Countdown to Pitchers and Catchers Reporting to Mesa: 0
Its reporting day for the pitchers and catchers as baseball begins for the Chicago Cubs.
Kris Bryant spoke with the media Wednesday on the eve of the pitchers and catchers report date, and the reigning Minor League Player of the Year delivered the same statement he has the entire off-season. Bryant plans on making it difficult on the Cubs to send him to Triple-A Iowa to start the year.
Bryant cannot control the decisions the front office makes concerning the Opening Day roster. He reported to camp early this year in order to get settled in. Bryant knows what to expect this spring after spending time in big league camp last year. Bryant would like to get a routine established as soon as possible so he can focus on preparing for the season.
Kris Bryant is expected to see time in the outfield this spring. He told the media he has worked hard on his defense at third base. Bryant feels comfortable at the position and would like to stay at third base.
The Cubs fifth different manager in six years holds his first on-field workouts of the spring Friday. Joe Maddon spent time on the main practice field Wednesday discussing strategy with his coaching staff, according to Carrie Muskat, so they can deliver a consistent message to the players.
Several pitchers, including Jon Lester, completed side sessions Wednesday under the supervision of Chris Bosio and Lester Strode. Miguel Montero and Kyle Schwarber were among the catchers that took part in the bullpens.
Kris Bryant and Addison Russell were two of several players that participated in batting practice.
Crane Kenney and the Cubs’ legal team spent Wednesday in court attempting to stop a judge from issuing a temporary restraining order to stop the ongoing construction at Wrigley Field.
Judge Virginia Kendall said Wednesday she would give her ruling at 10:00am CST on Thursday morning.
Two rooftop owners are trying to keep the Cubs from installing the outfield signage that would block their views into Wrigley and put them out of business.
Spring Training Broadcasts
According to ESPN Chicago, MLB Network will televise three Cubs’ Spring Training games: March 11 vs. Dodgers at Sloan Park, March 16 vs. Reds at Sloan Park and April 3 vs. Diamondbacks at Chase Field.
News, Notes and Rumors
According to Bruce Levine, Anthony Rizzo worked with a trainer in the off-season. Rizzo spent a lot of time working with Joey Votto last winter and chose a slightly different route this year.
The Marlins hired former Cubs’ pinch-hitter extraordinaire Lenny Harris to be their new assistant hitting coach.
Anthony Castrovince ranked the Cubs’ bullpen the seventh best in the game. Castrovince thinks Hector Rondon, Pedro Strop, Neil Ramirez, Justin Grimm and Jason Motte could provide the Cubs with a strong bullpen. And speaking of Hector Rondon, he was among the early arrivals to camp on Wednesday.
According to ESPN Chicago, it’s time for the Cubs to flip the script.
The Cubs are hiring someone to play music during games at Wrigley Field, a DJ job if you will, according to DNAInfoChicago.com.
Jay Jaffe previewed the National League Central Division.
The Cubs and White Sox are finally dealing in confidence and not just hope according to the Sun-Times.
According to Patrick Mooney, Joe Maddon’s message to the Cubs is bring on the expectations.
Mike Olt has seen progress since he started working with John Mallee according to Carrie Muskat. The Cubs have three questions as camp is set to begin: What do the Cubs do with three catchers? What to do with Edwin Jackson? Who’s at third base?
The Padres are looking to ride an all-hit, no field lineup to October according to David Golebiewski.
The spring has not been easy so far for LHP Sean Marshall. Marshall has been slowed by a sore shoulder and has not thrown off a mound yet according to a report from The Score.
Athletico Physical Therapy is adding the St. Louis Cardinals to its roster of sports team sponsors according to the Tribune. The Cubs and the Oak Brook-based firm were not able to form a partnership. Athletico decided to go in a different direction and “has no plans to rejoin with the Cubs.” Athletico “had a nice relationship with the Cubs … getting to the win-win was more difficult.”
FanGraphs examined the Cubs second base options, Javier Baez and Tommy La Stella.
Jon Lester likes to win … Let’s Go … the latest Cubs video from Schafer Condon Carter.
This Day In Cubstory
2004 – Cubs signed free agents Russ Johnson and Santiago Perez
2001 – Cubs signed free agent Ben Ford
1982 – Cubs signed free agent Dick Tidrow
1971 – Miguel Batista, born
1943 – Jim Cosman, born