The Cubs dropped another Spring contest today, 8-3 to the Diamondbacks (box score). Among the many bits to note …
- Adam Warren gave up some hard hit balls as it looked like he wasn’t quite putting the ball exactly where he wanted, and he was also sitting just 89-90mph with his fastball. Both of those things feel like “early March” issues, and not actually reasons for concern, especially in just one two-inning appearance. He has good movement on his pitches, and looks like he hides the ball well. Both of those things mean a whole lot more to me going forward than the results today.
- Spencer Patton looked really sharp in his inning of work following Warren, though, striking out two (one of whom was Paul Goldschmidt) in a perfect frame.
- Rex Brothers followed Patton, and he was all over the place, giving up hard hit balls, and throwing four – yes, four – wild pitches. It’s Spring Training and all that, but you watch a little more closely with Brothers, a formerly awesome reliever the Cubs are trying to reclaim.
- Minor league pitcher Frank Batista hurt his leg (knee?) in the game and had to be helped off of the field. He’s been working his way up the system for a long while – turns 27 this year – and it would really be unfortunate if he has to miss a lot of time. He was unlikely to factor into the Cubs’ 2016 plans, though. Hopefully it’s not serious.
- Miguel Mejia got an inning of work in, and if that name sounds utterly unfamiliar to you, it’s because he was one of the Cubs’ parade of minor league pitching signings this offseason – but one with a really unique path to getting to the Cubs.
- C.J. Riefenhauser looks like he would be absolutely brutal on fellow lefties with the way he delivers and the movement of his pitches (sure enough, his minor league splits indicate he dominates lefties). Humorously, as I was taking that mental note, he gave up a homer to a righty.
- Taylor Davis played some third base in this one. Although he’s mostly caught in his minor league career, he very occasionally sees time at other positions. Developing that versatility may be his only shot of cracking a big league bench at some point. Already 26, Davis has shown he can rake in the upper minors, at least.
- As a whole, the game was awfully sloppy on the pitching and defense side of things for the Cubs, but a lot of it came from depth/minor league players, and also, it’s the fourth game of Spring Training.
- Dexter Fowler absolutely obliterated a pitch.
- Jason Heyward made a beautiful defensive play.