Adam Warren makes debut: Warren gave up two runs in the first inning on three hits as he wasn’t fooling anyone early. His second inning was clean.
“Things moved a little bit faster than I wanted to,” Warren said. “It’s kind of expected. Little anxious out there especially with a new team. Really encouraging to go out in that 2nd inning and settle down and pitch like I know I’m capable.”
The spotlight will be on Warren early as he was acquired for Starlin Castro over the winter. Warren is slated for the bullpen but the Cubs left things open. They were non-committal in a pre-spring meeting.
“They said we can’t tell you what you’re going to do right now,” Warren recalled. “Long term I think they saw me as a starter.”
Warren is still adjusting to his new surroundings and his new manager, though having fun in his first Cubs camp. His former catcher in New York, John Ryan Murphy, asked how things were going playing for Maddon.
“I told him you come to the park, you know you’re going to laugh but you have no idea what’s going to happen,” Warren said with a smile.
Battle for a bullpen spot: Rex Brothers got off to a rough start this spring throwing four wild pitches in one inning as the Diamondbacks took control of the game with him on the mound. Brothers had catcher David Ross chasing balls all over the place with the final wild one scoring a run on a dropped third strike. It forced Maddon to make a mid-inning pitching change -- a rarity in spring games.
Dexter Fowler goes deep: Batting lefty, Fowler hit a long 442-foot home run to right field to lead off the third inning. Though he’s better from the right side during the regular season, Fowler says it takes him longer to feel comfortable there since he faces few lefties during the spring. He hit .228 as a lefty last season with a .331 on-base percentage.
“My timing is coming around on the left side pretty quick,” Fowler stated.
Albert Almora: As he’s seemingly done so many times during spring training over the past couple of years, Almora, the 2012 first round pick, once again showed off his talent with a ninth inning double to right center on Sunday. He’s 18 for 50 (.360) during spring games going back to 2013. If he can hold his own at Triple-A Iowa he has a chance to make his major league debut this season, though an injury before September would probably be the only way for him to make it to Chicago.
Pitcher injury: Pitching prospect Frank Batista left the game after “tweaking” his left quad after a batted ball got by him on the way to second base. He was seen limping towards the clubhouse.
Updated pitching schedule: Chicago's top four starters will make their spring debuts this week beginning with Jason Hammel on Monday. He’ll start against the Kansas City Royals in Mesa while newcomer Aaron Brooks will pitch against the Rockies at Talking Stick. After Kyle Hendricks and Travis Wood take their second turns of the spring on the mound on Tuesday it’ll be Jake Arrieta on Wednesday (Cleveland), Jon Lester on Thursday (Seattle) and John Lackey (Cincinnati) on Friday.