Chicago Cubs: Russell, Contreras homer; prospects find their roles
By Jake Misener
The Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox played to a 4-4 tie Matt Szczur faces long odds to make the big league roster and Ian Happ continues to impress.
On Monday, Brett Anderson made his Chicago Cubs debut, tossing a scoreless frame against the crosstown-rival White Sox in Mesa. He was backed by a pair of homers – one from Addison Russell, the other from Willson Contreras – as the game ended in a 4-4 tie.
Chesny Young also drove in a run in the contest, joining Charcer Burks as prospects most fans haven’t heard of who have contributed in a big way this spring.
Meanwhile, the New York Times revisited the D.J. LeMahieu trade, one of the first deals of the Theo Epstein regime. To some, it was a poor trade and nothing more. But to one of our writers, the deal is best forgotten given the landscape of the Cubs’ infield.
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Another name getting a lot of attention is outfielder Matt Szczur. The role player has already driven in three runs this spring, to lead the club. With a loaded outfield picture, however, it remains to be seen how he fits into the team’s long-term plans.
Top prospect Ian Happ also faces a similar situation. With more obvious upside than Szczur, Happ has no clear path to the big leagues. Up the middle, Addison Russell, Javier Baez and Ben Zobrist block his ascent to Chicago.
That being said, he remains a highly attractive piece for the Chicago Cubs. Whether or not he remains on the North Side for the long-haul is yet to be determined. However, if the Cubs utilize Happ in trades to shore up the pitching staff, a hefty sum could be leveraged.
Here’s the latest from the world of the Chicago Cubs.
Teams following Cubs’ Way in rebuilding efforts – Cubbies Crib
Homers not enough as Cubs tie White Sox – Cubbies Crib
Anderson please with progress so far – MLB.com
Cubs’ prospect Happ still figuring out role – Cubbies Crib
What role with Szczur play in 2017? – Cubbies Crib