Funny thing, the Cubs generally don’t play many night games in Spring Training and this year, have been in just two of them.
Marcus Stroman was the starter in both of the night games, March 18 against the Giants at Scottsdale and Monday night, a 4-2 win over the Reds in Goodyear.
Stroman allowed a pair of runs, including a home run to Reds catcher Aramis Garcia, but I thought he threw quite well overall.
Here’s how Stroman’s night went:
Marcus Stroman's pitches by inning tonight:— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) March 29, 2022
He's headed out to the Goodyear Ballpark bullpen to get some more work in.
I’ll save you the addition — that’s 49 pitches in four innings, and the last two were quite efficient. Overall, seven of the 12 outs Stroman recorded were ground balls, and that’s his game. The Marquee broadcast crew said Stroman was expected to throw around 60 pitches, and obviously David Ross and his coaching staff felt it was better to have Stroman throw the last 11 or so in the bullpen. I’d think this will target Stroman for about 75 pitches in his next outing, which will probably be Saturday against the Angels at Sloan Park. Then he could be at 85-90 for his first start of the season, which likely happens Friday, April 8 at Wrigley Field against the Brewers.
Here’s a strikeout Stroman registered against Mike Moustakas in the first inning [VIDEO].
Here’s Stroman talking about his outing [VIDEO].
The Cubs trailed 1-0 when Alexander Canario hit this RBI single in the second [VIDEO].
Canario can hit, but he is still very young (turns 22 in May) and hasn’t played above A ball. He’s one of the two guys who came over in the Kris Bryant deal last July, and I would guess he’ll be either at South Bend or Tennessee to start the year.
The home run Stroman served up made it 2-1 Reds, and then the Cubs bullpen did a pretty good job through the middle innings.
With a runner on base in the top of the eighth, Brennen Davis hit this monster homer [VIDEO] to give the Cubs a 3-2 lead.
That was Davis’ second homer of the spring, and it nearly cleared the berm in Goodyear, a drive of at least 450 feet. He’s looked every bit the guy who’s going to be a star in this league for a long time to come. He still needs more time at Triple-A Iowa. Incidentally, the MLB boxscore linked above couldn’t seem to figure out whether that was Brennen Davis or Zach Davis. Definitely Brennen, as you can see in the clip. This, in fact, is an accurate reading of just how good B. Davis can be:
Brennen Davis just has a presence at the plate that makes you pay more attention (it's crazy how much stronger he's gotten since being drafted too).— Matt Clapp (@TheBlogfines) March 29, 2022
Overall, Cubs relievers did a good job in this game. Jonathan Holder, Adrian Sampson, Stephen Gonsalves, Manuel Rodriguez and Ethan Roberts threw five scoreless innings, allowing five hits and two walks with nine strikeouts. Some of those guys could be part of the Cubs MLB bullpen at various times during the regular season.
The Cubs will return to Sloan Park — weather permitting, and it might not — to face the Diamondbacks Tuesday afternoon. Justin Steele, who seems ticketed for a spot in the Opening Day rotation, will start for the Cubs and hey, look! Our old buddy Zach Davies will get the start for the D-Backs. Game time is 3:05 p.m. CT and TV coverage will be via Marquee Sports Network.