Spring training report dates mean little these days, with the Cubs state-of-the-art facilities at Sloan Park drawing players back to Mesa well before they actually need to be there. Part of that is also the sense that something new and different is being built across the organization. Whether you agree with the way it happened or not, the players in camp are all genuinely stoked about what’s going on.
“I think the guys feel it,” pitching coach Tommy Hottovy told Marquee. “I think you see guys hanging around from their bullpens watching other guys, a lot of communication. It’s a fun group we’ve got…
“We got a really good vibe in the locker room already and camp hasn’t even started.”
Another aspect that can’t be overlooked is that this year marks the first “normal” camp for these players since 2019. It’s the first full camp some of the prospects have ever experienced, so the whole thing sets up a little like the most recent Cubs Convention. Between the new guys who’d never attended and the veterans who were back after three years, the energy was palpable.
“It’s fun,” David Ross excitedly shared with Marquee. “The cameras are here now so you guys see that, but I know they got here like a month ago. It’s ridiculous, man. These guys, I mean…Cody, as soon as he signed he was here the next day hitting in the cage, working with DK (hitting coach Dustin Kelly). These guys are hungry, man.”
As for how that will translate to success on the field once the games start counting, well, that’s something we’ll have to wait and see. There’s a real sense, though, that building around defense and makeup will help the Cubs to avoid the prolonged funks they’ve suffered through the last two seasons. At the very least, I really believe this is going to be a fun group of dudes to follow throughout the spring and summer.
Who knows, maybe they’ll even be enjoyable once fall rolls around.