Spring Training Miscellany: Cubs Split, Lester-Kintzler-Duensing Fine, Prospects Shine, More

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Spring Training Miscellany: Cubs Split, Lester-Kintzler-Duensing Fine, Prospects Shine, More

Chicago Cubs

The Chicago Cubs are no longer undefeated in Cactus League play, but ONLY BECAUSE it was a split-squad day. Clearly, had they but one lineup to field today, they totally would have won that particular game.

I joke, because it doesn’t matter for anything except my ability to type things like “UNDEFEATED CUBS! SUCK IT!”

The Cubs today beat the Padres at Sloan Park, but lost to the Dodgers out in Glendale. Jon Lester made his Spring debut in the Padres game, throwing two boring, mostly uneventful innings:

That is exactly what you want to see from a veteran starting pitcher in his first Spring outings. More …

  • Brandon Kintzler followed Lester with a multi-groundball inning with a strikeout and no walks. More of that, please, so we can root for the plausible return to form.
  • Brian Duensing followed Kintzler with a clean, two-strikeout inning of his own. Much like with Kintzler, there’s no reason not to root for Duensing to look fan-freaking-tastic in the spring, because he’s already under contract, and who knows, maybe he can turn it around? The bullpen competition is ridiculously crowded as it is, but the guys with previous big league success and who are on guaranteed contracts will have the tiebreaker, so, again, might as well root for them to have “figured it out” and “turned it around.”
  • Speaking of guys to root for: gimme that power, Willson Contreras:

  • The 11 runs the Cubs gave up in the Dodgers game were almost exclusively by guys who do not have a shot to make the bullpen, with the lone exception probably being lefty Kyle Ryan (the Cubs liked him so much last year at AAA Iowa that they signed him to a big league deal after the season rather than lose him in minor league free agency). He gave up four hits and two walks in his 1.2 innings of work, so there may have been a kink or two to work out.
  • Cubs utility prospect Trent Giambrone had a homer and a double in that one, so that’s fun. After a breakout in 2018 and then a nice run in the Arizona Fall League, Giambrone is fully on the radar as a possible call-up at some point this season if the Cubs have a rash of injuries. He can play all over the infield, and, like David Bote last year, the power is really coming.
  • Another Cubs breakout prospect – and minor league player of the year – Jared Young got into the action today, and went boom, as admired by fellow prospect Brennen Davis and captured on video by fellow prospect Nico Hoerner:

https://twitter.com/nico_hoerner/status/1100164846669070336?s=21

  • More good news on the David Bote front:

  • Hooray. Bunting. Hooray:

  • This is beautiful:

  • Fun shot here:


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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.