My flight arrived a little earlier than expected, so I was able to sprint out from my hotel and make it to the park … just in time to see Edwin Jackson give up a bomb of a three-run homer to Will Middlebrooks in the top of the second inning. It’s just Spring Training, and yadda yadda yadda, but Jackson was hit hard, despite throwing 95 mph. That suggests location and movement issues, which you could explain away by virtue of rust and Arizona air, but Jackson has to earn back that benefit of the doubt. Until he does, he just looks like a guy who gets hit, and gets hit even harder when there are men on base.
Oh, also, the Cubs lost the game 6-3 to the Padres. Le shrug.
- Kyle Hendricks followed Jackson, and seemed to give up a lot of solid contact. In his case, I am willing to attribute a lot of that to “just getting ready” and “ball doesn’t move much in Arizona”. In true Hendricks form, though, he didn’t give up a run in his two innings, and didn’t allow a walk. Just three hits and a strikeout.
- Cubs regulars didn’t do much in this one, except for Miguel Montero, who went deep. Mike Olt also went deep, and added a nice walk.
- The highlight of the day was probably the inning pitched by C.J. Edwards. True to the scouting tape, Edwards’ fastball was only at about 92 mph, but Padres batters were clearly not getting a good look at it. Edwards struck out the first two guys he faced (one of which came on that plus curveball), and he also got a swinging strike on a nasty looking pitch at 89mph, which I’m thinking was a cutter, but it was hard to tell from my angle (and #NotAScout).
- Kyle Schwarber caught a good portion of the game, and I was glad to get a chance to see him back there. I could definitely tell that some of the receiving mechanics were new to him (example – he’s a little slower to turn the glove over on pitches in the dirt than you’d like to see him), but his crouch and the way he received pitches looked to my untrained eye like he was serviceable back there.
- Gleyber Torres got an at bat! He grounded out, but how cool, eh?
- Kris Bryant came in for the second half of the game, taking a walk and notching a half single, half double (it was a bloop that was almost caught, so he took an aggressive turn around second, got stuck in no man’s land and the throw went to first, so he took off for second and made it).