Tyler Chatwood sharp in Cubs’ spring win, Brandon Morrow on tap for next week

SHARE Tyler Chatwood sharp in Cubs’ spring win, Brandon Morrow on tap for next week

Chatwood in a bullpen earlier this spring.

MESA, Ariz. — First-year Cubs starter Tyler Chatwood added two scoreless innings to his spring totals in his second start as the Cubs beat the Reds 7-4 on Saturday in a Cactus League game at Sloan Park.

He allowed only a one-out walk in the second and struck out one.

“I felt sharper,” said Chatwood, who pitched around one hit in a scoreless inning in his spring debut. “My fastball command I thought was a lot sharper. My two-seam was a lot more crisp today.”

The Cubs improved to 6-1-2

Morrow – or the next day

New Cubs closer Brandon Morrow still hasn’t thrown in a game this spring, but that’s according to plan – the one he and staff devised when he signed in December.

Because of his heavy workload in October (and Nov. 1), the Morrow plan involved starting his winter throwing program later and easing into spring at a slower pace than most.

“It felt slow at first when I didn’t pick up a ball till after the new year,” said Morrow, who has become more comfortable with the pace as camp has progressed. “The great thing is they have experience taking guys deep in the postseason and learning how to handle them and learning strategy for the next spring training.”

Morrow last threw a live batting practice session Friday and expects to make Cactus League debut Monday or Tuesday. The Cubs want him to make five or six appearances before the season starts.

Wilson rolling early

Left-hander Justin Wilson, the former Tigers setup man and closer who struggled with command after a trade to the Cubs last July, turned in another scoreless outing.

He gave up a one-out hit on a 95 mph fastball and also struck out a batter in his inning Saturday. After scrapping mechanics changes he made after the trade last summer, he has retired six of seven this spring (two strikeouts).

Big bat days

Second baseman Tommy La Stella doubled to left leading off the second and later scored, and he doubled to left again in the fifth for an RBI.

Infielder Mike Freeman, who spent time on the big-league roster last year, singled three times in three at-bats, including the one-out hit to score La Stella.

Crowd source

The 15,516 crowd at Sloan Park was second in Cactus League history only to the 15,523 the Cubs and Royals drew at Sloan two springs ago on March 20.

On deck: Cubs at Diamondbacks, Scottsdale, Ariz., Jon Lester vs. Taijuan Walker, 2:10 p.m. Sunday, 670-AM radio.

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