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Chatwood pleased with spring debut for Cubs

Right-hander throws one scoreless frame against Mariners
MLB.com @CarrieMuskat

MESA, Ariz. -- Tyler Chatwood always gets butterflies before he starts, but he had a little more anxiety than normal prior to Monday's game, which was his Cubs debut.

"I was nervous, I'm not going to lie," the right-hander said after throwing 12 pitches over one inning in a 9-9 tie against the Mariners. "It was a different uniform for the first time in a while so it was nerve-wracking a little bit.

MESA, Ariz. -- Tyler Chatwood always gets butterflies before he starts, but he had a little more anxiety than normal prior to Monday's game, which was his Cubs debut.

"I was nervous, I'm not going to lie," the right-hander said after throwing 12 pitches over one inning in a 9-9 tie against the Mariners. "It was a different uniform for the first time in a while so it was nerve-wracking a little bit.

Spring Training information

"Once I threw the first pitch, I was good. I tried to just get outs, throw strikes and get outs. It was definitely exciting to get out there."

Chatwood is one of four new pitchers expected on the Cubs' 25-man roster and the first of the projected starters to make his appearance in a Cactus League game.

:: Spring Training coverage presented by Camping World ::

It did not begin well. Dee Gordon reached on a throwing error by shortstop Addison Russell to start the game and then moved up on Andrew Romine's sacrifice against Chatwood. Cameron Perkins singled, but Chatwood got Junior Lake to ground into a double play and end the inning. He threw 12 pitches (eight strikes).

Romine and Chatwood chatted before the outing.

"I don't think I was expecting a bunt," Chatwood said. "I talked to Andrew right before that and he said, 'Give me one pitch down the middle' and decided to bunt it. I was trying to get ahead, but I wasn't expecting a bunt."

Chatwood will incorporate more curveballs and changeups in his next outing.

"It's fun to get back out there and see hitters in the box who aren't your guys," said Chatwood, who has had an easy transition from the Rockies to the Cubs, thanks to Kyle Hendricks, who was Chatwood's teammate on a high school travel team.

Power surge
Taylor Davis hit a solo home run and Mike Freeman smacked a tying two-run shot in the ninth against the Mariners in front of 10,021 at Sloan Park.

Chicago scored five runs in the eighth to pull within two at 9-7. Bijan Rademacher and Freeman each hit RBI singles. Mark Zagunis was hit by a pitch to load the bases, and Charcer Burks was plunked to force in a run. David Bote added an RBI single and another run scored on a sacrifice fly by Chesny Young, which the right fielder dropped for an error.

Spin zone
How do some players use all the statistical data available to them? Brandon Morrow actually used spin rate to help him against the Cubs in the National League Championship Series last year.

"I don't think it helps anything looking at my own spin rates, but I used it scouting," said Morrow, who was the Dodgers' setup reliever in 2017. "When we played the Cubs, I said, 'Give me two or three guys who they faced a lot with fastball characteristics similar to mine. Similar velocity, similiar spin rate.' The ball's playing the same, they're seeing it the same."

So, the Dodgers gave Morrow some video of the Cubs' batters facing the Brewers' Corey Knebel as well as some other pitchers.

"It wasn't just, 'Hey, watch this guy,'" Morrow said. "They gave me the numbers and comparisons -- he throws this fastball 'x' velocity and 'x' spin rate, and mine's this and this, and you can see how similar it is."

The approach worked. Morrow pitched in four of the give games and gave up one hit to the Cubs batters over 4 2/3 innings while striking out seven of the 16 batters he faced.

First impressions
Some of the young pitchers in camp have made a good impression so far. Manager Joe Maddon included Oscar De La Cruz, ranked as the club's the No. 3 prospect by MLB Pipeline, as well as Duane Underwood and David Garner.

"We don't normally get young, good arms here, since I've been here, and I think you're seeing more young, good arms," Maddon said.

Injury update
Third baseman Kris Bryant was scratched from Monday's lineup because he was ill. His status is day to day.

Ben Zobrist, who has been battling back issues since arriving to camp, was able to take batting practice on Monday. His status also is day to day.

Camp battles
It was Albert Almora Jr.'s turn to lead off on Monday and he went 0-for-2. So far, he and Ian Happ have shared the No. 1 spot in the lineup as the Cubs try to determine who would be best at the top of the order. On Sunday, Happ kicked off the game with a homer off the Giants' Madison Bumgarner.

"He's in a good place right now mentally," Maddon said of Happ.

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat.

Chicago Cubs, Kris Bryant, Tyler Chatwood, Taylor Davis, Jon Lester, Ben Zobrist