We have hit that point in spring training where I am ready for actual games to start. Unfortunately, we still have 2 1/2 weeks before that happens
Over here at North Side Bound we began planning our preseason extravaganza where we roll out a bunch of content starting next Monday, the 20th. We will have has some predictions about statistics for hitting, starting pitching, and relieving. We will also pick our players of the year in each of those categories. Each of the Gregs and I will each have a preseason All-Star team and we will also have a Comeback Player of the Year as well as the guys we expect to break out. Finally, we will also have our affiliate previews starting on the 30th with the Iowa Cubs. It should be a fun filled three weeks!
News of the Week
There was some press this week about Cubs prospects. Most of it revolved around Pete Crow-Armstrong, as his hype train continues to build this spring, especially with a couple of nice plays that he made in Arizona in the outfield.
Jordan Bastian of mlb.com did a really cool piece where Pete actually broke down the catch from the moment the ball left the bat.
Fox Sports also did a cool article where Pete Crow-Armstrong and Matt Mervis broke down their own history as Cubs fans growing up. It’s a pretty cool piece about how they played video games as the Cubs growing up. They talked about their love of Aramis Ramirez and Carlos Zambrano, which I thought was pretty cool.
MLB Pipeline also put out a cool article this week about players who could rise into the top 100 this summer. They didn’t have that many players in total on the list but there were two Cubs in James Triantos and Alexander Canario. I have a sneaking suspicion that they both could make it this year, although Canario is not that far off from being MLB ready, he just needs to be healthy. If I was making that list, I would have added Cade Horton and Jackson Ferris.
Speaking of which, Canario is not that far off from resuming baseball activities. It was announced on Friday that he is running in the pool and is close to getting back out on the field a good 2 to 3 months ahead of schedule. Here’s a quote from the Marquee Sports Network.
Audio of the Week
This is a first time for this nod. I enjoyed listening to Cubs GM Carter Hawkins talking about Brennen Davis and Matt Mervis and the expectations the Cubs have for them this year. It’s pretty clear they’re not going to make the ball club coming out to spring training, but it doesn’t sound like they have that many boxes left to check off at Iowa. And the Cubs are actually kind of glad Mervis struggled a bit this spring to see how he adapts and overcomes.
Even though the Cubs rearranged some deck chairs this week as far as transactions go, they did send some players down to some minor-league affiliates. The big surprise was seeing Miguel Amaya get sent back to Tennessee. Then again, Kevin Alcantara was sent to South Bend rather than Myrtle Beach where he was previously. In addition, the Cubs officially activated Cade Horton, and assigned him to the Arizona Complex League roster along with David,Avitia and a couple of other players.
Pictures of the Week
As someone who grew up in the 70s, I sort of idolized Fergie Jenkins and Billy Williams as they were in their prime when I was in second, third, and fourth grade. I just love this picture of the two of them sitting around either talking about baseball or food. That’s what I imagine.
These two guys were inseparable last year as teammates at South Bend. It was cool to see them play against each other this week as Owen was part of team Canada. This picture was taken by Scott Changnon of the Marquee Sports Network.
Dinger of the Week
Ethan Hearn is going to be one of the main players that I focus on at South Bend in the early part of the year and Harry is taking DJ yard and BP.
Draft Video of the week
Oh, look! Another Brock, Wilken home run! He’s at the top of my list with pitchers Cam Johnson and Rhett Lowder and infielder Brayden Taylor..
Jam of the Week
I was pretty busy this week between the IHSA regional, the conference tournament, 6 inches of snow, and kids wrapping up their history fair projects. It didn’t leave me a lot of time for music until yesterday. So when I sat down to do some school work, I naturally put on some relaxing music.
The Police put out this video playlist of the Ghost of the Machine sessions. It includes a lot of songs that would be B -sides or wound up on the Brimstone and Treacle soundtrack. I love this record a lot, especially my favorite track, “Secret Journey” which was written by Sting and Andy Summers.