Davis’ 1st start is catch­ing for Darvish

Chicago Tribune (Sunday) - - CUBS - By Mark Gon­za­les

PHOENIX —Tay­lor Davis waited more than two weeks for his first start at catcher for the Cubs, and he had the chal­leng­ing as­sign­ment Satur­day night of han­dling right-han­der Yu Darvish.

But man­ager Joe Mad­don, who in­di­cated Thurs­day that starter Will­son Con­tr­eras would get a rest dur­ing the Di­a­mond­backs se­ries, stressed his faith in Davis — who hadn’t started a ma­jor-league game at catcher since 2017 and had caught only two in­nings since tak­ing the ros­ter spot of in­jured backup Vic­tor Cara­tini on April 12.

“Ac­tu­ally he’s a very good re­ceiver,” Mad­don said of Davis, 29, who had caught only eight ma­jor­league in­nings be­fore Satur­day.

“He’s got a great hand and stud­ies well, so he knows ex­actly what he wants to do. Ob­vi­ously of­fen­sively it’s go­ing to be more dif­fi­cult. He hasn’t had as many at-bats, but we have a lot con­fi­dence in him back there.”

Davis en­tered with a life­time .263 av­er­age (5-for-19). Cen­ter of at­ten­tion: Ja­son Hey­ward made his 12th start of the sea­son in cen­ter field de­spite min­i­mal work at the po­si­tion in spring train­ing.

“I don’t even try to be sur­prised,” said Hey­ward, who played cen­ter for much of his youth. “I’ve just got to be ready and do what I can each night.”

Hey­ward made 20 starts in cen­ter last sea­son, but Mad­don is find­ing more ways to keep Hey­ward’s bat in the lineup, even against left-handed pitch­ers.

Hey­ward is the Cubs’ most vo­cal out­fielder, so the switch from right is seam­less.

“You’ve got to be in tune with what’s go­ing on and pay at­ten­tion with each pitch,” Hey­ward said. “I al­ways talk any­way. In cen­ter field, I’m be­tween (out­field­ers), but we’re al­ways com­mu­ni­cat­ing.”

Gone but not for­got­ten: Daniel Descalso re­mains pop­u­lar among his former Di­a­mond­backs team­mates, es­pe­cially for his clutch hit­ting, which he has dis­played in his first four weeks with the Cubs.

“That’s the way he’s al­ways been,” said right-han­der Zack God­ley, who started against the Cubs on Satur­day night.

“He does an un­real job com­ing off the bench and get­ting big hits, and if you need him to start a game, he plays good de­fense. He’s cool to watch.”

God­ley vividly re­mem­bered Descalso hit­ting a three-run homer off Dodgers closer Ken­ley Jansen in the ninth in­ning of a 4-3 loss at Dodger Sta­dium on July 14, 2017.

“Those types of things are what he does well,” God­ley said. “I hate that he’s not with us, but it’s awe­some to see him doing well.”

In­jury up­date: Left-han­der Mike Mont­gomery’s re­hab start at Triple-A Iowa was post­poned be­cause of in­clement weather and was resched­uled for Sun­day as part of a dou­ble­header.

Dou­ble-A Ten­nessee in­fielder Nico Ho­erner, one of the or­ga­ni­za­tion’s top prospects, was placed on the seven-day in­jured list, retroac­tive to Wed­nes­day. Ho­erner was hit on the left wrist by a pitch against Chat­tanooga.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.