Chicago Cubs Make Promising 2013 Debut in Cactus League

By Matt Heckler
Brett Jackson Chicago Cubs
Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Cubs collected 14 hits and 11 runs in their first game of the preseason today against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, showing surprising offensive output for a team of mostly minor leaguers. Prospects like Brett Jackson stood out, as the outfielder had two hits in two at-bats, drove in two runs, and scored one. Brad Nelson, 31, a career minor leaguer who has played only 28 games in the MLB since 2001, managed to also bat .1000 today, going 2 for 2 with two RBI.

Starting pitcher Travis Wood, who is competing for a position in the starting rotation when the season comes around, made an inauspicious start as he allowed two runs in his two innings of work. The remainder of the Chicago Cubs pitchers of the day, including NPB Yomiuri Giants veteran Hisanori Takahashi, relief prospect Jaye Chapman, and Double-A starter Trey McNutt, all pitched scoreless innings as the Los Angeles Angels were limited to the first two runs gained off of Travis Wood. Chapman and Zach Putnam pitched 1-2-3 innings.

Although making big predictions based on a single preseason game would be going a bit far, it is at the very least promising that the Chicago Cubs managed to score so many runs in their first game of the year, with a squad compromising overwhelmingly of non-MLB players. Starlin Castro was nowhere to be found in today’s lineup, but Anthony Rizzo and Welington Castillo both got some work in and each had a hit, with Rizzo also getting a walk and Castillo getting an RBI and a run.

The next game on the schedule is tomorrow, 2/24, when the Chicago Cubs will be taking on the San Francisco Giants at 2:05 PM CST.

Matt Heckler is a baseball writer for Follow him on Twitter @androiddreamer and add him to your network on Google.

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