Spring Training Miscellany: Cubs Lose Both Games Today, Quintana Starts, Kimbrel Rough, More

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Spring Training Miscellany: Cubs Lose Both Games Today, Quintana Starts, Kimbrel Rough, More

Chicago Cubs

The Cubs dropped both of their split-squad games today, which is kinda like being swept in a doubleheader, except completely meaningless and not actually like that at all.

  • In Mesa – the game with no video, alas – Jose Quintana got the start and appears to have not been too sharp. He was sitting 90-91, and gave up three hits and two walks in just two innings of work. It’s a process of ramping up for veterans, so I am not concerned by a day like today. To the extent there are concerns about Quintana, they already existed based on how he cratered late last year and how much he needs his changeup to work this year.

  • Craig Kimbrel got in his second spring inning today, er, well, most of an inning. He got knocked around and wasn’t able to finish his inning of work. Two strikeouts, cool, but also three hits, including a homer on what folks reported as a 94 mph fastball. He was apparently sitting 94-96 mph. As with Quintana, I’m no more concerned about Kimbrel than I already would have been based on last year.
  • Dillon Maples was fantastic today, standing in stark contrast to last time out. He was pounding the zone in a perfect inning, striking out two. Dreeeeeeeam, dream dream dream …
  • This is really nice to see from Danny Hultzen’s debut:

  • Hultzen very likely has the stuff to succeed as a big league reliever, but the questions remain: can he carry the load of a full season, including back-to-back appearances? And can he be successful enough against righties to thrive in the three-batter environment?
  • Colin Rea started in the Las Vegas game and couldn’t complete the first inning. His command just wasn’t there, and when it isn’t for him, he’s toast. The Cubs added him to the 40-man roster after last season because he was, quite literally, the most successful starting pitcher in the Pacific Coast League. He’s having a rough spring, but he remains starting depth for the Cubs at Iowa.
  • Speaking of Vegas, the ball sure was flying, as both the Cubs and Reds were crushing it. That is to say, virtually none of the Cubs pitchers had a good day except for two scoreless innings from James Norwood, and then Caleb Simpson and Wyatt Short to wrap things up. Trevor Megill (Rule 5 pick) had a particularly rough go of it, allowing four hits and two walks in his inning of work.
  • Oh, by the way: you just player performance in these Las Vegas games at your own peril. Yes, the players are trying to do well, but also, it’s a Spring Training game in Las Vegas. It’s kind of a special trip for these guys, and I’m not saying anyone is effing around, but it’s really, really, really just not the same thing as a regular season game.
  • Speed guy Ian Miller is making his case for that 26th spot:


  • More on Miller soon.
  • Speaking of 26th man candidates, I know a lot of folks really like the idea of a versatile third catcher like PJ Higgins:

  • Anthony Rizzo returned from his blister issue, and now Steven Souza is dealing with one:

  • Fear in the eyes:

  • Awesome:

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.