Spring Training Miscellany: Cubs Get Homer Happy, Bellinger, Rios, Morel, Reliever Day, More
The Cubs topped the A’s today 4-2, going with a full slate of relievers for one inning each. All the runs came on homers.
- Adbert Alzolay started this game, but he’s still a reliever through and through. The Cubs were simply getting his work in early, and he cruised through his inning. He was followed by Brad Boxberger and Michael Fulmer, and it’s not hard to imagine that’s all because the Cubs see those three as their primary three late-inning relievers (with Fulmer getting the first crack at closing). Boxberger and Fulmer have yet to allow a run this spring.
- Edwin Rios can just UNLOAD on the ball:
- I know he’s got an option left, and I know the edges of the roster are crowded, but I think the Cubs just have to carry this guy. Rios has game-changing power and has always hit when healthy. Give him some runway.
- I still think it would be a mistake to expect well-above-average offensive production from Cody Bellinger this year – the guys who’ve sunk as deep as he did, and then bounced back to above-average are a truly rare breed – but he looks awfully comfortable this spring. Homered again today:
- Since we’re not EXPECTING above-average offense, is it fair at least to dream on it? I mean, a healthy Bellinger who posts a 110 wRC+ this year for the Cubs is a transformational presence. We’re banking on the glove being a huge upgrade for the Cubs in center field after a semi-disaster there last year. But nobody is banking on a massive offensive upgrade, too. If the Cubs got it? The lineup looks so much better.
- One more homer for your enjoyment, as Christopher Morel definitely does not want to go to Iowa to open the season:
- Like I wrote this morning, I think the balance of all factors still weighs in favor of Morel starting daily at Iowa to open the season. He could have a very long and productive big league career, and I think that should be the priority – he’ll be back soon enough. (Or, whatever, just carry him to start the season, but make sure he’s getting regular starts!)
- Julian Merryweather is such a beast. Looking this good in Spring Training doesn’t DEFINITELY mean he’ll perform this well in the regular season, but right now, he’s looking like a genius waiver claim by the Cubs.
- If there’s an extra lefty job available, two of today’s pitchers are the top contenders – Anthony Kay and Ryan Borucki. I could see either getting the gig, and each looked solid again today.
- This Ben DeLuzio catch was awesome:
This Post is About the Cubs’ Otherworldly Lack of Clutch Hits, So You Should Ignore It If You Think That’ll Enrage You
Rationality Not Working, Steele’s Situation, Morel and Mervis, Strike Zone Calls, and Other Cubs Bullets
Cubs Bullpen Notes: Bringing Up Young Starters Into the Big League Bullpen, Brown, Wesneski, Heuer, Roberts, More
Hendricks Gets the Results, Bullpen Steps Up, Wesneski, Tauchman, MLB Takes Over a Broadcast, and Other Cubs Bullets