While you’re taking in Cubs/Dodgers, how about perusing some prospect bits in between innings …
- Kyle Schwarber remains committed to proving he can catch, and Patrick Mooney has a writeup on that, as well as reactions from Joe Maddon, himself a former catcher. While Maddon isn’t quite effusive in his praise of Schwarber’s catching ability, he does say he thinks Schwarber can do it long-term, and that he’s receiving the ball well. Where Maddon’s praise does get effusive is in talking about Schwarber’s will and desire to catch.
- Rick Sutcliffe has many of the same things to say about Schwarber behind the plate (ESPN). Like Maddon, Sutcliffe thinks Schwarber could be a big league catcher, attributing much of it to his makeup. The Cubs have certainly given Schwarber a lot of time behind the plate already this Spring, and he’s going to get a chance to be a regular catcher this year in the minors. My guess is the Cubs see where he’s at developmentally by midseason, and decide whether it’s time to move him to the outfield to accelerate the bat, or if they can remain committed to developing Schwarber as a catcher.
- In his latest chat, Kiley McDaniel says he could see Schwarber as a time-share-type catcher in the big leagues, which would really be a fantastic outcome, all things considered.
- A local write-up on Addison Russell, who is likely to begin the season at the starting shortstop at AAA Iowa … and almost anything is possible from there. More on Russell’s willingness to move around here in the Tribune.
- Kris Bryant remains impervious to the hype, and will keep his sense of humility and keep working hard wherever he starts the season (CSN). In the little we’ve seen of him at third base so far this Spring, you could make an argument that there’s still a little polish necessary defensively (is he going to get it in just a few weeks at AAA Iowa, though?), but nothing has happened to make you think he won’t, eventually, be a huge part of the 2015 Cubs season.
- Bryant is getting some close mentoring from Dexter Fowler, which is awesome (Cubs.com).
- C.J. Edwards writes about his Cactus League appearance (in which he looked damn good), and explains that he was nervous, but he wasn’t letting it affect him (ESPN). He says that the nasty pitch I couldn’t identify live was his changeup (the stadium gun had it at 89mph, which is what threw me off). He also snapped off his plus curveball for a couple strikeouts, and he was working his late-cutting four-seam fastball. Three plus pitches, and he’s got excellent command. Yes, I definitely see the huge ceiling for this young man if he can just stay durable.
- Edwards came in for praise from his manager, too (Cubs.com).