Spring Training Miscellany: Steele Enjoyed Facing Ohtani, Triantos and Preciado Play, Manny Debuts, More

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Spring Training Miscellany: Steele Enjoyed Facing Ohtani, Triantos and Preciado Play, Manny Debuts, More

Chicago Cubs

The Cubs fell 5-4 to Joe Maddon’s Angels today, primarily because of a couple tough innings for Adrian Sampson (who didn’t have the best defense behind him). Shrug. Since Sampson is not necessarily out there competing his way into the Opening Day bullpen or rotation anyway, you kinda just want to see him – like the veterans – getting in his work and then being available early in the season as a depth option as necessary.

⇒ Justin Steele got the start, and got in his two innings of work – he was a little wild in the first, but quick and smooth in the second:

⇒ I enjoyed hearing Steele after his outing talk about how excited he was to face Shohei Ohtani (walk):

⇒ Reliever Chris Martin made his Cubs debut, pitching a 1-2-3 inning of groundballs.

⇒ Easily the most fun part of today’s game was getting to see Reggie Preciado and James Triantos get into the action, despite having played COMPLEX ball last year. I mean, Triantos just turned 19 earlier this year, and Preciado is still 18!

⇒ To that end, Preciado still looks like he can fill out quite a bit more – he’s young! – but he had a really nice and disciplined approach up there. However much you can tell from a few plate appearances, I was pleased. He did have an error at shortstop, for what that’s worth.

⇒ As for Triantos, he went down 0-2 in both of his at bats … and then lined a single up the middle on the next pitch both times:

⇒ Andrelton Simmons got in his first action of the spring, showing off some speed that I admit I forgot he had (good to see after a couple years of ankle injuries):

⇒ Manny doesn’t hold anything back:

⇒ It was a scoreless 1-2-3 spring debut for Manny Rodriguez.

⇒ Earlier, Bryan wrote that his sense is that Chase Strumpf is just flat out “a third baseman” now, and we’ve seen multiple flashes this spring that makes us think he can really play over there:

⇒ Brennen Davis is a magnet for pitches:

⇒ Some of it is flukey in such a young career facing wild young pitchers, but some of it might be game planning that says a guy who can hit it as hard as he can when he gets his arms extended is a guy you should bust up and in as much as you can. It’s the Willson Contreras problem.

⇒ Here’s hoping Frank Schwindel’s back situation continues to improve, but I’m glad to hear that it does seem like it’s more precautionary than scary:

⇒ Old friends:

⇒ I just like Willson Contreras a lot:


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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.