What We Learned From Opening Day: Lester, Schwarber, Careful What You Wager

Yay, real baseball! Sort of. It’s probably not fair to the other 29 teams to call the Marlins an MLB club, not as currently constructed. As such, it’s hard to use them as any sort of measuring stick for the Cubs. It’s even more difficult to do so after only one game.

All that said, there were some pretty clear takeaways from Thursday’s opener.

It’s better to predict Ian Happ home runs than to bet against them

I had predicted that Happ would homer on the third pitch he saw, so when he went yard on the first pitch it brought me an “atta boy” or three. Bleacher Nation’s Michael Cerami, on the other hand, vowed to jump in Lake Michigan should Happ lead off with a dinger.

One of us remained clothed and cozy. The other, well…

Happ didn’t retweet me, though, so maybe Michael’s onto something.

Be careful when choosing your rental car company

In keeping with the BN theme, Brett Taylor didn’t have the best luck when it came to getting to the game.

Kyle Schwarber probably isn’t winning a Gold Glove

After leaping awkwardly into the wall in a futile attempt to track down a Derek Dietrich fly that ended up as a triple to lead off the 3rd, Schwarber whiffed on a grounder from Brian Anderson. While Jon Lester wasn’t helping himself out by giving up loads of hard contact, Schwarber looked a little twisted up.

But don’t go getting yourself twisted with talk of how Schwarber needs to be in the AL. This stuff happens, it’s one game, he’ll be fine in the long run. And even if he’s never going to be confused with Marcell Ozuna out there, those 400-foot blasts will more than make up for any deficiencies in the outfield.

Jon Lester isn’t an ace

I mean, you already knew this prior to watching Lester pitch Thursday afternoon. And even with the questionable strike zone and some defensive miscues, it was evident that the tenured lefty was not on his game against what can best be called a spring training lineup.

The good news is that Lester is better than what he showed in this one and that there are at least three other starters who should be better than him overall. Lester doesn’t need to be a Cy Young contender, though it’d be nice for him to get though five innings.

Chris Coghlan has magical powers of persuasion

Yes, Coghlan is back in the Cubs organization. This is the third time the Cubs have brought him aboard, and each time pretty much everyone has wondered what in the hell was going on. After playing poorly enough in Miami to be granted his release, Coghlan ended up in Chicago and became a really good player again.

The Cubs traded him to Oakland to make room for Dexter Fowler following that dramatic spring return, after which Coghlan was statistically the worst hitter in baseball. When the A’s let him go, Coghlan came back to Chicago and ended up starting in the World Series over Jason Heyward.

Now, coming off of two abysmal seasons, Coghlan is back with the Cubs on a minor league deal. He was first spotted batting against Tyler Chatwood in a sim game on Wednesday, but the Cubs didn’t announce the deal until Thursday morning. They must believe Cogs still has some gas in the tank and he’s a good dude to have around, so more power to him.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see him back in Chicago at some point this season, though such a development would probably mean something has gone wrong with one of the other outfielders on the roster.

Those were some of my takeaways, what were yours?

Back to top button