Spring Training Round Robin
What do you think of this year's spring training cap?
Matt: It's okay. I like the idea, it just doesn't work.
Staci: Can I put a barf emoji in here? Is that possible?
Steven: The good thing about playing in Arizona is that the sun is so bright, you are blinded from seeing the hat.
Tina: No thank you please.
Pronk: That is literally the worst Cubs hat I have ever seen.
Brooke: I'm not as picky as Tina, I'd wear it at the game if I got it for free ;)
Nike is the new official uniform sponsor! Is a new jersey on your wishlist?
Matt: The swoosh definitely has odd placing, but I don't quite get all the extended grousing.
Staci: That swoosh is in the worst possible place. I think I'll pass.
Steven: I'm not a fan of advertising on jerseys at all but if MLB goes this route (and they will) then they should make jerseys for purchase without the logo. I'm not getting paid to advertise.
Tina: The swoosh needs to be somewhere else, like the sleeve. I also hear they are even more expensive than the Majestic ones, so I'll pass. I do need a new Rizzo shirsey tho.
Pronk: I really don't care for the swoosh. I'm old school when it comes to no ads on jerseys. But even if something has to be on there... why not on the sleeve? It's currently just too high and out of place.
Brooke: I worked at the Nike on Michigan Ave for over a year so I'm used to that swoosh. I need to get Both and Darvish shirts! Though I'd probably do t-shirts for the $$$.
In 2019 when Mark Zagunis made the Opening Day Roster it came as a bit of a surprise, will there be any surprises the year and if so, then who?
Matt: Nico is going to force their hand and make them start the season with him. Kipnis is going to be .800+ OPS this year (against righties) #NerdAlert shocks the world as the 5, posts an ERA under 4 in the spring.
Staci: The biggest surprise I think we could see is Alec Mills getting the last starter slot over Chatty. Honestly, Chatty was super effective in his swingman role last season and I think they should keep him there.
Steven: No surprises in my opinion. I think Nico gets a bit more time in the minors and Underwood gets a bullpen role since he is out of minor league options. The biggest surprise might be the opening day starter. Does Rossy pick Hendricks, Darvish or does he give the nod to his long time teammate, Lester?
Tina: I don't really see any surprises. If there will be any, it will be in the pitching side.
Pronk: I'm not sure there's going to be any huge surprises per say. Nico could start at the MLB level with a huge spring, but I think the Cubs will still season him with Bote, Kipnis, and Descalso in the mix. The bullpen is fairly open competition, so I think whomever pitches well is in...which isn't really a surprise.
Brooke: Since the 26th man has to be a position player, I guess that's where the surprise would be. BUT, with 16 bullpen pitchers listed on the official MLB depth chart for the Cubs, I guess the surprise will be that Underwood Jr. makes the team (he's out of options).
How do you think the battle to be the 5th starter will play out?
Matt: Alec Mills
Staci: Oh, I guess I already answered that!
Steven: I think Chatwood has the inside edge. He was decent in the bullpen last year and I do think the contract has a bit of sway. They paid him to be a starter and I think he will be given that chance again.
Tina: It'll definitely be a battle between Chatty & NerdAlert. I think Chatty ends up being #5 and Mills kept as long relief, but at some point in the season, I think the roles will be reversed.
Pronk: Chatty or Mills. I think it's a spring training battle. Maybe Azolay if those both falter and he has a good spring. Might come down to health, but might also come down to performance if 2 of those 3 names are lit up all spring.
Brooke: It's Chatwood's job to lose (mainly because of his paycheck). I don't think they will cut Alec Mills though.
Who do you predict our Opening Day Second Baseman will be?
Matt: Nico is going to force their hand.
Staci: I think we'll see Jason Kipnis get most of the time there until Nico is ready. I wouldn't be surprised to see Nico there by mid-season, tho.
Steven: My guess is Descalso.
Tina: My wild stab is Bote.
Pronk: Bote. Descalso and Bote will likely platoon until Nico's ready. Maybe some Kipnis now too.
Brooke: Probably Bote, though I'm pretty excited for Nico too! But, I guess they are gonna probably start him in Iowa.
Who is showing up to Spring Training in the best shape of their life?
Matt: Jown Lesta already looks fit and trim, so does the Captain. I'm digging the vibe around this team.
Staci: Willson Contreras. He's already looking more ripped in his workout videos, and I think he feels like he has something to prove after all the trade talk.
Steven: The correct answer is we don't have enough information. Shirts off, boys!
Tina: Have you all seen pictures of Rizzboo??? Hopefully his leaner physique helps his back stay healthy.
Pronk: Kris Bryant. He lost his service time grievance, and has had back to back subpar (for his standard) seasons. Last year he was off and rolling until injuries set in. He's likely playing to make sure every team knows he's a top 5 player and is deserving of Harper/Stanton money. Maybe Quintana as well, since he's going into free agency and is currently on the downturn.
Brooke: I think Bote will show up ripped and ready to go and Happ too. Both want to be starters and potentially could be!