Spring Training Miscellany: Watch Willson Do It All, Lots on Relievers, Dunk Tank, and More

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Spring Training Miscellany: Watch Willson Do It All, Lots on Relievers, Dunk Tank, and More

Chicago Cubs

The Cubs dropped today’s game to the Brewers in Maryvale, which is fine because they’re saving their Brewers wins for the regular season. Duh. Clearly. Obviously.

  • Today just seemed like it was all about Willson Contreras. Not only did he hit another double, he did it by absolutely SMOKING the ball, which he’s done all Spring:

  • He also had some fun behind the plate. Do not run on Willy, fool:

  • Do not run on Willy, fool x2:

  • He also showed off some nice receiving skills on a low and outside strike (the second one):

  • I love the way Contreras presented that second one. He made sure the ump could see Hendricks hit his spot and his spot was a strike. Just making sure you get those strikes is 75% of framing.
(Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
  • Hendricks, by the way, got hit plenty in this one, but you know well by now that, for established starting pitchers, there’s really nothing to the results (unless they’re so wild they can’t find the plate) at this time of the year. Get your innings, get your pitches, work on some situational stuff, and stay healthy.
  • Ian Happ continues to see time at second base this Spring, and whether you see him as able to handle second base or not, it sure is quite a mental disconnect to go from Javy to Happ out there. To be fair, the same is true for Happ and Daniel Murphy. Happ looks considerably more able out there than Murphy did, but that’s a low bar.
  • We got to watch Brad Brach today, and although we didn’t see radar readings, he did not look obviously unhealthy. He did look like his command was all over the place, though.
  • Brian Duensing, who’d being great in the *results* column this Spring, gave up a couple long homers in this one. You never know if a guy was determined to work on a particular pitch in a particular spot or whatever, but, in general, you don’t want to see a fringe roster guy getting dong’d.
  • Speaking of dong’d, Dakota Mekkes allowed his first run of the Spring with a homer by Orlando Arcia – but giving up an inexplicable homer to Arcia is a Cubs right of passage.
  • In other young arm-age, Dillon Maples gave up his first walk of the Spring, and then another. Interestingly, it happened when he came into the middle of an inning (Junichi Tazawa got the first two outs of the 8th and then departed). Maples went walk, walk, strikeout.
  • Ugh, Nico Hoerner made an out today, so now the Cubs have to release him.
  • Among the Cubs’ middle infield depth at AAA:

  • I would not bet on the Spring numbers meaning much of anything, and Adames hasn’t even hit well at AAA the last couple years. But if he can play quality defense at short, then the Cubs are gonna have to hang onto him for as long as they can this year, because you never know when you might need him. David Bote can probably be passable depth at shortstop, ditto Trent Giambrone and Zack Short, but the latter two might not be ready for real big league time just yet.
  • Heads up to clearance at the MLB Shop TONIGHT ONLY, plus free shipping:

  • Hey, there was some FUN at Cubs camp again today, with a dunk tank showing up:

  • The shirts the Cubs are wearing:

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R.I.P. Brody Stevens.

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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.