Spring Training Miscellany: Cubs Win Again, Alzolay Sharp, Maples Looks Different, Hoerner Smacks, More

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Spring Training Miscellany: Cubs Win Again, Alzolay Sharp, Maples Looks Different, Hoerner Smacks, More

Chicago Cubs

Through six innings, the Cubs had a combined no-hitter going, which does not matter, but was certainly fun to watch. Unfortunately Jake Jewell couldn’t finish it off in the 7th and final inning. He wound up giving up a couple runs in the frame, but eventually GOT THE SAVE to preserve the Cubs’ 3-2 win. And then, because it’s Spring Training, the Cubs wound up batting in the bottom of the 7th anyway.

Good inning of work for Adbert Alzolay to kick off his spring, showing mid-90s and getting a sword on the new slider:

Nico Hoerner smacked the ball hard twice, which, hey, that’s always nice to see.


Dillon Maples looked very different in his inning of work, now sporting a very short-arm delivery, a la Jason Adam. How much can you take away from a single Spring Training appearance? Almost nothing! But the command looked surprisingly good for Maples, and the hitters looked plenty fooled. At least you can say he and the Cubs are trying something significantly different. We’ll see.

Speaking of looking really good in a spring outing, Brendon Little, the Cubs’ first rounder from 2017 who hasn’t pitched above A-ball but was a bit of a surprising non-roster invitee, looked extremely playable. His curveball coming in from the left side is clearly already a weapon. I’m not sure if the Cubs are ready to make him a full-time reliever yet, but if so, he probably already has the mix with a good fastball and that hammer curve, which he flashed both in the zone and intentionally spiked.

All three of the Cubs’ runs came on a bases-clearing triple by Rafael Ortega, who is part of the outfield depth picture. A couple version of the Ortega triple, the second of which is included solely to enjoy the sound of fans cheering at a baseball game, which fills my heart:

Elsewhere around camp today …

Ian Happ must’ve been ticked:

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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.