The Cubs had a split-squad day, and only lost one of the games, so it was kinda like a split? Viva ties in Spring Training!
- In the first game against the White Sox, which the Cubs tied 4-4, Kyle Hendricks had his changeup working as nastily as ever:
- I mean, this is just *perfect*. I guarantee it looked exactly like his two-seamer coming out of his hand, and a lefty has absolutely no chance against this pitch, especially where it is located:
- That’s two Cubs starters in a row (with Jon Lester the day before him) who look extremely ready to go.
- Victor Caratini went deep in the game against the White Sox, with something of a rocket shot to the right center. I did not think this was going out off the bat:
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) March 10, 2018
- Speaking of home runs … it’s fine. I’m OK. I’m fine:
- Here’s the thing about Eloy Jimenez. I think we can totally feel bummed that we don’t get to watch him come up with the Cubs, and enjoy the absurd things he’s probably going to do at the plate (and thus feel that bumming whenever we see a highlight). I think it’s fair to feel that way, while simultaneously feeling good about the trade the Cubs made last year, and feeling great about having a pitcher like Jose Quintana in the fold. So, then, you aren’t insulting Quintana or the Cubs when you feel a pang of sadness when you see a great shot like this:
— Paul Sullivan (@PWSullivan) March 10, 2018
- Jason Heyward led off the game against the White Sox and did nothing, but then again, Lucas Giolito was making all the Cubs look bad – he struck out 8 in just 4.0 innings – so whatever. I remain of the mind that I don’t love Heyward for the leadoff spot unless (1) the Cubs feel like it’ll kickstart him individually, and (2) they’re gonna leave him there every single game for a solid month to find out. (And even that plan, obviously, would be fraught with risk. They’d have to be REALLY sure about number one.)
- In the nightcap, the Cubs lost only their third game of the spring, with the Dodgers coming back late to beat them. Dillon Maples was the primary culprit, giving up a three-run homer to Enrique Hernandez. You were reminded how quickly something like that can happen to a reliever, though, as his inning started with a groundball single and a walk. Then, boom, three-run homer. Maples then went strikeout, groundout, groundout to quickly end the frame. On the homer, he was supposed to put his fastball on the outer edge, but he missed dead smack in the middle of the plate. Even with premium velocity, a big league hitter is gonna jump on that.
- Eddie Butler threw a couple perfect innings in this one, and remains a really tough case for the Cubs. Out of options, the Cubs cannot send Butler to Iowa at the end of Spring Training without first passing him through waivers. It’s hard to see a rebuilding club not taking a chance on him for their 25-man roster, because heck, they could stash him in their bullpen without losing anything. His talent remains obvious, his arsenal is deep, and he’s only just about to turn 27. Some team is going to want to see if they can finally solve his command troubles.
- Joe Maddon’s classic ride:
— Carrie Muskat (@CarrieMuskat) March 10, 2018