Spring Training Miscellany: Cubs Defeat Canada, Bellinger Goes Deep, Pitcher Talk, More

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Spring Training Miscellany: Cubs Defeat Canada, Bellinger Goes Deep, Pitcher Talk, More

Chicago Cubs


For the eighth straight game, the Chicago Cubs came out on top. This time, it was an exhibition game against Team Canada, as the latter gears up for the World Baseball Classic. Cubs win 11-7, as the bats eventually started beating up on the depth arms on the Canadian roster.

  • Justin Steele got hit a bit by the friends up north, and also didn’t have particularly great control today. Nothing to be concerned about as long as he’s healthy. Besides, two of the runs Steele gave up came when org-mate Jared Young hit a two-run double. How could you be troubled by that?
  • Speaking of Cubs org members doing great things, look at this beauty of a throw from Owen Caissie:
  • Cody Bellinger worked some really good at bats today, slapped a single to score a run, and also ripped his first homer of the spring.
  • Keegan Thompson did the multi-inning thing for his second spring appearance, relieving Justin Steele in the third, and then pitching through the fourth. If the Cubs are wanting him to be available this year on shorter rest than last year, I wonder if they’ll generally keep his multi-inning appearances to just a couple innings, or MAYBE if he’s SUPER efficient, a third inning.
  • Manny Rodriguez is off the 40-man roster and in camp as a non-roster invite, but figures to be at Iowa to open the season. From there, he could still very much factor into the up-down reliever depth.
  • From what we’ve seen of ManRod so far in his career, that high-end velocity is necessary for him to have success. At 98-99 mph, he can be an effective big league reliever (if the slider is working). At 95-96 mph, I don’t know that he can.
  • Another quality, scoreless outing for lefty Brendon Little. He and Anthony Kay have probably been the most impressive non-roster invitees among the lefty bullpen options. Mark Leiter Jr. was scoreless again, too, and he’s got that nasty splitter that works well against lefties. Ryan Borucki didn’t pitch in this one, but he’s been good, too. Lotta good options for the Cubs even if they don’t sign Zack Britton.
  • Cubs outfield prospect Kevin Alcántara remains so much fun to watch out there. He’s just all over the field, hustling like crazy, having a blast, being a great teammate, on and on. Just love to watch it. Oh, and he’s talented as heck, too, which doesn’t hurt.

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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.