Spring Rotation, Happ's Elbow, Simmons, Roster Moves, Maples, Flaherty, Martin, and Other Cubs Bullets

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Spring Rotation, Happ’s Elbow, Simmons, Roster Moves, Maples, Flaherty, Martin, and Other Cubs Bullets

Chicago Cubs

WHAT A MORNING. I’m kinda still in a daze and digesting the flurry, from the very very good (Suzuki to the Cubs!), to the simply interesting (Chapman to the Blue Jays), to the mildly disappointing (Schwarber to the Phillies), to the disproportionately disappointing on a fan level (Chafin to the Tigers). Then the pitching rumors (maybe looking at Greinke, signing Brault).

For now, on to the non-transaction-related stuff, just one day before the first Spring Training game of the year

•   Speaking of Spring Training, a heads up for the radio listeners among you: nine games are going to be on 670 The Score. Kyle Hendricks is scheduled to start the home game tomorrow against the White Sox (the split squad heading off to Camelback Ranch to face the White Sox is likely to be mostly minor leaguers). Marcus Stroman will make his Cubs spring debut on Friday.

•   The hope has been that Ian Happ would be 100% by Opening Day after his elbow procedure, but it’s mildly concerning to me that it was impacting hitting more than throwing:

•   Obviously you want Happ’s arm to be good to go for throwing, too, but he might see most of his outfield time in left, where the arm is slightly less important (and certainly less important, for him, than the bat).

•   Jason Heyward on the Andrelton Simmons addition (Cubs.com): “Man, I feel like he’s a baseball genius. I feel like he has eyes all over, because he’s always watching everything — on defense, on offense, when he was running the bases [and] in the dugout, I feel like he always watches the game. And there’s a lot of things you can learn just by watching. He doesn’t even have to say anything. It’s nice to have. If you’re going to replace a shortstop — a really good shortstop — replace him with a Platinum Glove shortstop.”

•   Speaking of Simmons, he took the last open 40-man spot, so the Chris Martin, Seiya Suzuki, and Steven Brault deals will require 40-man spots when finalized. We know the Cubs could have up to three 60-day IL stints coming (Heuer, Bote, Alzolay), so I guess we’ll find out quickly if this is accurate:

•   When it comes to roster rules, I trust Arizona Phil completely, so I think I’ve had this one wrong (I thought you couldn’t put guys on the 60-day IL and open up a 40-man spot until just a few days before the regular season). Other teams have started using the 60-day IL, per the MLB transaction wire, so there you go.

•   Dillon Maples has his first new team post-Cubs, signing a minor league deal with the Phillies. All the best to him, and maybe a new organization can finally unlock the control he just couldn’t find with the Cubs.

•   The Jack Flaherty stuff sure doesn’t sound good for the Cardinals:

•   Great story on new Cubs reliever Chris Martin’s path to finally making it in the big leagues. Martin had left baseball behind in his early 20s because of chronic pain in his throwing shoulder. He’d had surgery to repair his labrum, but it wasn’t responding well, so he hung ’em up. After years of working different jobs, he decided to try to get back into baseball. He tried out to get back into indy ball, and although the arm was still hurting him, he was able to pitch through it (95 mph, good stuff). So he kept grinding from there, including a stint in Japan, before returning to the States and finally establishing himself as a legit big league reliever in his 30s.

•   As an aside from the great background, I suppose that means we’ll have to keep an eye on the shoulder, and how much rest he might need to keep pitching through it? Looks like he did go on the IL last year with the Braves a couple times for shoulder issue and an elbow issue.

•   Kay:

•   “And bases,” Servais went on to say. “Why the hell are there three of them plus home plate? You should not tell teams how many bases they have to have. I want my guys running straight to second base. Period!”

•   This made me laugh:

•   Funny that Glanville is a former Cubs player, and Breslow and Young are currently in the Cubs organization (well, there are two Chris Young’s still in the game who were former players, so I guess it could be the Rangers’ guy, but whatever, let me have fun):

•   Seeing it on the players this spring confirms, I like the spring hat:


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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.