Early Spring Training Pics: Almora, Schwarber, Contreras, and Jay take BP

We’re just a few days from pitchers and catchers reporting but some Cubs have already started to file in.

There were quite a few taking batting practice today and I have a few pics here.  You can’t really make any evaluation based on a February 11th BP session but I will say that Albert Almora looks impressive.  He seems to have put on some lean muscle weight and was showing some easy power in BP, hitting more over the fence than any other player, including Kyle Schwarber.

Not much else to say this early on, but here are some of the pics just to get the baseball juices flowing.  Apologize for the quality on some pics but some of these are from a long way away and through a fence.

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  • Cool! We're getting close...


  • In reply to Milk Stout:

    Less than a week away!

  • It is going be interesting to see which of all the pitchers make the
    team and the AAA roster.

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    Lots of competition, some AAA decisions might go down to last few days of spring,

  • Your mystery man might be pitcher Mario Meza signed put of Mexico.

  • Sights for sore eyes, thanks John

  • In reply to wastrel:

    You're welcome!

  • That last picture looks like Preston Morrison. Anybody agree..?

  • This week used to be a big emotional time for me as hope always sprung eternally that this could be the year! That was last year, yes we all know it actually happened when 'it [was] happening'. But now it is a different moment of anticipation, more mature and more resolute that this team is on the brink of something special.

    Since the 10 team playoff format (2012) only KC (W/L)has made it to the WS in consecutive years, while SF alternating years.

    Since the eight team playoff format (1995-2011) Texas returned consecutively (lost both), Philadelphia (W/L), NY Yankees W-3/L-1), and Atlanta (W/L), while St. Louis alternating years (W/L).

    Since the four team playoff format (1969-1994) Baltimore (W-1/L-2), Oakland (W-3) Cincinnati ( W-2), NY Yankees (W-2), LA Dodgers (L-2), Oakland (W/L), Atlanta (L-2) and Toronto (W-2)

    So over a 47 year period of playoffs to the WS, there have been 4 teams with a consecutive WS win and two teams with a triple WS run, Yankees making it four years in a row losing the fourth.

    Managing expectations Theo said the Cubs have a straight linear chance of 1% to repeat, not exactly, it is 4/47 or 8.5% by the number and it would cool to figure a quadratic/linear intercept based on youth/OPS, run production/run prevention or differentials against league average spread.

    Either way I think this year is more exciting than last. Even with a few lineup changes I anticipate that Schwarber's offensive numbers will increase though the Cubs will probably only start him 100 games. Total DRS will increase while another starter will emerge while Lackey will probably only start 20 games and essentially become the 5th starter.

    It all comes down to stable health. May the show begin in earnest.

  • In reply to rnemanich:

    Does feel different. And last year there was sooo much anticipation and hope. This year it's nice to see them back, but not quite the same feeling

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to John Arguello:

    I've missed your long well thought out musings. It's a diiferent feeling this year, but as I see the pictures John puts up I still get the anticipation of a new season and who will do what in ST and who will come out of "nowhere" to wow us.
    I really think that Albert A will surprise us, not because of what John wrote but he does adapt to every level and will again this year.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Actually my reply was to rnemanich. Sorry John.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    You saying you don't like John's stuff? Haha!!!

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Boy it was for me. I almost wet myself. Of course I'm 77 and have to be careful anyway.

  • In reply to rnemanich:

    I always enjoy reading your thoughts and analysis, rnemanich. You and I seem to share the same philosophies regarding pitching, defense, and run prevention. I always say that the only numbers that truly matter in baseball are the ones under the "R" column at the end of a game, and there are many ways to get there.

    One point in your comment piqued my interest. You said the total DRS would increase, and I'm curious why you think that. I can go both ways. An obvious area of concern is LF if Schwarber gets the majority of the innings, but I am high on his ability to play average defense. Adding Baez to any defense improves it dramatically, but I can only see a slight increase in his total defensive innings. We've lost Ross, and Montero may take the majority of those innings. Almora will play a lot of CF, so that will be a net plus. Like I said, I see pros and cons to last season. I'm certainly not predicting a collapse, but also recognize the historic level of awesomeness that was last year's defense.

    I'd love to hear your thoughts.

  • In reply to rnemanich:

    It does feel different, in the ways you pointed out. Today was Giants Fan Fest at AT&T. I happened to run into a group of excited Giants fans who'd gone to the fest. "Are you a Giants fan," they asked me, beaming. "No. Cubs." Their reaction was different than I've very seen before; different in a very satisfying way.

  • John... The last guy is Will Remillard... Has to be... Looks just like him.

    Unless you were just being sarcastic and I didn't catch it.

  • I can smell the fresh cut grass coming through my laptop's screen.

    Can't wait to watch the kids on the backfields and say hello to John.

  • In reply to Quedub:

    I've never been allergic to anything in my life, except for an ironic reaction to fresh cut grass during my formulative baseball years between age 7-9. I'm over it now.

    This is our last weekend without baseball!

    "Put me in, coach!
    I'm ready to play, today!"

  • I love Jon Jay repping The U. Lifelong Cubs and Canes fan/alum.

  • looking forward to getting into the season where the Cubs are the World Champions until someone knocks them from that perch..

    I think Spencer is right. The mystery man does look like Preston Morrison. Saw him pitch for MB last season.

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