Kris Bryant is finally going to see time in the outfield, and the process to expose Bryant to one of the corner spots could begin Tuesday.
Joe Maddon addressed Bryant playing outfield prior to Sunday’s game. Maddon said Bryant will start working in the outfield on Tuesday when the team returns from the off day. But Maddon didn’t say when Bryant will be play in a Cactus League game in the outfield … that timetable was not given.
Bryant is looking forward to playing in the outfield according to the multiple reports. Bryant said that he’s an athlete and feels he can play any position.
Maddon has been impressed with the way Bryant has handled himself this spring. Bryant has dealt with all of the attention while fighting for a job and hasn’t blinked at all. Maddon said that Bryant knows he’s good but he also knows how to handle himself and doesn’t offend anybody in the process.
Starlin Castro told the media Sunday that he is fine and described the right groin tightness that caused him to miss Saturday’s game as “nothing.” Castro first felt the issue Thursday and said he will be back in the lineup on Tuesday.
According to multiple reports, Castro said he felt just a little tightness and after a massage Saturday he “felt 100 percent.” Castro didn’t want to push it with only two weeks left in Spring Training so he thought he should not risk a prolonged injury.
Castro indicated the groin tightness is “not even close” to the hamstring injuries that have sidelined him the last two springs.
News, Notes and Rumors
• Nick Cafardo reported Sunday that Major League Baseball has not made a decision on the tampering charges filed by the Rays against the Theo Epstein, Joe Maddon and Alan Nero.
• To keep on schedule, Jake Arrieta will pitch in a minor league game on Monday.
• Joe Maddon had his pitcher, Jason Hammel, hit eighth Sunday and this is not the last time the Cubs’ skipper will have the pitcher bat eighth.
• Baseball America’s J.J. Cooper tweeted the following Sunday: “Level of detail for well-run organizations is unreal. Every bullpen for Cubs pitchers is put on video. Equals a whole lot of video jobs.”
• According to Bruce Levine, Kris Bryant is making life interesting in Cubs camp.
• The Cubs have hit 29 homers this spring, second most in the majors behind the Dodgers … and those longballs have been hit by 16 different players, four catchers: Welington Castillo, David Ross, Kyle Schwarber and Taylor Teagarden.
• Jason Hammel was content with his performance Sunday and said it’s nice he and Miguel Montero “are starting to develop a little bit of a rhythm.” Hammel gave up three runs on four hits over two innings with Montero behind the plate on March 7 and three runs on five hits in three innings to the Angels on March 12 with Welington Castillo as his battery mate. Montero has caught Hammel’s last two starts … and Hammel has not allowed a run, surrendered just five hits with no walks and 12 strikeouts in nine innings. Hammel told ESPN Chicago that his goal is to pitch 200 innings this season.
• The Cubs finished second in the late push to sign James Shields, and Gordon Wittenmyer questions if not landing Shields will haunt the Cubs this season.
• Christina Kahrl broke down the five National League Spring Training battles to watch. And the Cubs third base and second base job made her list. Mike Olt and Arismendy Alcantara are likely at third and second base respectively on Opening Night according to the report.
• The Diamondbacks appear to be sticking with the players they have on the roster.
And last, but not least, Kyle Schwarber answered a few questions from Twitter for ESPN Chicago. Schwarber’s favorite players growing up? The Reds’ Joey Votto and the Cardinals’ Yadier Molina.
This Day In Cubstory
2014 – Cubs granted free agency to Tsuyoshi Wada
2011 – Cubs released Mike Parisi
2011 – Cubs released Scott Rice
2006 – Cubs released Brian Boehringer
2006 – Cubs released David Lee
2004 – Cubs signed free agent Greg Maddux
2000 – Cubs released Greg McMichael
2000 – Cubs acquired Gary Matthews Jr. from the Padres for Rodney Myers
1989 – Dae-Eun Rhee, born
1987 – Cubs released Mike Martin
1984 – Cubs released Mike Chris
1974 – Cubs acquired Scipio Spinks from the Cardinals for Jim Hickman
1966 – Mike Remlinger, born
1959 – Cubs signed free agent Ossie Chavarria
1947 – Pat Bourque, born
1902 – Johnny Moore, born
1886 – Cy Slapnicka, born
1877 – Peaches Graham, born