Spring Training Miscellany: Indians Top Cubs 5-1, Javy Returns, Butler Control Problems, Schwarber Wheels

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Spring Training Miscellany: Indians Top Cubs 5-1, Javy Returns, Butler Control Problems, Schwarber Wheels

Chicago Cubs

While half of the Cubs’ squad gets underway in Las Vegas against the Indians, the other half just wrapped up dropping a game against the Indians at Sloan Park.

  • Javy Baez made an uneventful return to the lineup – exactly what we wanted! – singled in three trips to the plate, and made a nice play in the field. He felt good:

  • I gotta say, though, I’m a little concerned that he’s downgraded himself to only 100%:

  • Eddie Butler made the start for the Cubs, as he continues to be a multi-inning, stretched-out-guy in Spring Training, rather than a traditional reliever. I say it that way, because he’s currently competing for a spot in the Cubs’ bullpen. So, it’s a little apples and oranges to evaluate his performance as a starter as the basis for making a bullpen decision, but the reality is: pitching well is pitching well. If Butler pitches well, he can win a spot in the Cubs’ bullpen one way or another.
  • … but today, he did not pitch well, or at least he didn’t when he got into the 4th inning. After cruising through the first three innings and retiring the first batter in the fourth, Butler walked the bases loaded and departed just before a grand slam. That’s the concern with Butler: an inability to consistently locate his pitches has led to a parade of woes in his attempts to become a big league pitcher, despite having above-average stuff and velocity. When you can’t locate, you’re going to prolong counts and be inefficient, you’re going to give up walks, and you’re going to get hit when you miss your spots. It’s nice to see that he was able to cruise for the first three innings, but the loss of control from there is always concerning. (I should note that, without the ability to watch the game, it’s hard to know just how wild he was. Gameday suggests that those walks were actually BS, but the tracking is not always accurate in the Spring.)
  • Steve Cishek pitched a clean inning in this one, as did Justin Wilson, which was very nice to see, since his last outing was the first that featured some control problems, and he was apparently dealing with a blister issue.
  • Luke Farrell is a depth starter for the Cubs who will likely be at AAA in the rotation, and he struck out seven(!) in his three innings of work. Keep in mind, that was after the regulars in a split-squad game departed, but it’s still fun to see.
  • Kyle Schwarber doubled and tripled (WHEELS!) in this one, and the Cubs’ lone run came on a Ben Zobrist homer.
  • Cubs have a couple excellent spring performers who are going to be heading to AAA Iowa:

  • Sights from the park:

  • Before the game in Las Vegas, hometown boy Kris Bryant spoke to the media about the feeling in Cubs camp and coming to Vegas:

  • And strength coach Tim Buss is having some Irish fun:


  • Unrelated to Cubs, but:

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.