Spring Training Miscellany: Cubs Lose, Sampson and the Dingers, Happ Blast, Yelich Goof, More

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Spring Training Miscellany: Cubs Lose, Sampson and the Dingers, Happ Blast, Yelich Goof, More

Chicago Cubs

The Cubs dropped today’s game 5-3 to the Brewers at Sloan …

  • Adrian Sampson looked really good in the first inning today. He was using all his pitches, mixing them well, and staying down in the zone. Lots of swing-and-miss. You wondered if he was, perhaps, trying to do a little more “results-oriented” pitching (right or wrong). Annnnnnd then he immediately gave up back-to-back homers to open the second inning.
  • Both homers came on belt-high fastballs that missed their spots:
  • Something else to keep in mind on Sampson and his home run tendencies:
  • To be sure, a lot of the reduced HR/FB last year was because Sampson was doing a very good job staying off the barrel. But as we’ve discussed, that’s a razor’s edge to walk, especially if you’re up in the zone like he’s been all spring – and if your two fastballs, neither of which is plus on its own, are not separating properly, then batters can just spit on all your offspeed stuff. Much more to discuss soon on Sampson and the 5th starter job, which we all know is increasingly looking like it’s gotta go to Hayden Wesneski.
  • Each of Michael Fulmer, Rowan Wick, and Keegan Thompson looked great today, and you hope that energy just carries right on into the regular season.
  • Meanwhile, Brandon Hughes didn’t have his command at all today – it seemed like every pitch was either non-competitive or right down the middle. Even still, with some better defense, he might’ve gotten through his inning unscathed. You hope it was just a “getting in his work” kind of day.
  • Christopher Morel got some time in right field today, which is the right move – get him some more exposure there, just in case – though I wouldn’t read into it meaning he’s going to get a shot to be the short-term Seiya Suzuki replacement (it’s still not a lock that Morel will make the Opening Day roster, as opposed to getting some development time at Triple-A).
  • Hey, Ian Happ hit a mammoth home run – this is a loooong way at Sloan Park:
  • I’ll never not enjoy Christian Yelich booting a routine play:

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.