Bullpen Decision Coming, Darvish's Ability to Adjust to Conditions, and Other Bullets

Social Navigation

Bullpen Decision Coming, Darvish’s Ability to Adjust to Conditions, and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

The vacation score: The Little Girl has been vomiting. The Little Boy is struggling to adjust his behavior to changes in sleep. The Littlest Girl is snotty sick. I’ve now joined her in that sickness. The Wife is a saint. Most importantly, despite all that, I think we’re having a pretty darn good time.

  • Pedro Strop will pitch in today’s final exhibition game against the Red Sox, and that will pretty much decide the bullpen. If Strop is healthy, and the Cubs feel like his arm is sufficiently extended, he’ll be with the team when they open up in Miami on Thursday. The final bullpen spot from there, I presume, has already been decided among Eddie Butler, Anthony Bass, Justin Hancock, and Kyle Ryan. And if Strop starts the season on the DL to get more time to build up the arm, then I presume the Cubs know which two of those guys they’ll be taking (one of whom, in that instance, is virtually certain to be the out-of-options Eddie Butler; but if Strop is good to go, I’m not convinced the Cubs will carry Butler for sure).
  • Yu Darvish finished up his spring slate yesterday by focusing on getting ground balls, since his breaking pitches weren’t behaving properly in the wind (Cubs.com). On that comment, I instantly thought about the extreme condition changes he’ll see at Wrigley Field, from the kind of pitcher’s park where you can do nothing but challenge with fastballs and shoot for 7+ innings, to the kind of hitter’s park where any lazy fly ball might find the seats and you’ve gotta get some whiffs and grounders. Yet another latent value of a guy like Darvish: his extremely robust pitching arsenal should put him in a better position to adjust to the conditions than a guy with a more limited repertoire.
  • In case you were wondering whether the presence of a semi-versatile Victor Caratini on the roster, plus third-ish catcher Kyle Schwarber, would leave open the possibility that Willson Contreras could see time at other positions this year, it doesn’t sound like that’s in the plans this time around (Cubs.com).
  • Not every young player is accepting an early extension:

  • So, here’s something to note about this: by making such a large offer to a 20-year-old superstar in the making, and doing so with the knowledge that *if* he accepted, he’d be on your Opening Day roster, you’re admitting he’s good enough to be on your big league team, *AND* you want to guarantee him tens of millions of dollars before he even sees his first pitch. Service time games will always be played, but this adds a level of relative ugliness to the process.
  • Former Cub Dan Vogelbach has taken the Large Adult Son crown from Kyle Schwarber, according to Sports Illustrated. Now that Vogelbach is in the show, and Schwarber no longer looks the part, that seems fair.
  • The Cubs’ hashtag emoji is solid, certainly as compared with others:

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.