(670 The Score) There’s little drama at Cubs camp when it comes to forming a 25-man roster in spring training. The starting rotation is entirely in place, and the lineup possibilities are all in mind for manager Joe Maddon.
This is the byproduct of a team with plenty of homegrown talent and some key free-agent acquisitions. The Cubs are expected to contend once again for the World Series in 2018, and spring training simply brings the foundation for a new year.
It’s just what Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer prefers this time of year, as he explained to the Spiegel & Parkins Show on Monday that the circumstances surrounding spring training success are often misguided.
“I love being in Arizona,” Hoyer said. “It’s wonderful. We do not make good decisions down here as an industry, as a team. The ball flies. Pitchers have a hard time keeping the ball in the ballpark. Every hitter looks amazing. In my career — and I think almost anyone in our position would say this — people don’t make good decisions in spring training.
“Every player is doing something different. You’ve got the guy coming in here who’s out of options who has already been off the bullpen 12 times in January and is firing or the guy who played winter ball who’s still in really good shape who looks amazing. On the other hand, you got the veteran pitcher who’s just working on fastball command to his arm side who’s going to throw 30 consecutive fastballs there to work on it.
“When we put fans in the stands and we start keeping score, everyone thinks that everyone’s playing the same, and we’re not. The one guy’s working on fastball command, the other guy’s trying to make the team. All those factors lead to making really bad decisions.
“I love the fact that we’re in a place as an organization now where we do have very few spring battles. I think that’s a good thing, because it allows our guys to get in shape the right way, to get ready for the season the right way as opposed to having a bunch of guys that are going full-bore trying to make the club.”
The only decisions awaiting the Cubs in spring include establishing pitching and lineup depth in case of injuries.