Is Joe Maddon DOOMED!?!?
The Cubs fell to 0-3-1 on the Spring today against the Rockies after a 7-5 loss, but, while Maddon has said he likes to see his team winning in the Spring, I’ll say … I’ve never really cared. Sure, it’s nice to see a win for that tiny little fun pop you get in your stomach, but in terms of whether it predicts anything for the regular season, it doesn’t really.
- Each of Jason Hammel and Felix Doubront gave up four hits in his two innings of work, with Hammel’s four hits including a three-run homer. I give that the ole shrug of the shoulders, because, again, maybe they were just working primarily on pounding the zone with fastballs today. Or maybe they need a little more time to warm up. Or maybe it was a small sample fluke. Last year in Spring Training with the Cubs, Hammel posted a 3.24 ERA … but 8 walks in just 16.2 innings. And, as we saw, he went on to dominate with the Cubs in the regular season.
- Matt Szczur came off the bench and notched a couple hits, including a homer. Although he’s on the 40-man roster, Szczur doesn’t get a ton of attention when it comes to the Cubs’ bench competition. The fact that he’s got a minor league option left plays into that, as does the big question with Szczur: will the bat ever become big league caliber, even in a bench role? He can hit a little bit and doesn’t strike out a ton, but, to date, there’s been so little power. He plays great defense and has great speed, so a bench role in the future is not at all out of the question. We’ll see.
- Kris Bryant scored Jorge Soler on a deep homer early in the game, which was probably the highlight of the afternoon.
- Miguel Montero didn’t have a hit, but those in attendance said he looked excellent behind the plate.
- Albert Almora had yet another hit (a hustle double, at that), and he’s having himself a nice Spring already.
- In the lefty bullpen competition, Joe Ortiz gave up a couple unearned runs in his inning, striking out two (we’d call that a mostly good outing, because it looks like one of the runs would have scored even without the errors behind him), and Drake Britton pitched a scoreless frame (one HBP) while striking out one.
- Blake Parker gave up one earned on one hit, striking out one.
- Tommy La Stella played some third base in this one, but he had a throwing error.