Lost in the big blasts hit consecutively by Jorge Soler, Javier Baez and Kris Bryant on Tuesday is that the Cubs remain winless this spring (0-6-1). And Joe Maddon was asked about the Cubs not posting a victory in the first seven Cactus League games.
Maddon told the Sun-Times he’s not worried or concerned about the team not having a win yet this spring but admitted he would like to have a winning feeling in the clubhouse. The skipper would like to play with a lead so he can “make some game moves.”
There have been several good performances over the first week, but some rather sloppy play as well. The Cubs have been charged with 12 errors in seven games and has a collective on-base percentage below .300 as the Sun-Times pointed out.
Maddon explained to the Sun-Times, “I’m not concerned, although I’d like to see it happen, of course, I’d like to see us win often and get that lovin’ feeling going on right here. And if you’re getting some wins you’re probably doing some good things.”
Jorge Soler and Javier Baez went deep for the first time this spring and Kris Bryant cleared an outfield wall for the second time in the Cactus League (Note: Bryant’s hit one to left center and one to right center). Bryant said after the game he’s just hoping the three can hit consecutive homers in a game that counts.
There was reportedly a collective smile in the Cubs’ dugout after Bryant completed the trifecta. Bryant said he wasn’t trying to hit one out and indicated his tape measure shot just made it over the wall. Bryant pointed out that both Soler and Baez hit theirs further than he hit his. And Bryant admitted he “cannot hang with them in terms of distance.”
Javier Baez said he felt great Tuesday after being lost on Sunday. He thinks he will be able to build on Tuesday’s success after picking up his first hit of the spring.
The reaction to the three blasts was priceless. And after Bryant’s sailed over the right centerfield wall, the focus of the final score of an exhibition game became even more meaningless. The only thing missing from Tuesday’s trio of homers by Soler, Baez and Bryant was Ron Santo screaming as each of the balls sailed out of the park.
Big League Weekend at Cashman Field
The Cubs make the annual trip to Las Vegas this weekend (March 13-14) and play a pair of games against the A’s. The other half of the Cubs’ spring roster and a few minor leaguers host the Indians at Sloan Park on Friday afternoon and make the trip Saturday to Maryvale to square off against the Brewers.
Joe Maddon is staying in the valley for the weekend and Dave Martinez will call the shots in Las Vegas.
The Cubs announced Tuesday that Jake Arrieta, Kyle Hendricks and C.J. Edwards will be among the group of pitchers that will spend the two days in Las Vegas and of course Kris Bryant is making the trip to play in front of the hometown crowd.
The Cubs have participated in the Big League Weekend at Cashman Field every spring since 2005.
News, Notes and Rumors
• According to Patrick Mooney, the Cubs love seeing Kyle Schwarber’s intensity. Joe Maddon thinks Kyle Schwarber has what it takes to be a big league catcher. And it really [insert expletives here] Schwarber when people say he can’t catch.
• The Sun-Times asked, does the Cubs’ new manager have to answer to old Cubs hitting questions?
• Bruce Levine reported Phil Coke brings a veteran presence to the Cubs’ bullpen. And he’s fit right into the clubhouse.
• Giordano’s Pizza is running a Ceremonial First Pitch Sweepstakes … those that would like a chance to throw out the first pitch at a Cubs’ game should click here → Giordano’s Cubs First Pitch
• Jesse Rogers thinks Welington Castillo’s “trade value has to keep going up” with the way he’s played in the first week of the Cactus League.
• Kris Bryant and Addison Russell are two of the five prospects MLB.com’s Doug Miller thinks will make their big league debut this season.
• And Addison Russell may force the issue at shortstop according to the Tribune.
• The Padres could add a catcher with Tim Federowicz having his right knee scoped on Thursday.
• Dioner Navarro told Bob Elliott that the Diamondbacks and Tigers are interested in him.
• According to Carrie Muskat, Edwin Jackson makes his next start on Saturday against the Brewers in Maryvale. Joe Maddon is planning extra PFP practice before then.
• Jake Peavy thinks David Ross could be a Major League manager right now and would “do as well as managers in the game with experience.” Peavy compared Ross’ baseball IQ to Greg Maddux according to the Tribune. Mark Gonzales added Ross’ approach to the game is anything but routine.
And last, but not least, the Rangers, Brewers, Twins, Royals, Marlins and Braves were interested in Jake Peavy before he resigned with the Giants. Jon Heyman didn’t list the Cubs as one of the teams that pursued Peavy.
This Day In Cubstory
2008 – Cubs released Shingo Takatsu
1982 – Cubs signed free agent Tony Fossas
1980 – Rich Hill, born
1933 – A significant earthquake during an exhibition game in Los Angeles sent the Cubs and Giants scurrying to second base until the tremors stopped. The seismic event, which took place along the 46-mile long Newport-Inglewood Fault, was estimated at a magnitude of 6.3.
1933 – Jack Spring, born