Spring Training Miscellany: Cubs Lose to Brewers, It's All Over for Them in 2018

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Spring Training Miscellany: Cubs Lose to Brewers, It’s All Over for Them in 2018

Chicago Cubs

Today was a big day, Cubs fans.

The Cubs wore Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School hats in honor of the victims and survivors of last week’s tragedy, Kyle Schwarber and Ian Happ both got nods as leadoff candidates, Jon Lester became the front-runner for Opening Day, Brett took a closer look at the 25-man roster picture, and a lot more.

But the highlight of the day, no doubt, was the Cubs first Spring Training game of the year! Woo! Regardless of the outcome! Woo Woo!

  • With a number of rotations in and out of the lineup (not to mention a split squad on the other side of the field), the final score of the game doesn’t matter (the Brewers topped the Cubs 2-1). What does matter is that Kyle Schwarber, Ian Happ, and Tommy La Stella (the three “regulars” who played today) all had nice, healthy games. Schwarber took an 0-2 count to a walk, and each of Happ and La Stella made standout defensive plays in the field:

  • On the pitching side, Michael Roth had a clean two innings (just one hit, no walks, and two strikeouts) as he starts his bid for the 7th-ish man in the rotation. You can see why he’s been a borderline big leaguer since the year after he was drafted, because he’s got so much heavy sink on his fastball that teams have probably been dreaming hard on a groundball wizard.
  • Rob Zastryzny followed with a scoreless inning of his own. Dario Alvarez, who, if you squint, has an outside chance of making the bullpen, had a rough go of it, with two earned runs on two walks and two hits in his inning of work.
  • Here’s a look at the damage. Now, I know we normally don’t show highlights for other teams, let alone the Cubs’ rivals … but something about seeing the Cubs playing baseball is just too awesome right now:

  • That wasn’t where that pitch was supposed to be, and Sogard got out in front of it. Shrug. We’ll give Alvarez a pass, in his first work of the season.
  • Circling back to Ian Happ for a moment – the Cubs’ young center fielder(? second baseman? super utility man?) led off the game with a deep, hard liner to the warning track in left. You can hear him talk about that swing and the diving catch (plus a bit more on leading off) here via Jesse Rogers of ESPN:

  • I think he is in store for such a big season. I’m excited to see what he does with a full season and a bigger workload.
  • And if Ben Zobrist continues to deal with an achy back we might see even more of Happ than we’re expecting:

  • You know, it’s funny. Over the years, Javy Baez has most often gotten the “Next Zobrist” nickname given his defensive versatility, but Ian Happ is probably a better comp. Consider that Happ can play in the infield (including second base, but maybe not really short) and the outfield, while switch-hitting at the plate, and taking a ton of pitches/walking more than most.
  • Even when Willson Contreras is moving slow, he’s lightening fast:


  • Here’s a closer look at the hats worn by the Cubs today (and here’s your reminder that they’ll be donning them tomorrow at Sloan Park, as well):

  • Remember, that was Anthony Rizzo’s alma mater:

  • Here’s a nice shot of the Cubs working out at Sloan Park before the game today:

  • Before the clock strikes midnight tonight, the MLB Shop is offering 25% off on all orders. If you were on the fence about buying something (especially because of the price), now’s the time. Just click the link in the tweet below:

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Author: Michael Cerami

Michael Cerami covers the Chicago Cubs, Bears, and Bulls at Bleacher Nation. You can find him on Twitter @Michael_Cerami