Zach Davies

Cubs' Zach Davies Sharp in First Start Since Yu Darvish Trade

Davies sharp in first Cubs start since Darvish trade originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

The Cubs are counting on Zach Davies to contribute key innings to their starting rotation in 2021.

The right-hander’s spring training debut on Wednesday was a good first step.

Davies, making his first start in a Cubs uniform following an offseason trade that sent Yu Darvish to the Padres, threw two shutout innings against the Mariners. The right-hander allowed no hits, walking one while striking out two.

“It’s nice to be back out there,” Davies told reporters in Mesa after the outing. “It’s nice to play against other teams and get back on track.”

Davies’ line was nearly identical to Kyle Hendricks’ spring debut, perhaps fitting considering the comparisons made between the two pitchers through the years. Hendricks on Monday also threw two shutout innings, allowing one hit and one walk with two strikeouts.

Davies — expected to be one of the Cubs' top three starters in 2021, alongside Hendricks and Jake Arrieta — noted he worries less about results early in camp compared to making sure his mechanics are right.

But, like Hendricks, one thing he’s looking for in spring games is how opposing hitters react to how he attacks them in the box.

“So much of my game, a lot like Kyle, [it’s] reading swings, reading approaches and trying to see how they see pitches off of you and what you can do to combat that and adjust to that yourself,” Davies said. 

“When a hitter is in the box, it definitely gives you that much more of a response to what you’ve been working on.”

So far, so good.

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