Friday, March 2, 2012

Bruce Levine on ESPN 1000 & More

Bruce Levine was ESPN 1000 with Carmen, Jurko and Harry-
  • Levine explained the new playoff system that was announced today. An extra wildcard spot in each league has been added for this season. The two wildcards will have a one game playoff.
  • For this season only, the team with the worst record in the Division Series will host the first two games with the better record hosting the final three games of the series.
  • Not many people like the idea of hosting the World Series at a neutral site at a warm weather location, but Bruce likes the idea.
  • Travis Wood did not look good in the intrasquad game today. Both Matt Szczur and Brett Jackson took him deep. The Cubs are going to do everything they can to make sure that he is in the rotation.
  • Bruce is looking for Jeff Samardzija to get a good shot because the Cubs have only one power arm in their rotation.
  • Bryan LaHair has a good idea of the strike zone, takes pitches and works hard. He went to winter ball after his banner year at the minor league level. Levine would not bet against LaHair.
  • "Never say never," Bruce said when asked about the Cubs chances of ended up with a playoff spot. "The chance is always there."
  • Josh Vitters is a talented young hitter who finally showed power last year, but has not worked hard enough yet to reach the big leagues.
  • The chances of Brett Jackson being on the roster on Opening Day are pretty slim, but by Opening Day Levine thinks that there is a 75% chance that Jackson will be called up by July. Anthony Rizzo could also be called up by midseason.

Other Cubs notes-

  • The first Cactus League game is Sunday at 2:05 CT against the Oakland A's at HoHoKam Park. Rodrigo Lopez will be on the mound for the Cubs. It will be broadcast on Gameday Audio with Len Kasper and Mic Gillespie.
  • Ryan Dempster and Matt Garza will pitch the second and third Cactus League games, respectively.
  • The blue team beat the white team 10-4 in today's intrasquad game. The blue team was made up of mostly minor leaguers and backups.
There were four matchups today in the Cubs bunt tournament to complete the Sweet Sixteen. Here are the Sweet 16 matchups.

Beliveau vs. McNutt

Rusin vs. Coleman

Samardzija vs. Wells

Maholm vs. Sveum

Cardenas vs. Lalli

W. Castillo vs. Clevenger

Mather vs. Castro

Baker vs. DeJesus

That's it for now, but I'll keep you posted!

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