Spring training has begun as pitchers and catchers have reported to Mesa, Arizona to begin the 2019 season. It was the longest offseason for the Cubs since 2014-2015 after being eliminated in the Wild Card game back in early October.
Many of the guys had already made their way to the spring facilities in Mesa but now everyone is there on the mandatory day. The 40-man roster currently has 26 pitchers and three catchers with the non-roster invitee list consisting of 14 pitchers and three catchers. Most of these guys are coming in healthy with exception of closer Brandon Morrow and Kendall Graveman who is on the 60-day IL.
Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune has already posted video of Kyle Hendricks, Jon Lester, Steve Cishek and Kyle Schwarber throwing and playing catch in Mesa with other reporters showing others working out as well. One of the big story lines this spring is Yu Darvish’s return to the game after spending most of 2018 sidelined with injury. Darvish threw off of a mound and said he felt great the other day. All the other starters come in just looking to get back in the baseball groove.
It was also pointed out that Addison Russell was in camp today taking batting practice and working on the field. He is allowed to work out in the facility but not participate in games when the season starts as he serves the 40-game suspension. It is still unclear what his future with the organization is beyond that. He will apparently address the media later this week.
In just a few weeks the first spring games will begin. For now we will watch players work out and get back into shape. There will also be eyes on the remaining free agents that have not signed.