Spring Training Miscellany: Contreras Goes Off, Kimbrel Positive Step, Don't Hurt Kyle, More

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Spring Training Miscellany: Contreras Goes Off, Kimbrel Positive Step, Don’t Hurt Kyle, More

Chicago Cubs

I went to bed pretty early last night and slept pretty late as I try to fully kick this COVID thing, so the Bullets will be really delayed – up first, the Cubs’ 8-2 win over the Padres last night.

The Cubs beat up on Chris Paddack, who still looks like he’s gonna be a star, with Willson Contreras hitting a three-run homer (he also singled and tripled in the game):

https://twitter.com/Cubs/status/1372375241171865600

Contreras batted second last night in a lineup that sure had the look of an Opening Day group. David Ross suggested after the game that Contreras is getting serious two-hole consideration (Cubs.com): “It’s just somebody that brings one of the most quality at-bats we have on the team,” Ross said of Contreras. “I value that in the two spot. And I think you start to put your good players in that hole, and he’s one of those guys. I was just impressed in looking at some of the deeper-dive things that I value. And his name kept jumping off the page.” Generally speaking, you want your best overall hitter batting second. On the Cubs, you could make an argument for different guys, but it’s a close enough call for me that if you want Ian Happ leading off, and if you don’t want Anthony Rizzo too far down, then going Happ-Contreras-Rizzo sounds pretty good to me.

Speaking of Rizzo, he added a moonshot down the line off of Craig Stammen:

By far the best thing about the game was the Craig Kimbrel inning, which I went back to watch this morning. I think they figured some things out with him. The command still wasn’t great, and the curveball isn’t where it needs to be, but the fastball clearly had its late life back – it was doing that explosive ride thing where it just seems to arrive at the plate much faster than it seems like it should. Mechanically, there must have been some fixes. Great step. Now just clean up the command, get the curveball right, and add a couple clicks of velocity. That’s all, right?

Kimbrel gave up a hit to Wil Myers on a blooper, by the way, but it was erased on this jam shot and beauty of a double-play (with Nico playing the part of Ryno):

This could have been an absolute disaster, and completely pointless in the process:

That was the first at bat Kyle Hendricks has taken in over a year and it nearly ended his season. Stop this idiocy and just bring the DH to both leagues. (Also, what do we think of Wil Myers trying to throw Hendricks out at first in Spring Training? Bush league move, or just kinda funny?)

This is fun – Profar couldn’t believe he got thrown out:

The Cubs were sporting the St. Patrick’s Day look:



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.