News and Notes: Jake Arrieta’s spring return, Javy Báez and more
MESA, Ariz. — Jake Arrieta’s spring return officially has a date.
Arrieta will start Sunday’s Cactus League game for the Cubs when they travel to Scottsdale to take on the Diamondbacks.
For David Ross and the Cubs, Arrieta’s spring debut will be all about feel and well-being.
“When you’re a veteran guy and coming into camp and especially back to a familiar place, just getting settled in and getting back to where he’s comfortable and his mechanics,” Ross said. “I think he’s excited to get back on the bump and show what he can do and continue to get back to who he thinks he can be and who we think he could be.”
Arrieta spoke earlier in the spring of mechanical issues that arose during his time in Philadelphia as a result of him trying to play through injuries. That’s one thing Ross and the Cubs will be making sure he can avoid.
“I think some of the fixes are gonna take a little while, right,” Ross said. “You gotta get back to being able to compete and still not falling into patterns or bad habits.”
Báez suffers contusion
Cubs fans had a minor scare Friday afternoon.
With the bases loaded in the 3rd inning, Javy Báez took a Cal Quantrill pitch to the right forearm area. Báez dropped his bat and immediately walked towards the Cubs dugout in discomfort. He exited the game and was replaced by Andy Weber at shortstop.
Báez, however, was alright, as he suffered a right forearm contusion. Cubs officials said that he was taken out of the game “out of an abundance of caution.”
Marisnick battling knock
With 5 spring training games played, the Cubs have rotated plenty of new and old players in their games as they look to garner reps and get up to game speed.
One player who hasn’t been featured yet, is offseason signing Jake Marisnick, who the Cubs signed in February. Ross said the team was holding him out as a precaution after he picked up a calf injury.
“He had a mild calf thing pop up the other day and just try to take it slow,” Ross said. “We want to make sure he’s 100% when he steps out there. So just a little bit of precaution early on. He’s feeling good. I think he’s gonna run the bases today or tomorrow.”
Marisnick battled hamstring injuries in both legs last season with the Mets that caused him to spend two separate stints on the injured list.
“I think the hamstring that popped up in New York was something that he ignored and kept pushing it and got pretty bad,” Ross said.
Hermosillo impressing in spring training
Ross and the Cubs are using the spring training games to see a variety of veteran players and prospects and what their skillsets are and how it could fit into the Cubs’ roster. One of those players who is starting to raise some eyebrows is outfielder Michael Hermosillo. In 7 at-bats, Michael Hermosillo has hit 2 home runs this spring.
“Just raw athleticism, to be honest with you,” Ross said of Hermosillo. “Like quick hands, good swing decisions he’s made so far.”
Like other guys who are new to the Cubs, Ross tries to look at them with a clear mind. While a player might have a certain profile or makeup, Ross tries not to get caught up with what they were viewed as. At the end of the day, Ross won’t rule anyone from making the Opening Day big league roster.
“I look at them as like when you get new players and you get a reputation of what they can and can’t do and they go out and watch and form our own opinions of how they might fit in,” Ross said. “I’m always looking at who is that last piece of the bullpen, who is that last piece of the bench and how that might shake out. That’s exactly how I view them.”