Spring Training Miscellany: Another Tie, Happ Homers Again, Maddon's Latest Art, More

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Spring Training Miscellany: Another Tie, Happ Homers Again, Maddon’s Latest Art, More

Chicago Cubs

Today, the Chicago Cubs hosted the Colorado Rockies to a 2-2 tie, and although it was at Sloan Park in Arizona rather than Coors Field in Colorado, Ian Happ made the Rockies feel at home by launching his third homer of the spring.

Big hat tip to Cubs Insider for the footage:

  • This one wasn’t a lead off home run, like both of Happ’s first two dingers of the Spring, but he did get plenty of it, and is now tied for the most homers in baseball this Spring with three others (Austin Hedges, Jason Kipnis, and Kyle Jensen).

  • And if you’re looking for a little more Happ love, both Kelly Crull and David Kaplan pick him as their ideal leadoff man in 2018:

  • Elsewhere on offense, Kyle Schwarber and Tommy La Stella had rough days at the plate, combining to go 0-6 with two strikeouts (both Schwarber’s), while Willson Contreras and Victor Caratini both singled, and Mark Zagunis K’d three times. Overall, it was a quiet day at the plate for the Cubs, who plated just two runs on three hits and two walks over nine innings.
  • Filling in for a sick Yu Darvish, Alec Mills tossed two scoreless innings, including a walk and three strikeouts. After he departed, Brian Duensing, Anthony Bass, Shae Simmons, Kyle Ryan, and Craig Brooks followed with five scoreless innings, featuring seven strikeouts and just one walk! I know it’s Spring Training and most of these guys won’t even pitch for the big league Cubs this year, but I really hope this recent walk-less trend is an organizationally-driven movement, like we think it is.
  • Non-roster invitee Daniel Camarena gave up the Rockies’ two runs on the day.
  • Moving away from the game, here’s some other sights and sounds from Cubs’ camp today …
  • Starting with something former Cub Matt Szczur painted:

  • Which, first of all, is so awesome. And second of all, is a perfect segue into Maddon’s latest “artistically” themed Spring Training series:

  • Here’s Cubs’ reliever Justin Wilson discussing the frustrating end to the season and his rough go of it, after coming to the Cubs:

  • I know you’ve heard us say it before, but it doesn’t make it any less true: If Justin Wilson can be the guy he was for most of his career before coming to the Cubs, the bullpen will take an immediately and huge leap forward. Adding a full-on, sure-fire, late-inning option, like Wilson, to an existing group of Pedro Strop, Carl Edwards, and Steve Cishek will be so impactful, especially given the very traditional-role plans for closer Brandon Morrow.
  • Did I mention I love these hats:

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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