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Spring Training Miscellany: Cubs 7, Royals 3 – Butler Begins, Kids Rake, Theo’s Swing Critiqued, Old Friends

Chicago Cubs News, Cubs Minor Leagues and Prospects

We’ll get to (and focus on) the game in a second, but I want to first remind you that David Ross is going to be on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars. Which: Yes, please.

You can read more about it here at Bleacher Nation and here at Baseball is Fun (how’s that for coverage?). CLTV also caught up with Rizzo earlier and he reiterated his message to Grandpa Rossy: Don’t suck.

As for the game, the Chicago Cubs beat the Kansas City Royals by a final score of 7-3. They are now a magical 2-2-2 on the Spring.

Most of the early damage from the Cubs, however, was the Royals’ own doing. The Cubs scored two runs in the third inning on a fielding error and a wild pitch, and a third on a bases loaded walk by Eloy Jimenez (obviously he gets partial credit for that) in the seventh.

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  • But in the top of the ninth inning the Cubs really opened things up. After Ian Happ lined out, John Andreoli tripled, Jacob Hannemann (ground-rule) doubled, Chesny Young singled, Eloy Jimenez doubled, and Carlos Corporan hit a sac fly to left (accounting for three runs in the final frame).
  • All in all, the Cubs spread twelve hits (four for extra bases) and seven runs across nine innings. Not a bad day for a bunch of mostly non-regulars. Catching prospect Victor Caratini had three hits on the day.
  • The biggest takeaway from the game, however, was Eddie Butler’s two innings of work. While he did give up a home run to Alcides Escobar at the start of the game, he followed it up with a swinging strikeout and a two ground outs. In the second inning, Butler hit our old friend Jorge Soler with a pitch, but got two more ground outs and a pop out to limit the damage. All in all, it seems that Butler had a pretty good day:

  • In fact, I’ll take it a step further, I really like the way he got his outs. Four out of six outs were grounders, which is always going to work well with this Cubs defense, the other two (strikeout, infield pop-up) are arguably the two best ways to get outs. It’s such a small sample (and there were a couple of mistakes), but that’s a great first start. Butler’s destined for Triple-A Iowa to start off the year, but he might not be there forever. And when he does make it to Chicago, a little bit of luck could keep him there for a long time.

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  • How about these pictures of Soler, Travis Wood, and Jason Hammel in a slightly “different shade of blue”:

  • It’s weird, isn’t it?


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  • My favorite part is that Kris Bryant suggests Epstein’s swing looks like his own, just before Anthony Rizzo says “that’s a terrible swing.” Trouble in paradise begins!
  • I also hope you realized there was a special birthday in the Cubs world today:


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  • Brett covered it earlier, but I wanted to make sure you got the starting rotation update. Kyle Hendricks will make his debut on Saturday, followed by Jon Lester on Sunday, Jake Arrieta on Monday, and John Lackey on Tuesday. Brett Anderson will also be piggybacking with Hendricks on Saturday, while Mike Montgomery gets the start Friday. The big guns are coming. Beware, Cactus League, sluggers.
  • Country music singer Brett Eldredge is a big Cubs fan and apparently he skipped the 2016 Country Music Awards to go to Game 7 of the World Series. Watch him talk about it at MLB.com. I’d say he made the right call.

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  • Earlier today, David Ross had a full Kellogg commercial up on Twitter, but that video has since disappeared (I’m sure we’ll see it again soon). In the meantime, here’s a shorter/behind the scenes version:

  • Everybody knows and loves Grandpa Rossy, eh?

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  • And finally, as always, here’s some more video of Jason Heyward’s swing from yesterday’s game:


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Michael Cerami

Michael Cerami is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @Michael_Cerami.

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