The Wife and The Little Girl have joined me for my final four days in Arizona, and we’re going to do some family things while we have the opportunity – so, the impact to you fine folks is that you might notice slightly reduced posting through Wednesday, and I might be a little slower than usual with the game wrap-ups. I’m sure you understand, given the family visit – I love them more than I love you.
(Bonus: The Little Girl is getting pretty hyped for Cubs-related experiences on this trip, and she just started dancing in front of me in the hotel room: “This is my Cubs dance!” She immediately slipped and fell down. The Wife: “Yeah, that’s about right.”)
- Speaking of love, here’s Kris Bryant’s current Spring line after another huge game yesterday: .450/.522/1.400. Yes, his OPS is just shy of 2.000 (and yes, it leads baseball). His strikeout rate has been just 21.7%, and his walk rate has been 13.0%. Of course, this is all in just 23 plate appearances, and it’s just Spring Training. But the guy has 6 homers in 20 at bats. He’s batting .300 ON HOMERS ONLY.
- Kris Bryant has as many Spring homers as the Pirates and Rays, and more than the Braves, White Sox, Phillies, Marlins and Blue Jays. The Cubs lead all of baseball with 18.
- His first homer yesterday, which came on the first pitch he saw, was a well-located fastball, according to the man off of whom Bryant went deep (Cubs.com). The shoulder fatigue thing, by the way, is not expected to keep Bryant out for long, according to multiple reports. Also, let’s not start a new discussion about whether the Cubs should have Bryant on the Opening Day roster. Not today.
- (While perusing the early Spring stats, by the way, I couldn’t help but notice the best batting average in baseball belongs to none other than Luis Valbuena, at .529. So many batflips, I’m sure.)
- Kyle Hendricks suggests that Bryant’s two-homer day was more impressive than his five perfect innings (Tribune), which I think is debatable. If I had to guess, five perfect innings to start a game is less common than two-homer games, but I haven’t done the research to back it up. I suspect that the fact that each thing took place in the offense-friendly confines of Las Vegas gives Hendricks’ feat an even further edge over Bryant’s.
- Although he’s not going to say precisely what, Joe Maddon says there are things Edwin Jackson has done in the past that he’s not doing anymore (Cubs.com). The implication there being that he’s corrected some issues from the past couple years. I am dubious about Jackson’s ability to contribute meaningfully to the Cubs in 2015, but, for now, he’s a healthy power arm who will make $11 million each of the next two years. He’ll remain in the conversation on that basis for a while.
- Outfielder Chris Denorfia talks about his role at Cubs.com, and he’s clearly embraced being a veteran, outfield, righty guy.