Quintana pleased with arm, but not his glove

Cubs lefty turns in solid 2 1/3 innings vs. Tribe, makes an error

March 8th, 2018

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Cubs left-hander was happy about his outing against the Indians on Wednesday night, but he may be doing extra work on Thursday morning.

"Extra [pitchers' fielding practice] tomorrow -- that's what Joe [Maddon] said," said Quintana, who had trouble getting his glove on the Indians' 's grounder in the third inning. "Too much confidence on that ground ball. Hopefully, that doesn't happen in the season."

Quintana was charged with an error on the play, and Ramirez was his last batter. hit a two-run homer in the second, Albert Almora Jr. added a three-run shot in the fourth and left the yard in the sixth for the Cubs in an 11-6 win.

"I felt way better, honestly," Quintana said. "I hit my spots better, especially first-pitch strike. That's part of my strengths, and that's what we want to do in the games -- stay ahead in the counts. I felt better today, and I'll try to keep going."

He threw 50 pitches in his second spring start and gave up three hits, including a leadoff homer to in the Indians' second. The Cubs lefty went 2 1/3 innings, did not strike out a batter and walked one.

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"I can sleep good today," Quintana said.

No strikeouts?

"I like strikeouts, but it's better when you get quick outs," Quintana said. "Spring games, I want to work on my stuff, hit my spots. Fastball command is important to me. I liked what I did tonight. I practiced going up and in and I hit that spot tonight. I just have to keep going, keep working."

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Stop the bleeding

It's a dry heat in Arizona as Almora discovered on Tuesday. The Cubs center fielder got a bloody nose and couldn't stop the bleeding in the fourth inning.

"I wore it for two outs," Almora said. "Then [the Dodgers' ] hit the ball into the gap and [] saw my face. I'm just waiting for the inning to finish. [Heyward] said, 'Dude, it's Spring Training. Go take care of it.'"

Earlier in the game, Almora had collected his first hit this spring -- a home run -- so Maddon decided that was enough.

Camp battles

• Almora and are expected to share center field this season. There may be a lot of sharing playing time among the Cubs outfielders.

"From a manager's perspective, it's tough to dole out the work," Maddon said. "These guys are good, and they all could be starting somewhere."

Maddon has experimented with four players in the leadoff spot this spring, and it was Happ's turn on Wednesday. He was hit by a pitch in the first, then drew a walk in the third and stole second on an errant throw. Happ also grounded out in the fourth. He's now 8-for-18 with four homers, two doubles and seven RBIs in seven games in the No. 1 spot.

Heyward is 1-for-6 in two games batting leadoff, Almora is 0-for-7 in three games there and is 0-for-3 in one game.

Almora's homer on Wednesday was out of the No. 3 hole.

• If closer isn't available, who is the backup? Maddon said he has lots of options, including , , and . Plus, Mike Montgomery picked up his first career save in Game 7 of the 2016 World Series.

"I think all their confidence is way up," Maddon said. "If Brandon is not available, who's got the confidence thing going on? Who's feeling sexy? ... I don't think I'm going to say, 'You're 1A, you're 1B.' It's just, who's really into it and feeling good about themselves."

Jazz up that cart

Speaking of the bullpens, Maddon is in favor of bullpen carts to bring relievers into games. He just wants them decorated outrageously.

"I love freaky stuff like that," Maddon said. "If you're going to do it, do it right. Don't put a generic golf cart out there."

Injury updates

Right-hander walked two batters in the fourth inning Wednesday and was pulled because of tightness in his right shoulder. He was to be re-evaluated on Thursday.

Strop, who has been out with a sore left calf, is not yet scheduled to pitch in any games. Strop said he might get into one this weekend. There's been no setback, just a cautious approach by the team.

Mystery baseball fundraiser

The Cubs wives will host a garage sale including "mystery baseballs" on Thursday in the left-field garage at Sloan Park, beginning at 11 a.m. MT. Proceeds will benefit Paz De Cristo in Mesa.

Up next

will make his third spring start on Thursday when the Cubs host the Padres at Sloan Park in Mesa. Chatwood has given up one hit, walked one and struck out one over three innings in his two previous outings.

Montgomery also is scheduled to pitch, and most of the Cubs' regular position players should be in the lineup, including , and . The 2:05 p.m. CT matchup will be available on cubs.com via an exclusive audio webcast.

Looking ahead, will start on Friday. The Cubs have split-squad games on Saturday, and will face the White Sox while will start the night game against the Dodgers. 's next scheduled start will be Sunday against the Athletics.