The unofficial start of the baseball season began Sunday night when the New England Patriots defeated the Seattle Seahawks. And with the Super Bowl in the rearview mirror, it’s all about baseball with pitchers and catchers reporting to Mesa in 17 days.
The Cubs will have at least five catchers in big league camp, unless the front office finds a team interested in paying the asking price for Welington Castillo. Along with Castillo, the Cubs pitching staff will start throwing to Miguel Montero, David Ross, Rafael Lopez and Taylor Teagarden on Feb. 20.
And the Cubs’ staff is going to love pitching to Miguel Montero according to a report from the Tribune.
Mark Gonzales talked with one-time White Sox hurler Daniel Hudson and he spoke highly of his former battery mate. Hudson enjoyed working with Montero and thinks the Cubs staff will as well. Hudson said Montero “knows the league well” and will “devote Spring Training to knowing the pitchers.” Plus, according to Hudson, Montero is “good at reading a pitcher during a game.”
Hall of Famer Randy Johnson liked pitching to Montero, and the Cubs new backstop appreciated the confidence Johnson instilled in him.
Montero is looking “forward to the challenge of playing at Wrigley Field.” Montero said he really enjoyed the convention and the reception he received from Cubs fans.
The addition of Montero, along with David Ross, Jason Motte, Dexter Fowler and Chris Denorfia, was part of the front office’s plan this winter to infuse veteran leadership to the young roster.
Regardless of what the groundhog sees today, there are only 31 days before the Cubs’ Cactus League games begin.
While everyone waits for Major League Baseball to give teams clearance to sign Yoan Moncada, the Tigers worked out Moncada last week in Lakeland, Florida, according to Jason Beck, at the team’s Spring Training facility.
The Tigers are added to the long list of teams that has worked out Moncada. Multiple reports have confirmed the Yankees, Red Sox, Dodgers, Padres, Rays, Brewers and Rangers have had private sessions with Moncada. The Cubs, Phillies and Cardinals are reportedly very interested in Moncada as well. And the Cubs were expected to work him out two weeks ago. It’s unknown if the workout with the Cubs took place.
Jason Beck reported the Tigers “rarely make big-ticket signings on the international market.” Detroit was in on OF Rusney Castillo and OF Yoenis Cespedes before they inked deals with the Red Sox and A’s. Beck isn’t sure if the Tigers would be willing to overspend for Moncada and risk being penalized for the next two spending periods.
Cubs Weekend Headlines
The week-long look at the top prospects in the Cubs’ system and throughout baseball concluded. The Cubs signed a minor league free agent and re-signed a righty that pitched last season with the Iowa Cubs and the front office shut down Javier Baez for the winter.
Tom Ricketts said the Cubs will honor Ernie Banks during the upcoming season and a patch to pay tribute to Mr. Cub will be ready soon.
If you missed any of the news, notes and rumors over the weekend, click on the links below … also don’t forget to place your vote in the CCO’s new poll →
- Could Jake Arrieta Be the Key to the Cubs Success?
- The Daily CCO: Cubs End Javier Baez’s Winter Season Early
- Keith Law’s Top 10 Cubs Prospects for 2015
- Cubs Sign OF Mike Baxter to Minor League Contract, Re-Sign RHP Carlos Pimentel
- Yoan Moncada Reportedly Receives Clearance from Government
- Cubs Place Six Players in MLB Pipeline’s Top 100 Prospect List
- The Daily CCO: Cubs to Honor Ernie Banks During the Upcoming Season
- Tom Ricketts Talks Ernie Banks and the Cubs on Inside the Clubhouse
- The Daily CCO: Cubs News and Notes on the First Day of February
- Compiling the Cubs Prospects Lists
News, Notes and Rumors
According to Jim Bowden, six managers are already on the hot seat … Ron Roenicke, Don Mattingly, Fredi Gonzalez, Bud Black, Bryan Price and Ryne Sandberg.
Former Cubs’ lefty starter Paul Maholm signed a minor league contract with the Reds. Maholm received a non-roster invite to Spring Training. Maholm was with the Dodgers last season after spending the last half of 2012 and all of 2013 with the Braves. Maholm was very good for the Cubs in 21 games, 20 starts, in 2012. Maholm posted a 9-6 record with a 3.74 ERA, 1.24 WHIP and 4.14 FIP. The Cubs sent Maholm, Reed Johnson and cash to Atlanta for RHP Arodys Vizcaino and RHP Jaye Chapman in July 2012. The Cubs acquired Tommy La Stella last November from the Braves for Arodys Vizcaino.
Pace High Graduate, Addison Russell was ranked among top MLB prospects.
This Day In Cubstory
2012 – Cubs signed free agent Ryan Rowland-Smith
2012 – Cubs signed free agent Gerardo Concepcion
2009 – Cubs traded Michael Wuertz to the Athletics for Richie Robnett and Justin Sellers
2005 – Cubs traded Sammy Sosa and cash ($16.15 million of remaining $25 million on the four-year, $72 million contract Sosa signed in 2003) to the Orioles for David Crouthers, Mike Fontenot and Jerry Hairston Jr.
1998 – Cubs signed free agent Terry Mulholland
1985 – Scott Maine, born
1983 – Ronny Cedeno, born
1958 – Pat Tabler, born
1952 – Warren Brusstar, born
1950 – White Sox purchased Herman Reich from the Cubs
1931 – Ted Tappe, born
1922 – Sheldon Jones, born
1881 – Orval Overall, born
1876 – William A. Hulbert, the first owner of the Chicago National League franchise, organized the National League at New York’s Grand Central Hotel. Charter teams were Chicago, Boston, Cincinnati, Hartford, Louisville, New York, Philadelphia and St. Louis.