Countdown to the Cubs Cactus League Openers: 12 days
Welington Castillo met with the media Friday and discussed his situation with the beat reporters. Castillo does not want to be traded. Castillo would like to stay with the organization that signed him when he was 17 years old.
Castillo said he put too much pressure on himself last year instead of just having fun and playing the game.
Joe Maddon said it would not be impossible for the Cubs to carry three catchers, but it would take some creativity according to a report from Carrie Muskat. And Maddon told Castillo the team has not been set yet and anything could happen between now and Opening Night.
Jackson’s role with the team moving forward is uncertain at best, but he’s not concerned about whether he’s in the bullpen or in the starting rotation. A clean-cut Edwin Jackson, or “Eddie” as Maddon referred to him Friday, started training earlier this winter than previous off-seasons. Jackson said he cannot worry about what he cannot control. He can only focus on what he needs to do to help the team win ballgames.
Edwin Jackson is glad to be reunited with Joe Maddon, his third Cubs manager in three years, and according to the Sun-Times, Jackson said, “It’s definitely cool having a good manager.”
Notes from Spring Training
Joe Maddon met with his pitchers and catchers on the field for about 30 minutes prior to the first workout Friday. Here are various notes from the first day of Camp Maddon …
- Jake Arrieta changed his workout routine and is doing pilates six days a week.
- Jon Lester, Travis Wood, Edwin Jackson, Jason Motte, Jason Hammel, Tsuyoshi Wada, Drake Britton, Justin Grimm, Neil Ramirez and Felix Doubront completed bullpens Friday.
- Jake Arrieta and Kyle Hendricks are among the group of pitchers scheduled to throw Saturday.
- Jason Motte tweeted that he had a good first day of class at his new school and enjoyed meeting all of his new classmates and teachers.
- Maddon does not know who will play third base. Maddon would not rule out Arismendy Alcantara and Javier Baez, among others, also seeing time at third base this spring. Mike Olt, Kris Bryant and Tommy La Stella were expected to get a bulk of the time at third base before camp opened.
Former Cubs outfielder Gary Woods passed away unexpectedly at his home in California Thursday. Woods was 60 years old. Reports Friday did not provide any details or a possible cause of death.
Gary Woods finished his big league career with the Cubs. In four seasons (1982-85), Woods bated .252/.323/.363 with a .685 OPS.
Dr. Ken Ravizza
According to multiple reports, the Cubs hired sports psychologist Dr. Ken Ravizza as a consultant.
Joe Maddon views a sports psychologist as another coach, same as a hitting or pitching coach and believes players should work on the mental side of the game just as much as the physical side. Maddon expects his players to talk to Dr. Ravizza, who Maddon has known since the 1980s.
According to Baseball America, the Cubs signed SS Ryan Dent to a minor league contract.
Dent was the first round pick by the Red Sox in the 2007 draft out of Woodrow Wilson High School in Long Beach. Dent has not played to expectations and turns 26 on March 15.
Ryan Dent played in 109 games last season at the High-A and Double-A levels in Boston’s system and hit just .245/.335/.372 with 28 doubles, four triples, four home runs and a .707 OPS. In eight minor league seasons, Dent put together a .229/.309/.337 line with a .646 OPS.
INF Yoan Moncada could be nearing the end of a rather long process. And for as much as other teams appear to have legitimate shots at signing him, the Yankees might be leading the pack as expected.
According to a report from the New York Post, Yoan Moncada held a private workout for the Yankees for the second straight day. Moncada worked out for the team Wednesday and then again on Thursday. And Hank Steinbrenner attended the Thursday’s workout.
Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reported Friday that Moncada has received “some” offers and “a few more” are expected soon.
Based on the various reports, Moncada will make a decision soon and could be in Spring Training with an organization by the time minor league camps open.
Ernie Banks No. 14 Patch
The Cubs announced Thursday several of the team’s plans to honor Ernie Banks this season. The team will wear a No. 14 patch on the home and away jerseys throughout the year. And the Cubs posted a photo of the patch on its Twitter account.
The Cubs will pay tribute to Mr. Banks by wearing hats with the No. 14 on them for the Cactus League openers. And will recognize Mr. Cub before the first spring games and Opening Night at Wrigley Field.
News, Notes and Rumors
Asked Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times if Major League Baseball had made a decision on the tampering charges the Rays filed against the Cubs for Joe Maddon. Topkin said there has not been a decision made yet, the investigation is ongoing.
Joe Maddon will think up something crazy for the Cubs according to Comcast SportsNet.
According to FanGraphs, things will get interesting with the Chicago Cubs infield.
MLB and the MLBPA released the new pace of play rules Friday … and the Cubs players are skeptical about them according to the Sun-Times.
Two other minor league deals to former Cubs’ players were announced Friday … OF Casper Wells inked a minor contract with Detroit and INF Donnie Murphy signed a minor league deal with the Brewers that includes a NRI to Spring Training.
This Day In Cubstory
2012 – Cubs traded Chris Carpenter to the Red Sox as part of the compensation for Theo Epstein and a PTNBL. The Cubs sent RHP Aaron Kurcz to the Red Sox on March 15 and received Jair Bogaerts from the Red Sox on March 29 to complete the transaction/trade.
2008 – Cubs signed free agent Alex Cintron
1981 – Tsuyoshi Wada, born
1981 – Adam Greenberg, born
1958 – Alan Trammell, born
1937 – Ted Savage, born
1880 – Joe Hughes, born