I’ve gotta apologize for the lack of a Spring Training Miscellany last evening after the game. Between the traveling, time at the back fields, and really excellent conversations with some folks here in Mesa, I just wasn’t physically in a location where I could do it until it was already so late. By then, I was all about having some ice cream and crashing. So I did and I did.
I’ll be heading back out to the back fields today, and hopefully also taking in some of the big league batting practice before going to the game at Sloan Park. I should be wearing a green “Baseball Nerd” shirt and blue and red shoes, so if you see me around the park or inside once the game starts, say hey.
- John Lackey was pleased with his outing yesterday, as he worked primarily on commanding his fastball (Cubs.com). In his five innings, Lackey struck out four and allowed a couple earned runs on six hits and no walks.
- Presumably less pleased with his outing would be Hector Rondon, who was smacked around for seven hits and five earned runs in his inning of work (which he did not complete before being pulled). It wasn’t the first time this Spring that Rondon has given up a bunch of hits, but it’s hard to know whether it actually means anything going forward. Maybe Rondon is singularly focused on building up arm strength right now, and is treating the games like an in-game bullpen session. Maybe Rondon doesn’t quite have his fastball command yet. Maybe there’s no crispness on his slider (which, at times, looked to be the case yesterday). Maybe it’s something worse. I’d be more concerned if Rondon was walking a bunch of guys, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t at least paying closer attention at this point. For now, it’s still very much small sample Spring Training stuff, which you simply cannot allow to carry you away (good or bad). But I wouldn’t mind hearing a little more about how he’s feeling, and see how he looks the next couple times out.
- Dexter Fowler doesn’t sound all that into the idea that Cubs outfielders will play deeper this season, as he’s always played a very shallow center field (Tribune). I like the idea of deeper around the outfield, but we’ll see how this actually plays out.
- No more smokeless tobacco at Wrigley Field, thanks to a Chicago law (and many other cities with sports stadiums), and there’s a mixed reaction from Cubs players/Joe Maddon (Cubs.com). I’m not sure how I land on it. On the one hand, I understand the intent behind the laws – athletes do it, young people see athletes do it, so young people do it more than they would have otherwise (that’s the theory, anyway). On the other hand, I’m not crazy about not just letting these guys do what they want as long as it isn’t hurting anyone else.
- The Astros’ mascot challenged a security guard to a dance contest, and I really don’t want to be the guy who does the “and you won’t believe what happens next!”, but it is that kind of thing. If you like silly fun stuff, you’ll want to check it out. If you don’t like silly fun stuff, you are strange to me. But we can still be friends.
- If you missed it this morning, Albert Almora is a defensive stud. You knew that.
- How about a Cubs glove for your young t-ball player getting ready for his or her season?
- On the aforementioned ice cream run last night, we happened upon a Mesa treasure:
— Brett Taylor (@BleacherNation) March 17, 2016
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