Cubs, White Sox Monday spring-training report

Watching Carl Edwards Jr. pitch for the first time, an immediate question comes to mind: How does such a rail-thin guy deliver so much velocity?

You watch Aroldis Chapman pitch, you expect heat. Maybe not 104-mph heat, but you expect heat. You watch Edwards pitch, and you expect to hear he has a nasty slider or a crafty change-up.

Must be the diet. In a clubhouse that features kale-consuming health nuts like Jake Arrieta, Edwards must have a hidden nutrition trick. Right?

“I’ve actually been trying that Carl’s Jr.,” he told our Steve Greenberg. “First of all, because — hello — I’m Carl Jr. So I’ve been eating some Carl’s Jr. burgers. It’s been pretty good.”

CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 02: Carl Edwards #6 of the Chicago Cubs pitches in the 10th inning against the Cleveland Indians in Game Seven of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field on November 2, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Wait … What?

Carl Jr. is now into Carl’s Jr.? If you didn’t already like Edwards after what he did in the World Series, you’ll love him after reading Steve’s terrific story. Check it out.

SEEING RED

Our Steve Greenberg ran into George Foster, former Reds great from the Big Red Machine era, this morning and asked him about the Cubs.

Take a deep breath before you read Foster’s reaction to the questions.

Foster says he’s “pulling against” the Cubs and believes his Reds would beat the Cubs in a showdown.

Fighting words! Check it out here.

LEFT-HANDED COMPLIMENT

Jake Arrieta said he briefly “lost feel” on the mound Sunday and said he felt left-handed for a bit. Surely, Jon Lester would take issue with this slur, but we get it.

Arrieta eventually gave a right-handed thumbs-up to his outing Sunday, striking out five in his second Cactus League appearance.

JUST STOP!

Northwestern finally making the NCAA tournament after … after — let’s look that up … got it — after forever is a great story. It’s an inspiring story. It says so much about coach Chris Collins and his drive to take NU to new heights. But it has absolutely nothing to do with the Cubs. At all.

One Chicago newspaper — and we won’t even bother mentioning the Tribune by name — drew this ridiculous comparison last week on the front of its Sports page. The flawed idea goes like this: A college basketball team being one of 68 teams to make a postseason tournament is exactly the same thing as the Cubs winning the World Series for the first time in 108 years.

Both great stories. But that’s precisely where the comparisons end. Chicago-based columnist Jim Litke of the Associated Press did the heavy lifting here on why this comparison is utter nonsense. Thanks, Jim!

ON THE SOUTH SIDE

On second thought, Tim Anderson has some feelings on where he likes to hit in the White Sox’ lineup.

Eyed as a potential leadoff type, Anderson tells our Daryl Van Schouwen that he feels most comfortable in the No. 2 spot.

“I love that 2 spot because I’m an aggressive hitter,” Anderson said. “That one spot kind of slows me down a little, you have to see a few pitches here and there. Kind of make the pitchers throw everything they got and relay it to my guys if they ask me.”

RADAR LOVE

We’re still trying to figure out what the 2017 White Sox will look like, a rebuilding team or a middle-of-the-pack squad in the American League Central. One thing is certain: Following the progress of hard-throwing Michael Kopech will be one of the highlights this summer.

Kopech, 20, knows developing a deceptive change-up will be the key to putting his heat past major-league hitters.

He’s making progress with each Cactus League outing.

“The changeup is a devastating pitch when you have control over it and are comfortable with it,” he told Schouwen. “That’s what I’m trying to establish.’’

IT’S ALL ABOUT 27 OUTS

Former White Sox manager Tony La Russa used to stress the need to play a full 27 outs. That point was driven home — 14 times — Sunday when the Sox saved their best for last Sunday against the Dodgers.

Matt Davidson and Yoan Moncada each struck out four times as the White Sox scored just one run in the first eight innings. Didn’t matter.

So what if most of the lineup that late in the game was made up of mostly prospects from the minor-league camp? The Sox batted around twice, sending 18 batters to the plate. (There’s a two-touchdowns-in-one-inning joke in there, our Daryl Van Schouwen pointed out). Here’s what happened.

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