Hey, another win!
The Cubs beat the A’s in Las Vegas 5-3 today, which means they split their games just as they split their squad.
Jake Arrieta was good. That’s that, and that’s really all you need to know in Spring Training. Actually, with a guy like Arrieta, it’s probably more than you need to know. He seems healthy and is in preparation for the season. There. Now you know all you need to know.
- Interestingly, Eric Jokisch looked really good following Arrieta. The lefty, who is nominally in the fifth starter competition, but who is extremely likely to start the year at AAA Iowa waiting for a chance, went three scoreless, hitless innings. He struck out three and walked one. Jokisch has been described as some as something of a left-handed version of Kyle Hendricks, without that one killer pitcher (Hendricks’ changeup, for example) and without quite the elite command that Hendricks has (few have it). Although it’s not the sexiest label, even third party evaluators have said for a couple years now that Jokisch very much looks like he could have a big league future at the back of a rotation. He’s great depth to have.
- Donn Roach, who is likely to also start the year at AAA Iowa, struck out three batters in his inning of work. He also gave up three hits and two earned runs, however.
- Blake Parker, who is trying to win a job in the bullpen, battled a bit, but ultimately nailed things down in the 9th with a scoreless inning, giving up one walk and striking out two.
- Junior Lake continues to look like a changed man at the plate, working deep counts, taking walks, playing to contact. I’m not saying this will actually play when the regular season rolls around, but is it possible that he took a long, hard look at where his prior approach was getting him (lots and lots of strikeouts, particularly down in the zone, and not enough power to compensate), and made a wholesale change? All I’m saying is that, so far, the Spring Training visuals are very much matching the offseason story.
- Kris Bryant went 0-4 in front of the hometown crowd, so maybe he’ll get a shot to redeem himself tomorrow. Not that it matters in any meaningful sense, but I’m sure it would be nice to do something for the fans.
- Addison Russell, on the other hand, ripped a double and took two walks in his three trips to the plate. Another great showing from a young man who looks awfully ready (he had a throwing error, but that’s OK). He’ll head to Iowa for now, but we could wind up seeing him sooner than we thought.
- LA STELLAAAAAA! Tommy went 3-3 with three singles, and played well at third base. Looked like a good guy to have on the roster, which, of course, is just what the Cubs are hoping he’ll be.