Before any spring training games were played in 2020 the Cubs had already tipped their hand on who would be the fifth starter to begin the regular season. By no means was Tyler Chatwood just handed the job, but from the outset of spring training it seemed like it was his spot to lose. While Alec Mills has been awesome you can’t say Chatwood hasn’t earned the fifth starter role because he’s been great as well.
Of course, it’s tricky to point to stats in spring training and claim a pitcher is fixed, but Chatwood has looked better beyond just the box score. We all know his stuff is nasty, has incredible movement on his pitches, but will he be able to control them has always been the issue.
After Tuesday’s 3.2 scoreless inning against the Giants, Chatwood’s spring training ERA fell to 1.86. But we’ve seen low earned run averages from him the past two spring trainings, 2.91 ERA in 21.2 innings in 2018 and a 2.57 ERA in 14 innings last year. Can we really believe in Chatwood now?
But again, Chatwood does seem to be doing a better job of controlling his stuff and has only walked two in 9.2 innings. Basically, I’m ready to be hurt again, Tyler.
And now that Chatwood has more confidence, maybe he could mix in more things that will only make hitter’s more confused at the plate.
I’m not expecting Chatwood to all of a sudden have a Yu Darvish transformation from the second half of 2019, but how about just getting back to the walk rate before signing with the Cubs. That’d be swell.
Oh and speaking of Tuesday’s game against the Giants, the Cubs offense went to work early and often following their day off Monday. Cubs won 16-3, pounding 21 hits, seven of them coming in the second inning alone.
Poor Kyle Schwarber, he was the only starter without a hit, going 0-for-4.
Ian Miller kept doing his thing too. Had a sac-bunt, then added an RBI-single in the ninth, took second on a throw home and scored on a single. David Ross loves this dude.
Before the game the Cubs made their second round of cuts and that included top catching prospect Miguel Amaya and right-handed pitcher Adbert Alzolay.
Ross had some high praise for Amaya.
Anthony Rizzo on the idea of playing in empty stadiums because of the coronavirus.
Right now MLB is temporarily restricting access in the clubhouses, so teams are getting creative with the media. Actually, kind of easy with the technology that is available.
Finally, Yu Darvish, who pitched in a simulated game Friday, is scheduled to start against the Padres on Wednesday. Jon Lester will follow.
With Darvish starting Wednesday he’s in line to be the Opening Day starter, as Bruce Levine said Saturday on the Marquee Sports Network.