Today is the first day that pitchers and catchers will report to Spring Training for the 2018 Chicago Cubs. The season hasn’t even started yet and a ton of Cubs fans (myself included) cannot wait to see what the season will bring.
- Can the team bounce back from getting bounced in the NLCS?
- Who will be the next breakout star?
- How big of an impact will Yu Darvish have?
- Who’s teeth can I make fun of since John Lackey is not coming back?
The first day of Spring Training has always brought a new hope to fan bases across the nation. It is a chance for fans to get their first glimpse at pitchers and catchers before the rest of the team reports in a little under a week. It’s a time when fans can begin to piece together their favorite team’s pitching rotation and start to over analyze every nuance in the first day of camp.
I’m not the only one who thinks he has all the answers after watching pitchers throw for 10 minutes on day one of camp, am I?
The Cubs fan base was turned upside down a few days ago when the team made the biggest splash in free agency thus far when they signed former Los Angeles Dodger, Yu Darvish. The pitching rotation was already solid without Darvish but signing him to a six-year deal has turned the team’s rotation into the best in baseball.
Darvish and the rest of the Cubs pitchers and catchers reported to camp today in Mesa, Arizona. Upon arrival, the team was greeted with a clear message about how Cubs manager Joe Maddon envisions the 2018 season to go.
Happy 1st official pitchers/catchers workout day from #Cubs camp in Mesa. Message on top of schedule is: "Dominate"
— Carrie Muskat (@CarrieMuskat) February 14, 2018
Maddon has been known to give each season it’s own “theme” as Spring Training kicks off and he told reporters today that he’ll reveal the 2018 theme piece by piece. However, it’s a pretty clear indication of how the theme will go if on the first day, the first word you see is “dominate.”
Reading that theme made me start to think about the 2018 campaign for the Cubs and would they be able to return to their dominant 2016 selves? The 2016 World Series championship seems so long ago and although they advanced to their third straight NLCS last year, the loss to the Dodgers in the division championship seemed to be a big let down.
The silver lining about about getting over a disappointing 2017 season is the fact that starting today, we can now officially shift our attention to the 2018 Chicago Cubs.