Lackey's Future, Schwarber's Position, Happ's Season, and Other Bullets

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Lackey’s Future, Schwarber’s Position, Happ’s Season, and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

My Spring Training journey comes to an end today, as I have been cut by the Cubs, and must head back home to continue working up the ladder.

  • John Lackey got in his work yesterday, and is just about ready to begin his age 38 season. Is it his final season with the Cubs? His final season overall? He’s not saying for sure, but he tells that he’s more likely than not to play in 2018 at this point. If he stays healthy and productive in 2017, you’ve got to figure that the Cubs will be interested in retaining Lackey, given that the only clear members of the rotation for 2018 right now are Jon Lester and Kyle Hendricks.
  • Jake Arrieta thinks Lackey could have several more years in him, and adds that he, himself, could physically be in a position to pitch until he’s 40 (
  • You’ve seen that Kyle Schwarber has played in right field the last couple days, and Joe Maddon said that’s mostly a nod to the fact that he might have to do that in some specific NL parks this year (like PNC in Pittsburgh, where right field is much less challenging than left).
  • Hopefully we get some good news on Eloy Jimenez today. He underwent tests on his throwing shoulder yesterday.
  • Meanwhile, the other top Cubs prospect who is still in big league camp, Ian Happ, is making a strong impression on Maddon, who calls Happ a big league player (Tribune). You don’t know what can happen in a given season, but Maddon says Happ could find himself in the majors as soon as this year. But he also reminds folks that there’s a big difference between getting results in Spring Training and in the regular season, even in the minor leagues. Still, Happ is crushing it this Spring: his .417/.462/.778 and 1.239 OPS leads the team.
  • If you missed it earlier this morning, we looked at the Cubs’ homer party yesterday, and talked a good bit about two of the Cubs’ most notable outfield prospects.
  • USA! USA! Team USA beat the Dominican Republic in a win-or-go-home WBC game last night, and they were aided by two incredible plays:

  • USA now faces Japan on Tuesday night in the semifinals, while Puerto Rico plays Netherlands on Monday. Cubs manager Joe Maddon has a fun idea for the future: the WBC winner plays the reigning World Series champion in a best-of-three series at the end of Spring Training.
  • A bunch of Cubs gear is on clearance at Fanatics to get, well, cleared out for the Spring, so check out the deals (with free shipping, too).
  • David Ross is digging his post-playing life (and a happy birthday to him today):

Author: Brett Taylor

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