Duffy admits he didn't expect to make Cubs final roster
After spending 2020 at the New York Yankees alternate site, Matt Duffy wasn't a high-profile free-agent addition for the Cubs.
But he made the regular season roster, probably to the surprise of many. After going 3-for-4 with 3 RBI on Wednesday against the Mets, Duffy admitted he was a little surprised too.
"Obviously pumped about it. But yeah, I was a little bit surprised," Duffy said. "Just the spring that some guys were having. It seemed from where I stood, there were four guys that had opportunity to win a few spots and I think I came on a little bit in the last week, but I thought with the spring some other guys had, that I might be on the outside looking in.
"But what was expressed to me was just my skill set and putting the barrel on the ball and putting together quality at-bats off the bench was valued I think a little bit more than I thought they maybe valued it when I was just internally stewing in my head about what the roster was going to look like."
Duffy was referring to a glut of infielders, with David Bote, Eric Sogard, Nico Hoerner and Ildemaro Vargas. Eventually, the Cubs sent Hoerner and Vargas to the alternate site.
Duffy brings some veteran experience. He got 2 at-bats in the 2014 World Series with San Francisco and was also in the playoffs with Tampa Bay in 2019. The former 18th round draft pick finished second in NL rookie of the year voting in 2015 to Kris Bryant.
"I think when I finally just stopped worrying about that and said, 'Hey, just play baseball and be yourself and if they like you, they like you,' I feel I kind of relaxed a little bit and play started to improve at the end of spring there," Duffy said.