Cubs’ single game tickets go on-sale this morning at 10:00am CST …
Travis Wood met with the beat writers following his first outing of the spring. Wood was sharp in his two innings of work, six up and six down with a pair of strikeouts. Wood said he thinks the Cubs definitely have a roster that will be playing in October. Wood admitted he thought the last two springs the Cubs would surprise people, but this spring is different. All of the changes and additions to the team have brought a “different energy and a different feel.”
As for his performance Thursday, Wood said he has gotten back to basics, pounding the strike zone and working the edges of the plate. And “the purpose is not to have a year like last year.”
Travis Wood feels like he grew a lot last season by learning how to deal with failure. Wood said he knows he’s a good pitcher he’s just got to get back to attacking the strike zone and trusting his stuff.
Edwin Jackson still has potential according to Joe Maddon, even at this stage of his career.
According to a report from Patrick Mooney, Joe Maddon believes “there’s another level” of Edwin Jackson that hasn’t been seen yet.
Jackson has the stuff and the ability to be a successful big league pitcher. But he’s never put it together and not only struggled from start to start but sometimes from inning to inning. Maddon doesn’t think Jackson has “ever been as good as he can be” and that self-doubt as well as over thinking has gotten in the way.
Maddon said that Jackson had a good off-season and he’s motivated right now. Maddon is looking forward to seeing him pitch.
Edwin Jackson’s first outing of the spring is scheduled for Monday against the Padres at Sloan Park.
Corey Black – Hunter Pence
Corey Black pitched the sixth inning in Thursday’s game against the Giants. And Black not only hit Hunter Pence, but he broke a bone in Pence’s left forearm. Pence is out for 6-8 weeks.
Black tweeted the following Thursday night: “Lost for words. Hope you heal fast @hunterpence hitting someone is never a good feeling. Hurting someone is even worse.”
From the mind of Barry Rozner: 22 years to the day the Giants’ Mike Jackson broke Ryne Sandberg’s left hand with a pitch, Black broke Pence’s left arm.
LHP Phil Coke agreed to terms on a minor league contract with the Cubs. The team has not announced signing the veteran lefty, but he’s expected in Cubs camp on Friday. Coke will compete for a spot in the pen with fellow southpaws Drake Britton, Zac Rosscup and Joseph Ortiz.
Coke told Ken Rosenthal he passed on at least one Major League deal to sign with the Cubs.
According to Hardball Talk and the Sun-Times, Phil Coke can earn at least $2.25 million if he makes the Cubs roster out of Spring Training. The minor league contract includes $900,000 appearance-based incentives package. Patrick Mooney added that Coke still has to pass a physical and that is the reason the Cubs did not acknowledge the deal Thursday. Mooney reported Coke’s deal is for around $2 million.
Joe Maddon would not confirm signing Phil Coke, but he did tell the beat writers it’s not a secret the Cubs are looking for a left-handed specialist.
News, Notes and Rumors
• Joe Maddon told the beat writers a good spring record “usually means you have a good JV team.”
• Ted Lilly was in the Cubs’ bullpen on Thursday at Sloan Park working with the young relievers in the pen. It was good to see ‘The Bulldog’ back in a Cubs’ uniform, even as a coach.
• Kyle Schwarber thought he had an okay day on Thursday and he told the Tribune he is not sure when he would be catching in a Cactus League game. The Cubs haven’t told him yet, but he said he would be ready.
• Dexter Fowler said facing switch-pitcher Pat Venditte “was weird.” Maddon had to explain to Fowler the rules in place for switch-pitchers facing switch-hitters. Fowler was not happy that Venditte warmed up right-handed then switched to a lefty before he stepped in the box. Fowler thinks Venditte should have to declare which side he is going to pitch from before the hitter steps in the box. The hitter should have time to prepare to hit one way or the other.
• According to Jon Paul Morosi, with Hunter Pence out the Giants won’t be in a rush to make a move but will be paying attention to the right-handed hitting outfielder’s market. Get ready for the Allen Craig makes sense for the Giants talk to heat up.
And last, but not least, Jeff Samardzija seems destined for free agency according to Jon Heyman.
This Day in Cubstory
1986 – Jake Arrieta, born
1973 – Terry Adams, born
1933 – Ted Abernathy, born
1886 – Bill Sweeney, born
1869 – Hal Mauck, born