Spring Training Miscellany: Darvish Freakin Sizzling, Bats Crackling, Record Attendance, More

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Spring Training Miscellany: Darvish Freakin Sizzling, Bats Crackling, Record Attendance, More

Chicago Cubs

Wouldn’t it be cool to play in a division where the White Sox are probably the third best team? Alas …

The Cubs beat up on their cross-Arizona rivals, racking up 13 runs on 13 hits and 8 walks. Kris Bryant hit another homer, and just about everyone in the lineup got in on the action.

The Cubs and White Sox always draw a crowd in Arizona, and when it happens at Sloan Park, it’s bound to set an attendance record. Sure enough, it was another record day for the Cubs:

As for the starter …

  • Yu Darvish was once again throwing fire – 96 mph on his fastball – and this time he collected swings and misses and strikeouts in the process. Dude was feeling VERY GOOD:

  • We didn’t get to hear a third inning of Darvish work because the Cubs’ offense blew up:

  • More on Darvish later. You’ll know he’s definitely feeling really good, and the Cubs are feeling really good about him, if one of his upcoming starts is turned into a minor league back-fields affair (i.e., no need to put him back out there against big leaguers in a fake game, because there’s nothing left to show or tune up other than just arm strength and routine).
(Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)
  • Another no-walk appearance for Dillon Maples, who really, really wants to make the Cubs’ bullpen:

https://twitter.com/BleacherNation/status/1102334202438144000

  • Maples did give up two hits, including a homer, though. I wonder if he’s really working on getting that upper-90s fastball consistently into the zone, which is the key to making his slider absolutely indestructible.
  • Speaking of AAA relievers who could totally contribute this year with great stuff but have to maximize control and also have options or aren’t on the 40-man so might not make it right out of the gate (*breathes*), Dakota Mekkes threw a scoreless inning with a walk and a strikeout.
  • Tony Barnette gave up a solo homer in his inning of work, and he’s another guy who could totally make this bullpen, but might be squeezed out by the fact that he can be optioned to open the season and called back up as necessary.
  • Junichi Tazawa struck out two in his scoreless inning of work, but he’ll have to really impress to win a job after a few down years at the big league level.
  • Old friend Eloy Jimenez was held hitless.
  • Jason Heyward is still not feeling great:

  • Bonus Kris Bryant shot:

  • Last call at the MLB Shop:


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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.