It’s going to be difficult to follow the first no-hitter in Cubs spring training history, but this team been pretty fun to watch for the most part this spring. There are a lot of new faces to get used to, which is cool as long as it’s not late in the game and the Marquee score bug forgets to identify them. The Cubs are also being more aggressive on the bases and they’ve got several relievers touching triple digits. It’s far from a finished product, but you can see a few things taking shape.
One of the new faces from whom big things are expected is Jameson Taillon, whose new sweeping slider could have him pitching better than ever. As his outings grow longer, we will get a better look at his repertoire and how he’s using that sweeper.
Scheduled to appear after Taillon are Danis Correa, Mark Leiter Jr., Nick Neidert, Eric Stout, and Keegan Thompson.
Nico Hoerner is penciled in as the everyday leadoff hitter this year and he’s back there this afternoon playing second base. Ian Happ is in left, Cody Bellinger is in center, and Eric Hosmer is at first. Even though the games don’t matter, it sure would be nice to see Hosmer start hitting. Patrick Wisdom is the DH and Edwin Ríos, who hit one long homer last night and just missed another, is at third.
Zack McKinstry is at short, a position he’s been occupying when Dansby Swanson isn’t in the lineup, and catcher Tucker Barnhart is batting eighth. Mike Tauchman rounds out the lineup in right field. It’s still too early to make much of this, but it sure feels like McKinstry and Ríos have good shots at breaking camp with the big club. The same is true for Nick Madrigal, who has been playing a whole lot of third even though he was at second base on Friday.
There are some rumblings that Christopher Morel, who is without an everyday position, will be sent to Triple-A Iowa to open the regular season. Jed Hoyer may also be fielding calls for some of his many utility players, especially as injuries necessitate moves by other teams. Those are all things to watch in addition to who’s in what spot each day.
First pitch is at 2:05pm CT on Marquee Sports Network as the Angels visit Sloan Park.
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) March 4, 2023