Cubs News: Team shifts its focus to Cleveland with workouts behind them

Kyle Hendricks (Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images)
Kyle Hendricks (Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Cubs moves its focus to Cleveland, the realigned rotation and a five-inning simulated game.

The Chicago Cubs moved its target to the Cleveland Indians with its workouts out of the way. They’ve gone to a realigned rotation with Jon Lester and Kyle Hendricks starting Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively. Yu Darvish, Tyler Chatwood and Alec Mills will begin the Milwaukee series on Thursday. Mills threw 58 pitches on Sunday, that’s why he’s last in the rotation.

The starting rotation has a winning record combined (9-3). They have an ERA under 4.00 with the exception of Chatwood (5.40)–but he has the high in strikeouts (23) in 15 innings of work. Kudos to Jake Misener on that one. He called it, for now (13.9 SO/9). Darvish is behind him with 8.5 SO/9.

The unexpected rest and recuperation were ‘good for the soul’. The five-inning game was to keep their sharpness, but David Ross was keeping things light in starting Tuesday versus the Indians. Plus, the St. Louis Cardinals ruined the series for now on account of COVID-19. Thanks, Cardinals.

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"“I think the fun part is that we get to come to work together where we all feel super-safe in this environment,” Ross said. ‘‘So that’s a nice positive for us. Really good energy at our workout today.” h/t Russell Dorsey, Chicago Sun-Times"

The Cubs’ Ian Happ was pleased with the response given by MLB. Taking on a team facing a coronavirus outbreak is difficult. But MLB stuck with it, and they handled it professionally. Plus, the Cardinals series never materialized–but the Cubs were on-board to do whatever it takes.

"“We talked about it as a team, and we trusted the process of the league,” center fielder Happ said. “We trusted that the testing they were doing, as shown, would pick up any positives and that they would do a good job making sure that we were safe. And they did. We were completely prepared to play. We were ready to go and get those three games in, but obviously the testing protocols worked."

Next. Ross commits Happ to everyday center fielder. dark

Happ, plus the entire Cubs roster, was happy with the testing. The Cubs were the only ones that hadn’t had a positive player test (Tommy Hottovy, the pitching coach) but that’s it. It shows that Cook County, the leading per capita test, can be ‘defeated’. However, I don’t know how long it will last.