Spring Training Miscellany: Cubs Are Clearly Going Undefeated, Fancy D, Lots of Pitching Thoughts

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Spring Training Miscellany: Cubs Are Clearly Going Undefeated, Fancy D, Lots of Pitching Thoughts

Chicago Cubs

The 2020 Cubs Spring Training slate kicked off with an easy win over the A’s, and for as much as we know you can’t actually take anything away from the result, it still feels nice to see the Cubs put up a boatload of runs, winning 12-2.

Willson Contreras’s booming homer kicked things off, and Kris Bryant added a couple on a run-scoring single from the leadoff spot (it’s legal!):

Powerful Iowa utility man Trent Giambrone later added a three-run shot:

But the highlight of the night was quite clearly the nifty combo work from Carlos Asuaje and Zack Short:

Other bits from the game …

  • You always try not to scout the stat line in Spring Training, but when it comes to the relievers who are trying to win a job, it’s not gonna hurt if they’re also putting up numbers. I thought Duane Underwood, Jr. looked really good in his scoreless inning. His fastball had serious life, and his curveball was nasty. He didn’t even really throw his plus changeup, so that was cool.
  • Speaking of plus changeups, it was easy to see even in just one inning why people have always like Jharel Cotton’s changeup. It pairs really well with his fastball, and I highly doubt a batter has a prayer of picking up which one it is quickly. The question is whether the fastball is good enough to be the pair, and whether he can spin a good curveball. I don’t know enough yet on those.
  • Jason Adam had a really interesting inning, showing off a lively four-seam fastball at the top of the zone, a two-seamer with a ton of movement, a really nice changeup, and a big breaking curve. But he didn’t have much in the way of command, hence he struck out three but also walked two.
  • Another guy I hadn’t really seen much is CD Pelham, and yeah, I can see why teams want to claim him and work with him – that’s an upper-90s fastball from a lefty, coming in at a really tough Hader-like angle. Those are bones you can’t teach, though there would be a long way to go with command and a decent secondary for Pelham to become a contributor, I think.
  • Was it just me, or did Dakota Mekkes’ delivery look a little less funky? He still gets that crazy extension, but it looked a lot more traditional to me? #NotAScout
  • The broadcast gun wasn’t working quite properly, so Arizona Phil has the velocity readings. One that jumps out? James Norwood hitting 99 in his first dang Spring appearance. If he could just do that in the zone and pair his nasty splitter? He’d so be a guy.

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.