Were you evaluating today’s game solely on its own, overall merits, you’d probably be pretty negative. Cubs pitchers didn’t have great command, and, when they were in the zone, the Indians were pounding them. In the field, the Cubs were kicking the ball all over, with sloppy errors aplenty. And, at the plate, outside of a handful of early at bats, the Cubs didn’t muster much until the game was already out of hand. The Cubs lost 10-6, and they remain winless on the Spring.
But it’s Spring Training.
And three of those “handful of early at bats” were Jorge Soler, Javier Baez, and Kris Bryant rocking back-to-back-to-back homers. Each ball was crushed. So today was a good day.
- Speaking of good days, Welington Castillo definitely had one. Not only did he add the Cubs’ fourth homer of the day (part of a 2-3 day), he also nailed two would-be base stealers.
- Travis Wood was in the zone during his three innings of work, and he didn’t get much defensive help behind him, but he was also giving up a whole lot of really hard contact. He struck out two in three innings of work, but gave up seven hits.
- In addition to his homer, Javier Baez lasered one right at the left fielder, and hit a pop fly – a legit pop fly – that traveled over 300 feet, and stayed in the air for what felt like 15 seconds. I know we focus on the contact issues, but the natural power is just obscene.
- Junior Lake looks so composed at the plate right now. He’s patient, he’s covering the entire plate, and he simply looks like a different hitter up there than the guy who flailing away in the first half of 2014. Obviously we’ve talked about his possible significant approach changes since then, and I’m trying not to say I can totally see it after just a few televised plate appearances, but, well, he looks like someone else.
- Corey Black was wild in this one, and I couldn’t get over the Indians announcers remarking about it again and again without once mentioning the Hunter Pence injury. Black is a supremely talented arm, but he’s got a ways to go if he’s going to be an impact reliever, let alone a starter.
- Gleyber Torres! The 18-year-old shortstop prospect got in a couple innings of work, and looked like a really mature hitter in his at bat – worked a full count, laid off a couple tough pitches, and then drove a double the opposite way down the right field line. Says a lot about how high the organization is on Torres that he’s even appearing in these games right now.
- And, for fun: Torres was driven in by the next batter, Kyle Schwarber, who ripped a hard single up the middle.
- Lefty Joe Ortiz, who has minor league options left, couldn’t pitch around an error behind him, and wound up giving up three runs (none earned) in his 0.2 inning stint.
- Blake Parker struck out two in his inning of work, but also gave up a couple hits and an earned run.
- Matt Szczur is having a great Spring – he added another deep double today.
- Addison Russell didn’t have a hit on the day, but he did hit the ball very hard twice.