WASHINGTON -- Here are some bits and pieces from the first couple of days of the season while we wonder if Max Scherzer would've thrown the first Opening Day no-hitter since Bob Feller if not for some mistakes by his teammates. (For what it's worth, the always-accountable Ian Desmond said he felt like a Little Leaguer.)
1. The Chicago Cubs' shortstop situation is a work in progress. New manager Joe Maddon mentioned in his office the other day that Kris Bryant took pressure off everyone else in camp in spring training because of all the attention paid to his performance and the timing of his ascension to the big leagues. (Speaking of which, April 17 is a date worth watching; it's a Friday home game at Wrigley Field against the Padres, and it's after enough time has passed so that Bryant won't get credit for a full season of service time.) But as soon as Bryant is called up, the next big item on the Cubs' agenda might be shortstop.
Prospect Addison Russell won over his teammates in a big way this spring with his talent -- especially on defense, showing quickness and excellent hands -- but also with his demeanor, particularly the serious way he goes about his work. If you took a show of hands in the Cubs' clubhouse, I suspect most would probably vote for him as the organization's best glove man at the position, and some rival evaluators believe Russell could hit in the big leagues well enough right now to support his defense.
The Cubs already have an All-Star at the position in Starlin Castro, who is a proven hitter in the big leagues.