The Chicago Cubs have several veterans utilizing their training facilities in Mesa, Arizona, in hopes of getting back to work soon.
Consider this an extended offseason despite the Chicago Cubs already playing a handful of Cactus League games. If you’re already experiencing the shakes due to the lack of baseball, consider trying MLB The Show 20. No, this is not a sponsored ad.
Either way, we are all in the middle of something that is much larger than sports. Daily routines have been asked to be put on hold to get things under control. Right now, teams across the league should be trimming their roster with Opening Day right away the corner.
Unfortunately, as mentioned, Opening Day has been delayed meaning a somewhat shortened season. However, the decision to suspend baseball (or sports in general) operations has not prevented all athletes from keeping themselves ready at all times.
Currently, a little under 20 members of this Cubs roster remain in Mesa while others, including personnel, have returned home. Names such as Anthony Rizzo, Kyle Schwarber, Jose Quintana, Kyle Hendricks, Yu Darvish, Ian Happ, and Albert Almora Jr. are a few who remain.
And yes, they’re doing everything they can to help prevent each other from being exposed to the virus itself. Schwarber mentioned to the press that he’ll give elbow bumps to teammates rather than shaking hands.
A wise choice, Schwarbs. Making the decision to stick around and work on their mechanics will pay off for younger guys on the roster. For example, Almora and Happ, as both men aim to find their identity in the league.
Almora had been red-hot before operations being suspended, hitting .276/.323/.517/.840 with two home runs and six RBI. Happ, 25, was sent to Triple-A Iowa last season in the attempt to help lower his strikeout ratio.
Through a career 891 at-bats, Happ struck out 335 times while recording 219 hits and drawing 124 walks. So, having some veteran bats to work with him, specifically, Rizzo, is a very positive thing.
Rizzo believes it was in his best interest to remain in Mesa, where he has access to a controlled facility. Anthony, whose 2020 option was picked up in December, has been the backbone of this organization since his arrival eight years ago.
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Fans are hopeful that he, along with other apparent names, receive fresh contracts at some point in the near future. If anybody deserves to spend the rest of his playing career with the Cubs, it is Anthony Rizzo.
Currently, there is no telling when operations will receive the green light to continue. For now, we all need to do our part in hopes of our lives returning to normal soon.
** NOTE ** — Self-care and the wellbeing of your family are very important. Those athletes who have opted to return home to their families rather than staying near a team facility will not be faulted for doing so.