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Spring Training Miscellany: Cubs Split the Day – Hendricks Wild, Davis Struggles, So Many Dingers

Chicago Cubs News, Cubs Minor Leagues and Prospects

The Cubs split their split-squad day, dropping their game against the Rockies 7-4, while beating the Reds (in Las Vegas) 11-7. By my count, though, that’s a 15-14 victory on the day.

  • The biggest thread through the games was probably the 10-minute span during which the Cubs homered four times, three in the Las Vegas game, once in the Scottsdale game. You can watch all four homers (Bryant, Young, Heyward, Happ) here, and you can admit that the Heyward one probably produced in you the most happiness. Did for me, anyway. It was a good swing and a good, elevated drive, which is so very what you want to see from him at this point in the process of working through his swing. That doesn’t mean that it will translate into results in the regular season – and his numbers, overall, this Spring have been dreadful – but it was the kind of swing/contact you’d hope to see *if* things were going to click for him.

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  • In general, it’s nice to see Chesny Young drive one – it was opposite field, too – even if it looks like the ball was carrying especially well in Las Vegas, as it often does. Young’s bread is buttered by his contact and plate discipline (and positional versatility), but his big league future may be largely determined by whether he can hit for enough power to keep pitchers and defenses honest. I can tell you this: he made a lot of fans with how he looked this Spring, so he will remain on the radar going into this minor league season.
  • As for Bryant’s homer, well, awesome. Glad he got to do that in front of the hometown crowd. And as for Happ, yet another dinger means five on the Spring for him, tying him with Addison Russell for the team lead. You just can’t say enough about how well he’s struck the ball this Spring, and the results have reflected it – today, Happ upped his Spring OPS to 1.286.
  • That whole game against the Reds was an offensive bounty for the Cubs (including another homer later on from catching prospect Victor Caratini), who got at least one hit from every starter in the lineup except Kyle Hendricks. On the mound, Hendricks had an extremely un-Hendricks-like game, throwing three scoreless innings … with four walks. He hadn’t allowed a walk yet this Spring until today. Go figure.
  • Mike Montgomery followed Hendricks with his first “you’re a reliever now” appearance, and gave up two runs on two hits, a walk, and a dinger. Justin Grimm kept his Spring perfect with another scoreless outing.

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  • Brett Anderson looked good and ready in his outing today, pitching to contact and getting a ton of ground balls. When you give up a lot of that kind of contact, you’ll give up hits (six in four innings), but they probably won’t do a ton of damage (no extra-base hits, no earned runs).
  • Wade Davis had a second total implosion outing of the Spring, allowing a couple hits and a couple walks before being pulled after recording just one out. He had almost no command, threw one away at first base, and generally looked ineffective and frustrated out there through 29 pitches. As long as he feels physically healthy, I am still not worried – some guys (frequently closers, it seems) just need the drama of the real moment to get their juices going. But I will be curious to hear what he thought of the outing.
  • Hector Rondon and Pedro Strop also each gave up an earned run in their inning of work in Scottsdale while also issuing a walk, and giving up at least one double. Rockies, man, right?
  • Javy Baez doubled in his return to the Cubs, and also had an error in the field. I didn’t see any no-look tags.

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  • Luis was in attendance for the Vegas game, and he got some nice pictures and video (follow the man!):


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  • There was a scary, sad situation near the Cubs’ hotel in Las Vegas, but they’d already left for the game:

  • Kris Bryant is a good dude:


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Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation.