Spring Training Miscellany: Cubs Blanked, Maples Debuts, De La Cruz Impresses, More

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Spring Training Miscellany: Cubs Blanked, Maples Debuts, De La Cruz Impresses, More

Chicago Cubs

The Cubs were blanked by the Rangers today, which I’ll chalk up to Yu Darvish, Jason Kipnis, and Anthony Rizzo being scratched. None are serious concerns.

  • Speaking of Darvish, another update – he is probably fine:

  • Dillon Maples made his long-awaited spring debut, and it was extremely Dillon Maples. He got his obligatory silly whiffs, but also had zero control of his fastball (I’m trying to think if I saw him throw a single one for a strike), the command of the slider went in and out, he walked a guy, threw a ball away to first, assisted Willson Contreras with two passed balls, and labored. Maples will keep getting chances on the 40-man so long as he has minor league options and flashes the plus stuff, but man. You just wish he could MINIMALLY get over that hump.
  • With Yu Darvish scratched, James Norwood – who was scheduled to relieve – got the one-inning start in this one. He had some command issues once again, and flashed his absurd splitter again.
  • Oscar De La Cruz – who, yes, still has loads of potential – was flashing a really impressive breaking pitch today. It’s something he’s apparently been working on in the Pitch Lab. He wound up pitching two scoreless innings. Multi-inning reliever going forward? I’d be into it.
  • Jason Adam had been having a very impressive spring, but the control evaporated today completely. Not sure if he was trying to work on something or what, but it was a 180 from his other appearances. He’s a non-roster invitee on a minor league deal, so the Cubs won’t necessarily lose him if he doesn’t make the big league roster right out of camp.
  • You take spring stuff to heart at your own peril, but I’m just saying that it looks like Ian Happ has carried over his impressive adjustments from late last year. He got some huge praise from Theo Epstein today, too.
  • Anthony Rizzo was supposed to start today, but wound up scratched because of a blister on his right middle finger.
  • Mic everyone up at all times:


  • Get the chain:

  • Hey, happy birthday to Kyle Schwarber:

  • Vibe:

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.