor Caratini will share catching duties. Jeimer Candelario will anchor third base and depending on the fate of Tommy La Stella on the big league roster, may play second to start the year. This could mean that Ian Happ begins the season in AA. Munenori Kawasaki is back in Iowa with corner infielder Chris Dominguez. John Andreoli, Jacob Hannemann and Mark Zagunis should roam the outfield with newcomer Todd Glaesmann, a free agent from the D-Backs organization.