1. The lineup – we got to see it for the first time this weekend and it was spectacular against Archie Bradley and the Diamondbacks. And it’s been close to being fully loaded over the weekend with only Zobrist missing. today Zobrist was back in as the Cubs bashed out nine runs in the fourth through ninth innings against Cincinnati. I love the fact that Rizzo jacked one today. I think he is going to have a magical year.
2. MiLB.com the Cubs as having the 14th best minor league system. ESPN’s Keith Law had them ranked as the fourth best and Baseball America had them as the 20th. MiLB’s ranking was right about in the middle, where it should be, give or take 2 spots. MiLB also ranked the Cubs hitting the seventh and their pitching at 23rd. I think they got it pretty close. I think the pitching might be a little higher but the Cubs really don’t have an elite arm just yet. By the end of this year, they could have two or three in Dylan Cease, Oscar de la Cruz, and maybe even Justin Steele.
3. Preston Morrison, a favorite prospect of mine, had a rough day Monday. It happens. I guess the best way to put it was he got lit up like a Christmas tree. I don’t think there’s anyway you can sugarcoat giving up seven runs over the course of two innings. Glad he got that one out-of-the-way now rather than in the season.
4. Chicago Cubs Online put out their top 21 prospect list the past two days. Like everyone else, they had Gleyber at number one. Number two, surprisingly, was Billy McKinney followed by Dylan Cease at number three, Willson Contreras at number four, and Dwayne Underwood held at number five. Pretty routine stuff after the first five. Seeing McKinney second was different. To me, he still needs some power before getting that high.
6. Jason McLeod did an interview with ESPN’s Jesse Rogers and said this about the draft:
It’s going to be real weird not choosing on the first day. I’ve never had that before. Our challenge is finding good players in rounds 3 and beyond. I rolled out a spreadsheet to our scouts with good players from the past who have come out of there. The percentages go lower when you go down from each round, but the fact is there are still a lot of players who are impactful. We need to find those guys. in some ways we can focus even more because we don’t need to look at the top guys around the country. We’ll be ultra prepared.
There will be three draft posts on here this weekend. They include a look at players and strategies for the unique draft this year.
7. I get some of my spring itinerary set. Looks like I’ll be in the Quad Cities for two games to see South Bend on April 26 and 27. All I can think of is that I’ll be watching Eloy two days in a row.
8. I like the fact that Joe Maddon and Chris Bosio have had Lester, Lackey, and Arrieta do their prep work in the minor-league camp. For those veterans, it’s about getting their work in rather than starting at Sloan Park. I also find it interesting that one of Lester’s starts began with a runner on first and nobody out every inning.
9. Come Thursday at 3:10 P.M., I will be on spring break. I can’t begin to fathom how fast this school year has gone and that another baseball season is just about here.
10. I think I can smell baseball, it is so close.