MESA, Ariz. -- Brett Anderson appears to be a good fit for the Cubs because of their defense."He puts the ball on the ground, and we catch the ball on the ground," manager Joe Maddon said of the lefty. "It's a very exciting matchup. He plays right into our team,
MESA, Ariz. -- Brett Anderson appears to be a good fit for the Cubs because of their defense.
"He puts the ball on the ground, and we catch the ball on the ground," manager Joe Maddon said of the lefty. "It's a very exciting matchup. He plays right into our team, in a way."
Anderson, who made his second spring start on Tuesday, pitching three innings against the Brewers, likes the idea of having the Cubs' infielders backing him up.
"I think it will be beneficial going forward," Anderson said.
Maddon has stressed defense this spring, saying it will be the key to the Cubs reaching the postseason again.
"I'm watching a lot of other good teams," Maddon said. "Parity is going to become a part of this. Milwaukee is ascending now. I know Cincinnati is going through a moment, but Pittsburgh -- [they play] defense. The thing that's the separator right now is going to be defense.
"If we understand and believe that, that will get us where we want to be this year," he said. "I think the pitching will benefit and I think we'll hit, based on experience, guys getting naturally better. Catching the ball, being in the right spots, it's even more obvious to me right now."
• Hector Rondon lost the closer's job last season when the Cubs acquired Albertin Chapman, and he has been bumped again this year following the addition of Wade Davis. Maddon called Rondon before the Cubs acquired Davis to give him a heads up.
"He was magnanimous, he was fine, he was great," Maddon said. "Conversationally, he's wonderful. There might be a part of him injured by [losing the job] a little bit. I anticipate he's going to be fine and he'll fit in with his new role well."
Rondon, who will join Team Venezuela for the second round of the World Baseball Classic, has looked good this spring, although Maddon said the right-hander was still looking for a consistent break on his slider.
• The next outings for both Jonathan Lester and Jacob Arrieta will be in the Minor Leagues. The Cubs want the two starters to get their work in down in Minor League camp, so Lester will pitch Thursday and Arrieta on Friday. In Cactus League play, Eddie Butler will start Thursday against the Dodgers, and Duane Underwood will start Friday against the White Sox. Both of those games are in Glendale, Ariz.
• Anderson has been impressed by the young players in Cubs camp.
"There's talent acros the board," Anderson said. "You see a guy like Ian Happ and there's no spot for him and he's hitting a million in Spring Training. It's a testament to the front office, to the depth and talent. It's fun to be a part of it. Hopefully, I can go out and do my part and watch the rest of the guys play."
For the record, Happ is batting .452, not one million.
Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast.