The Cubs beat the A’s today 5-4, with Marcus Stroman getting his second start, and a number of potential regulars getting in their work in the early innings.
⇒ Marcus Stroman did his thing today, continuing to stretch out and prepare for the season. You really don’t care about anything else. The changeup was working, though, as was the deflect-it-into-a-double-play mode:
Marcus Stroman, Filth & K Strut. pic.twitter.com/kYNJ26kyWP
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) March 23, 2022
⇒ Stro was also showing the love for his fellow rotation-mate:
Marcus Stroman: "I truly believe Hendricks should be the Opening Day [starter] just because of his career, how unbelievable he’s been in the playoffs. His resume speaks for itself. He’s the guy who should be handed the ball each and every Opening Day as long as he’s here.”
— Tony Andracki (@TonyAndracki23) March 23, 2022
⇒ We haven’t seen much Frank Schwindel lately, and it’s because he’s been dealing with back tightness, per Jordan Bastian. This is the time of year when it doesn’t take much to let a guy sit for a while, but we also know that back issues never really go away, they are simply managed. Here’s hoping that’s all this is, and it isn’t an issue for the season ahead.
⇒ Dare I start letting myself think Clint Frazier is completely over last year’s concussion/vision/mental health issues and is just going to rake? Dare I?!?
— Aldo Soto (@AldoSoto21) March 23, 2022
⇒ The caution I keep offering is that there is a reason he was available in free agency for under $2 million. But it is also true that, before the troubles last year, Frazier had shown that he CAN really hit MLB pitching. The defense might not be there, and that definitely would reduce the value even if he hits. But he’s just 27, and if he’s healthy, the bat has that 125 wRC+ type upside. That’s just a fact, not hopefulness.
⇒ Based on usage this Spring, you can tell the non-40-man pitching prospects the Cubs have hopes for in the near-ish term as late-inning options: Ben Leeper, Cayne Ueckert, Erich Uelmen.
⇒ Thing is about as good as a 12-6 curveball can look:
⇒ What’s so frustrating for hitters facing Scott Effross is that the two-seamer, which would run WAAAAY out of the zone, looks exactly like this until it’s halfway to the plate:
⇒ Cubs prospect Nelson Maldonado is going to have himself on the big league radar sooner rather than later thanks to the arrival of the DH (he doesn’t have much of a position). He can hit. It’s just all he’s done since college. Missed a grand slam today by this much:
Misses the grand slam by this much. pic.twitter.com/wvXm4jieuD
— Brad (@ballskwok) March 23, 2022
⇒ The Cubs took the lead late in this one on a two-run, seeing-eye single from Andy Weber:
The @Cubs take the lead in the 7th!
— Marquee Sports Network (@WatchMarquee) March 23, 2022
⇒ The jerseys have arrived:
— Crawly's Cubs Kingdom (@crawlyscubs) March 23, 2022
⇒ Meanwhile, over in the world of old friends, Craig Kimbrel’s Spring Training is going as his Spring Trainings sometimes do (but White Sox fans are nevertheless freaking out):
Kimbrel struggling with command, sitting 93, topped at 94. Gets a visit from Ethan Katz.
— Daryl Van Schouwen (@CST_soxvan) March 23, 2022
Craig Kimbrel opened with a swinging strikeout of Brad Miller. After that it went HBP, BB, 3B, BB, single, FC.
— Chuck Garfien (@ChuckGarfien) March 23, 2022
⇒ Two other old friends get back together:
⇒ Older gentleman needs a lift:
joey scoots! pic.twitter.com/SNAL1CWJHh
— Cut4 (@Cut4) March 23, 2022
⇒ If you missed it, Seiya is coming:
— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) March 23, 2022