Busy morning, late Bullets. My apologies. Away we go …
- Spring Training week has arrived, as pitchers and catchers are officially due to report tomorrow. Thanks to an offseason of waiting an inactivity, and a roster that looks worse on paper than the one that won just 84 games last year, it’s been hard to feel the typical level of HYPE coming into a week like this. Like I’ve said, I’m sure getting into baseball activities and deconstructing the season ahead will cure some of that, but I still feel like I don’t know exactly what the roster is going to look like for the season ahead.
- Although I understand why the Cubs kind of have to leave open the door to change during Spring Training, trades at this time are exceedingly rare (look at how much time and reworking went into the Betts deal, and those talks extended back months), and I kinda just want to get myself into the mindset that this is the team. Let’s start evaluating THIS TEAM as it is constructed, and there won’t be meaningful changes before Opening Day. It’s what I *want* to do, and yet I just can’t shake that limbo feeling.
- For now, though, if you want to look at where the roster stands this week, Sahadev Sharma has a very early breakdown:
Who is leading for the fifth spot in the rotation? Who are the locks for the bullpen? Is Ian Happ getting a chance for everyday starts in center? A look at what the Cubs roster could look like as spring kicks off. https://t.co/PTeVmXfjpi
— Sahadev Sharma (@sahadevsharma) February 10, 2020
- Tons of stuff in there obviously, and a couple random things jumped out at me. Veteran catcher Josh Phegley comes in for a little extra mention in there as the third catcher, which, hey, he’s a perfectly solid third catcher to have as depth at AAA. I still like that signing. Sharma also reminds folks of one of the internal bullpen options – Duane Underwood, Jr. – who has big league stuff, but lacks minor league options. So he either makes it on day one, or he gets exposed to waivers.
- And a little Spring Training primer from Jordan Bastian:
Is it spring yet? Here’s the big story for each team: https://t.co/IwixkaBxlp
— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) February 7, 2020
- On paper, the defending champs sure do seem to have some enormous holes around the infield, in the bullpen, and at the back of the rotation:
2020 ZiPS Projections: Washington Nationals https://t.co/WYlz2oRG2U
— FanGraphs Baseball (@fangraphs) February 10, 2020
- He’s. Wearing. A. SOMBRERO:
- Baseball America rated the minor league camera setups (even more important this year, as some of those games might wind up on Marquee), and the Cubs’ system is pretty solid:
This is AWESOME
Myrtle Beach 60
South Bend 45 https://t.co/c0QaSdgS4l
— FullCountTommy (@FullCountTommy) February 7, 2020