The Cubs unveiled the patch the team will wear throughout the season to honor Ernie Banks. South Bend Cubs owner, Andrew Berlin, announced he bought into the team and is a limited partner of the Cubs.
While Joe Maddon led his players for the first time, the Cole Hamels and Yoan Moncada rumors increased.
Welington Castillo talked to the media and Edwin Jackson did, too. Hector Rondon is the Cubs’ closer and Maddon continued discussing the possibility of batting the pitcher eighth.
Even without all of the players on the roster in camp yet, it was a rather busy first full weekend of Spring Training for the Chicago Cubs. Here are the headlines with all of the news, notes and rumors from the weekend …
Cubs Announce Plans to Honor Ernie Banks, Includes Wearing a No. 14 Patch on Home and Away Jerseys
Late Thursday afternoon, the Cubs announced plans to pay tribute to Ernie Banks during the season. The players and coaching staff will wear No. 14 patches on their uniforms throughout the season and will honor Mr. Cub by wearing caps with the familiar No. 14 during the Cactus League openers in Mesa and Scottsdale on March 5.
The team is expected to announce additional tributes at a later date on how the Cubs will honor the greatest player in franchise history this season.
Baseball America Names Kris Bryant No. 1 Prospect, Six Cubs Land in Top 100 List
Baseball America released its ranking of the best 100 prospects in the game. And the Minor League Player of the Year for 2014, Kris Bryant topped its list. Six Cubs from the No. 1 system in the game ended up in the top 100 and four were ranked in the first 19: Kris Bryant (1), Addison Russell (3), Jorge Soler (12), Kyle Schwarber (19), C.J. Edwards (38) and Billy McKinney (83).
The Daily CCO: Theo Epstein Likes the Position the Cubs are In
Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer and Joe Maddon met with the media Thursday and had the team’s annual State of the Cubs Press Conference before the start of Spring Training. Epstein sounded upbeat and confident about where his team is and the organization stands. Epstein did not discourage the fans excitement for the season while asking for continued patience.
Joe Maddon held court and really dominated the opening presser, like he should. Maddon talked about respecting the game and what his first goals with the team.
Kris Bryant, while it’s not likely, has just as good a chance of making the team out of camp.
Includes news and notes from Spring Training and an update on Yoan Moncada.
Cubs Storylines of the Spring: Let’s Go
The annual Storylines of the Spring series began with an overview and a focus on Joe Maddon and his coaching staff. But the biggest story of the spring might be the Wrigley Field Restoration and Expansion Project.
Cubs 2015 Spring Training Preview: First Base
Chris’ position preview series continued with first base and the options the Cubs have behind Anthony Rizzo. And for the Cubs to reach their goals this season, Rizzo is going to have to help lead the way.
MLB, MLBPA Announce Pace of Play Initiatives and Replay Modifications
Major League Baseball and the Players Association addressed the pace of play issues that’s been viewed a big problem for the game. MLB also tweaked the replay system and added a coach’s challenge.
This is a must read for everyone that watches baseball.
Cubs Announce 2015 Regular Season Television Broadcast Schedule
The Cubs announced the broadcast schedule for the regular season late Friday. The Cubs open the season on ESPN2 and have 47 broadcasts scheduled for WGN-TV Ch. 9. WLS-TV/ABC 7 has 24 games on the schedule with the remaining games on Comcast SportsNet, FOX or ESPN.
Report includes the Spring Training broadcast schedule that was announced last month.
Andrew Berlin Purchases Minority Ownership Stake in the Chicago Cubs
Reports have been pointing toward the Ricketts family selling as much as a 20 percent minority stake in the team for almost a year. And Andrew Berlin, the owner of the South Bend Cubs, became the first known investor in the team when he announced the news on his personal Twitter account.
Other minority ownership stake holders should be announced in the coming days. Andrew Berlin is expected to be the first of several investors in the team.
Cole Hamels Update: Cubs One of the Four Likeliest Landing Spots?
Based on reports, the Cubs have some level of interest in Cole Hamels and have talked to Ruben Amaro Jr. about the Phillies’ ace. The Cubs are believed to be one of the four teams that made a real trade offer for Hamels. And, there is enough talent in the organization to make a deal with the Phillies.
Ruben Amaro Jr. reportedly wants either Kris Bryant or Addison Russell or Jorge Soler in a package for Hamels, and that’s simply not going to happen. There doesn’t appear to be a team willing to pay the cost to acquire Hamels plus take back the $96 million he’s guaranteed over the next four years.
The Phillies are waiting for a team to blink, but it might take Amaro Jr. to include some money in a deal in order to get the package of players he has to have in order to win the trade … and possibly save his job.
The Daily CCO: Welington Castillo Wants to Stay with the Cubs, News from Day One of Camp Maddon
Welington Castillo addressed his situation with the media, and he doesn’t want the organization that signed him when he was 17 years old to trade him.
Edwin Jackson also talked to the media and he’s focused on helping the Cubs win games in whichever role he may end up in.
Pitchers pitched, catchers caught, the Cubs hired a sports psychologist and call him a consultant and another former Red Sox number one pick was added to the organization. Includes news, notes, a Yoan Moncada update and rather sad news about former Cubs’ outfielder Gary Woods.
Cubs Storylines of the Spring: The Pitching Staff
Part two of the spring storylines series focused on the pitching staff. The Cubs have depth this spring and face a lot of decisions as long as the injury bug does not invade the team’s facility in Mesa.
Travis Wood and Edwin Jackson are the biggest question marks on the staff while two veteran relievers trying to comeback from injury could have an impact on how the Cubs first bullpen of the season is built.
Lots and lots of questions with only a few spots to place the answers.
Theo Epstein Talks Cubs on Inside the Clubhouse
Theo Epstein spent time Saturday morning on 670 the Score and discussed his team with Bruce Levine and Wayne Randazzo.
Epstein sounded confident throughout the spot while explained where the team stands on Welington Castillo, carrying three catchers and the depth in the organization gives the front office options to improve the big league roster.
Overall, an excellent Q & A segment with the president of baseball ops.
The Daily CCO: Hector Rondon to Keep Closing ‘Em Out, News and Notes from Day Two of Camp Maddon
Joe Maddon said Hector Rondon is his closer while saying he would use his best relievers in high-leverage situations. Jason Motte is looking good so far and the other bullpen roles will be determined. Maddon talked about hitting the pitcher eighth and will give Jon Lester the ball on Opening Night.
Another Yoan Moncada update as he gets closer to signing with a team and Spring Training news and notes from Day Two of Camp Maddon.
Cubs Storylines of the Spring: The Catchers
The third part of the Storylines of the Spring series focused on the six backstops in Cubs camp. Miguel Montero and David Ross are the Cubs’ catchers unless there is an injury to either one of the veterans that opens the door for Welington Castillo to stay with the team.