Williams blanks Padres
Ryan Williams doesn’t throw hard, of the 39 pitches he fired on Tuesday, one hit the gun at 91, the rest at 89-90. Mix in the occasional slider and a change-up in the low 80s and you have a recipe for efficiency. Working out of the bullpen as a senior at East Carolina, the 10th round pick in 2014 has excelled during his brief pro career. A non-roster invite to spring training, Williams was named the Cubs Minor League Pitcher of the Year after dominating hitters to start the year at South Bend and was just as impressive in AA after a mid-season promotion. He went 14-3 between the two levels with a .90 WHIP and only 18 BB in 141.2 innings. Working three shutout frames against the Padres, Williams ran his scoreless streak to six innings this spring, however he did surrender four hits but worked out of trouble as his had runners on every inning. Due to the backlog of arms currently at Iowa, Williams is likely to start the year back in AA but he continues to produce results and move closer to a spot on the 40-man roster.
3B Jeimer Candelario (.357) has become a favorite of Joe Maddon as the 22-year-old earned another start at third. Candelario continues to produce, going 2-for-4 with a run scored and a RBI......If the battle for the fifth outfield spot was based solely on performance this spring, John Andreoli would be the leader the clubhouse. Andreoli displayed his speed on Tuesday, driving a ball off the right field fence and circling the bases for a inside-the-park homer. Andreoli is hitting .364/.400/.864 in 13 games......CF Albert Almora (.182) collected another base knock on Tuesday and scored a run in his only plate appearance......1B Taylor Davis, 2B Stephen Bruno, C Willson Contreras, and SS Logan Watkins all went 0-for-1.