Adan Sanchez – Pic via his Instagram
Where the pitching storylines were a bit brighter and more general, today’s top hitting storylines for spring training are much more specific. So that should be much more fun to talk about. There are some guys coming back from injuries, some guys who are fully healthy for the first time, and there are a few players who could be making their way up the ladder pretty quickly.
Let’s get to it.
2. The Return of the Injured
While I tended to talk in bulk Tuesday, today is much more specific as it pertains to rosters. Christian Franklin and Parker Chavers are going to start out 2023 healthy, hopefully in Souths Bend and probably with Ezequiel Pagán and Kevin Alcantara. Will Jacob Wetzel be back for another go round in Myrtle Beach or will he get the nod to head to the Midwest League? Those are just a few questions including who is going to be catching in Myrtle Beach along with where Haydn McGeary begins the season. WIll Andy Garriola and Ke’Shun Collier both begin in Myrtle Beach.
But really, the big question is will Matt Mervis make the big league club? If he does, 1B changes for Bryce Ball, BJ Murray and Felix Stevens quite a bit.
We’ve already seen Ed Howard get some publicity that he’s going to be starting at a full season affiliate for 2023. That’s great news that he’s healthy and ready to go! The one player that I want to focus on is just exactly where Alexander Canario is at in his rehab. Is he going to still be in a boot? If he is, is he going to be doing weight training or throwing? There’s a lot of ifs and what have yous to sort out.
3. Brennen Davis: The Revenge Tour
Last year was sad for Brennen Davis as the Cubs former number one prospect spent most of the year injured and lost his top status. It’ll be interesting to see what kind of camp he has. Will he be on a tear? Will he be smooth as silk at the plate? Will the power be there? Those are some things to find out and find out quickly.
4. PCA Time
I am wondering just how much time Pete Crow-Armstrong is going to get with the major league club this spring and what kind of time it’s going to be. Will he come in as a cleanup guy in the middle innings or will he start against MLB pitching? With his defense already being MLB ready, all that’s left for him to do is to face advanced competition and this is just the beginning of his 2023 season.
5. The Kids
I am really looking forward to seeing Chris Paciolla and Adan Sanchez in spring training. There’s no doubt in my mind that those are two of the most important young hitters in the system, and how they do in the first spring training could set the stage for a wonderful career.
6. Coming North
A few of the top prospects from last summer’s DSL squads should be heading north soon. Will it be in time for spring training? Could we see Jose Escobar or the recently signed Derniche Valdez? Jefferson Rojas is already in Mesa and drawing rave reviews. So is the aforementioned Adan Sanchez.
7. The Crunch
With a lot of kids filtering up from Myrtle Beach to South Bend to Tennessee, there’s going to be a little roster crunch and some players are not going to be able to withstand the crunch and they will be released. Others will spend some time in extended spring training and it is going to be interesting to see if the Cubs do release several guys before that crunch takes effect. It happens every spring.