5 feel-good Chicago Cubs stories heading into Opening Day
Cubs pitching wowed throughout Spring Training
Early in Spring Training, it became clear that the pitchers throughout the Cubs organizations came to play. Compared to years past, pitchers in camp were sporting a lot more velocity, showing how the team's conscious efforts to add some firepower to the organization were already bearing fruit. Cam Sanders, Caleb Killian, Jordan Holloway, and Julian Merryweather were among many arms sporting nasty stuff throughout the month with the latter even earning a spot in the bullpen thanks to a strong performance that saw him strikeout 12 batters across 7 innings of relief. There were some struggles for Keegan Thompson and Brandon Hughes, but it became evidently clear how much depth the Cubs are rocking.
Beyond the prospects and relievers, the guys in the rotation looked sharp throughout Spring Training. Marcus Stroman, the de facto ace of the club and Opening Day starter, looked stellar between the pre-season and the World Baseball Classic and new addition Jameson Taillon recorded a 0.764 WHIP while becoming a strikeout monster with 11.3 punchouts per nine innings. That's to say nothing of Hayden Wesneski and Javier Assad, both of whom won spots on the Opening Day roster due to some monster performances. Assad, for his part, got to shine on the world stage too, eviscerating a dream USA lineup for three innings for Team Mexico.
Unless you're keeping up with minor league games, it's hard to fully grasp the potential the Cubs organization possesses with regard to pitching. Spring Training gave a glimpse at the talented arms that could reach Wrigley very soon. Speaking of Wesneski...