The Cubs have played five exhibition games and have not posted a win yet this spring. And Joe Maddon was asked about the team’s spring win-loss record Sunday.
Joe Maddon addressed the winless record prior to Sunday’s game against the Rangers. Maddon said before the Cubs slipped to 0-4-1 in Cactus League play that he’s focused on the process and not the results. There have been plenty of positives over the first five games.
The Cubs skipper correctly explained that he cannot change the message to his players and focus on winning spring games. Maddon wants to win every game, even in the spring but he’s liked what he’s seen to this point.
Joe Maddon’s Post-Game Tweet
Joe Maddon tweeted this after Sunday’s game: “Play of the game … Kyle Schwarber making it to third base on a dropped fly ball to center … respected 3 x’s 90 … loved it!”
Jake Arrieta made his first start of the spring Sunday and he struggled with his command. Arrieta walked three batters and struck out two while giving up one run on one hit, a home run.
Arrieta told the beat writers after his outing that he had “a mechanical issue he didn’t make an adjustment on quick enough.” Arrieta pointed out to ESPN Chicago that he had “too much arm side” and he didn’t “align with the plate.”
Jake Arrieta is confident his past struggles are behind him and he can repeat, if not surpass, his performance from a year ago.
And Jon Lester and Jake Arrieta “will give the Cubs a dynamic one-two combination at the top of their rotation” according to Comcast SportsNet.
Addison Russell started Sunday and played eight innings of the exhibition game. And Russell was rather impressive in the field, at the plate and on the bases.
Addison Russell showed off his range in the hole two times and nailed the runner at first with a very strong, accurate throw. Russell is incredibly quick, excellent footwork and features quick release on this throws.
Russell took a hit away from Mitch Moreland in the third inning and started a 6-4-3 double play. Javier Baez made a quick turn, it was really a beautifully turned double play. But what gave the play a chance was Russell’s quick release and range.
Russell showed his power in the eighth inning on a double to left center. Russell turned on the ball and drove into the gap just to left of center.
Addison Russell was as advertised Sunday and he should only get better.
The Phillies announced Sunday that Cliff Lee has a sore left elbow.
While the Cubs have not been connected to Lee, his injury could impact the Cubs possible pursuit of Cole Hamels.
According to multiple reports out of Phillies’ camp, Lee had an MRI Saturday and is dealing with swelling around the flexor pronator tendon. There is not any damage to his UCL (ulnar collateral ligament). Lee is expected to undergo further tests in a few days. Lee could begin throwing Monday but will not make his scheduled start on Tuesday.
Dr. James Andrews is going to review the results of Lee’s MRI.
The Cubs’ Spring Training games are in full swing and while the team has not won an exhibition game, there have been a lot of positives in the first five games. Here are the headlines from the weekend and some videos too from Arizona …
- Cubs Agree to Terms with 20 Players on 2015 Contracts
- Rambling About the Cubs as the Games Have Begun!
- The Daily CCO: Travis Wood Makes an October Prediction and Other Cubs News
- Cubs 2015 Spring Training Preview: Left Field
- Jon Lester Doesn’t Disappoint in Debut – Reds 5, Cubs 2
- Cubs 2015 Spring Training Videos
- The Daily CCO: Jon Lester, Expectations and the Chicago Cubs
- Kris Bryant and Matt Szczur Homer in the Cubs Third Loss of the Spring – Rockies 7, Cubs 5
- Cole Hamels Update: At Least Five Teams Reportedly Showing Interest
- The Daily CCO: Joe Maddon Compliments Cubs Coaching Staff and Other Cubs News and Notes
- Cubs Strikeout in Bid for First Spring Win – Rangers 6, Cubs 4
News, Notes and Rumors
• Cubs’ minor league pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training today … and the minor league Spring Training games begin on March 17.
• Phil Coke finalized his minor league deal with the Cubs on Sunday. The team did not indicate when he will get into a Cactus League game.
• According to Christopher Kamka: David Ross hit his first career home run off Mark Grace in 2002 and caught Robin Ventura’s only mound appearance on June 25, 2004.
• Rick Sutcliffe tweeted Sunday morning that he was excited for Daniel Bard after the right-hander completed a simulated game. Peter Gammons followed up with, “It’s a good day in Cubs camp when Daniel Bard throws 94-96 and ‘feels the best I’ve felt in years.’”
• And Peter Gammons also tweeted that he remembers when Kris Bryant’s father, Mike, was a roommate of Oil Can Boyd when he was in the Red Sox organization.
• Rick Sutcliffe was in awe of Joey Gallo’s unbelievable blast Sunday like the rest of those in attendance. Sutcliffe tweeted after the game that Gallo hit the furthest ball he’s ever seen in the Cactus League.
• According to the Sun-Times, Kris Bryant says he can’t hang with Joey Gallo’s power hitting.
• Kris Bryant also tunes out all the noise according to Comcast SportsNet.
• Tim Brown’s latest at Yahoo Sports: Defensive shifts leading to a shift in philosophy.
• The Red Sox waited eight years to get Allen Craig and they’re not going to trade him on a whim according to Ken Rosenthal.
• Arismendy Alcantara and Mike Olt went hitless Sunday. Both players, however, worked walks and really appear more comfortable and confident at the plate than a year ago. And Mike Olt’s adjustments appear to really be paying off. If Olt can make enough contact, the Cubs will have another legitimate power bat on the roster.
And last, but not least, it was good to see Javier Baez and Arismendy Alcantara sign autographs 10 minutes before first pitch of Sunday’s game. Baez and Alcantara walked over to sidewall down the third baseline while their teammates were in the dugout. And Baez stayed for a couple of minutes after Alcantara left.
This Day In Cubstory
2005 – Current and former big league players as well as executives were issued subpoenas to appear on March 17 by the House Committee on Government Reform. The 11 players invited to the congressional hearing on steroid use included Sandy Alderson, Jose Canseco, Donald Fehr, Jason Giambi, Rob Manfred, Mark McGwire, Rafael Palmeiro, Curt Schilling, Sammy Sosa, Frank Thomas and Kevin Towers.
1996 – Cubs signed free agent Kent Bottenfield
1994 – Cubs signed free agent Craig Worthington
1987 – Cubs signed free agent Andre Dawson. Dawson signed a now famous blank contract to play for the Cubs. The Cubs ended up paying ‘The Hawk’ $500,000 for the season and Dawson won the NL Most Valuable Player of the Year award.
1981 – Clay Rapada, born
1979 – Koyie Hill, born
1965 – Benito Santiago, born
1963 – Terry Mulholland, born
1959 – Cubs traded Chuck Tanner to the Red Sox for Bob Smith
1951 – Cubs signed free agent Solly Drake
1918 – Dale Alderson, born
1906 – Cubs traded Charles Miller and Louis Schaub to Wheeling (Central League) for Bull Smith
1900 – The Orphans purchased Bert Cunningham from the Pirates