5 Cubs players who are putting up eye-catching numbers this spring

The early returns from key relievers have been impressive and a pair of potential bench bats are duking it out for a potential spot on the Opening Day roster.

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
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Big lefty Luke Little is ready to be the team's go-to southpaw in the pen

Despite his name, Luke Little is anything but small, standing an imposing 6-foot, 8-inches tall on the mound. We got our first look at him as a Cub last summer, when he made seven scoreless appearances and put up a jaw-dropping 16.2 K/9. The big knock on him is, as is the case with a lot of young relievers, control. He also walked 5.4 batters per nine, so honing in on that will be a big focus.

Given the Cubs' complete lack of impactful lefties in the pen (unlike the potentially lefty-heavy rotation), Little headed into the spring with the inside track on a spot on the Opening Day roster and he hasn't squandered it.

In six appearances, he's been about as reliable as they come, not allowing a run, striking out six and walking just two in those half-dozen innings. It's been awhile since the Cubs had a big shutdown lefty coming out of the bullpen, but I'd be surprised if Little isn't given a chance to be just that to open the season.