In the absence of me being able to attend Cubs workouts this spring due to the pandemic, I am going to share with you videos that the Cubs make available.
Here, as yesterday, is about three minutes’ worth of pitchers and catchers doing some warming up exercises and throwing. Jake Arrieta, Kyle Hendricks, Alec Mills and newly-signed Brandon Workman are visible in this video, along with a couple of peeks at Willson Contreras.
This is how things go in the early days of camp, generally — bullpen warmups and various drills. In this video you can see a couple of pickoff moves being worked on.
I hope to have more of these to show you in the coming days.
This news is interesting:
Worth noting for the Cubs' rotation situation: While Alec Mills is out of Minor League options, Adbert Alzolay has one option year remaining.— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) February 18, 2021
Jordan Bastian updated that later Thursday:
Following up on this: Turns out Alzolay *could* have an option remaining. That’s not set in stone. Cubs will have clarity on that soon. Either way, Mills and Alzolay will impact MLB staff this year. https://t.co/neNYk7zT1X— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) February 19, 2021
There were some questions regarding Alzolay’s option status; apparently, due to the length of the 60-game season in 2020, he gets one more option year. With Mills out of options, it is certainly possible that if the Cubs want to start with a five-man (plus occasional spot starts) rotation, Alzolay could be optioned early until he’s needed, and thus get in work every five days at Iowa.
Regarding Mills, Meghan Montemurro writes that he’s ready for anything:
Switching between roles in-season tests a pitcher’s ability to stay ready. Sometimes it might mean going a week or longer between appearances if the rotation is rolling and a long reliever or spot starter isn’t needed. Getting in mound work during those stretches is a priority, Mills said.
“It’s obviously a tough role,” Mills said. “I’m not too familiar with it but obviously excited — if that’s something that happens, I’d be more than happy to try.”
Incidentally, welcome home and to the Cubs beat to Meghan Montemurro, a Chicago-area native who spent the last couple of years writing about the Phillies for The Athletic.
Alec Mills said he has not rewatched his no-hitter yet.— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) February 18, 2021
"Maybe when I retire," said the Cubs pitcher.
That really was one of the nicest moments of the entire 2020 season, seeing a guy like Mills who has worked hard and long to stick in the big leagues put it all together for one afternoon.
Let’s hope for more memorable moments in 2021 from the Chicago Cubs.