The Chicago Cubs are watching Albert Almora grow up right before their very eyes. After getting starts here and there while the team made its run for a World Series Championship, the outfielder came into the season knowing he was going to be platooning with new acquisition Jon Jay.

Cubs manager Joe Maddon has long said this won't be a true platoon, as both Jay and Almora are lefties. Instead, the time-share arrangement between the two players will be determined more by who has the hotter hand and who is the better matchup against the pitcher Chicago is facing.

Almora's strong spring for the Chicago Cubs

Knowing he had to show he could handle the center field job by himself, Almora had a fine Spring at the plate. Once thought to be mainly a defensive replacement, the outfielder showed he's got some pop in his bat this spring.

While it might be easy to discount his four home runs as being against pitchers who won't be on Major League rosters, adding those homers to a .318 average and 16 RBI seems to indicate Almora, who is still just 22-years old might be turning himself into a more complete player. It helps that Almora had a very nice stretch towards the end of Spring where he raised his average from .275 to .339 in the span of four games.

Jon Jay's less than impressive performance

The only thing that might have convinced the Chicago Cubs to give Almora the starting nod on Sunday night more than Almora's performance was Jay's less than impressive spring. The veteran outfielder didn't have a bad pre-season by any stretch but with a .273 average and just one RBI his numbers were far from eye-popping.

Like Almora, Jay is thought to be a defensive asset far more than an offensive one. If the Cubs can go with the player who might be offering both, they are going to do so. It also helps that neither of Chicago's starting options at Center have much history with St. Louis Cardinals starter Carlos Martinez. With opening night just a day away, there are still plenty fo questions for the Chicago Cubs, including whether they can indeed be the class of the baseball world for a second straight season.