The Chicago Cubs have a timetable in mind when it comes to closer Brandon Morrow. Meanwhile, Kris Bryant is primed for another run at MVP honors.
We’re just weeks from Opening Day – and the Chicago Cubs are beginning to see a 25-man roster take shape down in Arizona. One of the guys who will undoubtedly play a critical role this year, but will not open the year on the active roster? Closer Brandon Morrow, who is working back from injury.
We learned in recent days the Cubs hope Morrow will throw his first bullpen session post-surgery in the days leading up to Opening Day. This could, in theory, put him on track for a return to the mound sometime in April, if all goes well. Before going down with the injury, the right-hander was dominant, pitching to a 1.076 WHIP in 35 appearances.
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But his injury could very well open up a spot in the pitching staff for Tyler Chatwood, who fell out of favor last year given his horrendous performance. But the right-hander has been exceptionally strong so far in Cactus League play, leading many to question what his role will be on this year’s team. He cannot be optioned to Triple-A Iowa and is due $25.5 million over the next two seasons.
On Wednesday, he turned in a second-straight three-inning, zero-walk scoreless appearance. Most people headed into Spring Training expecting absolutely nothing from Chatwood, so if he can harness his above-average stuff and limit the walks, he could prove to be a big boost to the staff, regardless of the role he serves.
Rumors and reports continue to swirl regarding Major League Baseball’s proposed rule changes that could go into effect as early as this season. One of the said rules? A three-batter minimum for relievers to stop managers like Joe Maddon from mixing and matching and, thus, prolonging the game time. It’s yet to be determined if or when this will go into effect, but the impact on guys like Maddon will be huge.
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