The Cubs have three of the best young position players in the game on its roster and two of the top minor league players in baseball pushing their way to the big leagues. Most think it’s just a matter of days before Kris Bryant is called up and added to a roster that already includes Anthony Rizzo, Starlin Castro and Jorge Soler. And once Bryant is up, the Addison Russell watch will commence.
Reports continue to suggest the Cubs are willing to just discard Starlin Castro in order to make room for Addison Russell. But those that think the front office hasn’t discussed every possible scenario to include as many of the young players in the organization on the field together at the same time hasn’t been paying attention the last three-plus years.
If all of the players are able to perform at the big league level, and that’s a big if, the front office has discussed ways to incorporate Rizzo, Castro, Soler, Bryant, Russell, Javier Baez and Arismendy Alcantara into the lineup.
Patrick Mooney asked Theo Epstein the what if questions, and nothing has changed with the front office from where it was last summer when Russell was acquired from Oakland and Bryant was tearing up the minor leagues.
Theo Epstein reiterated they can all play together. Epstein didn’t rule out adding impact talent from outside the organization or possibly making a big trade. Epstein told Comcast SportsNet, “The most likely outcome is that we keep a lot of these guys and we sign a free agent or so over the years and we make a couple of trades, too. Big trades. That’s most likely.”
Epstein explained again, that with the three shortstops in Starlin Castro, Addison Russell and Javier Baez that one can play short, one can play second and one can play third. Epstein pointed to Bryant possibly playing third base or one of the outfield corners. Alcantara can already play multiple positions on the field. And while Soler is in right, he could move to left field if that is what the Cubs feel is best for the team defensively.
“They have a lot of versatility and there’s a way they all fit together. It’s not like we’re sitting there with five first basemen wondering what the hell we’re going to do with them,” Epstein said to Patrick Mooney.
The Cubs believe Kris Bryant will help them win games once he’s up and Addison Russell could have a positive impact on this year’s team as well.
It’s easy to look at a player a point out what he does incorrectly instead of appreciating the talent he has. So while the rumors continue to mount the Cubs could trade Starlin Castro and reports point out what he doesn’t do, it is important to look at what Castro has accomplished at such a young age for a team that’s been in transition since his arrival to the big leagues.
The Cubs’ season is two games and five days old and a team expected to win games isn’t going to just ship out its 25-year old shortstop. And one of the players the Cubs are counting on to help win games this season.
Theo Epstein spent Thursday afternoon at Four Winds Field for the South Bend Cubs home opener and debut as the Cubs’ Low-A affiliate. Epstein threw out the first pitch
Epstein was finally able to let Clark the Cub know what he really thinks about him. Epstein threw at Clark while delivering the first pitch. When asked afterwards about the incident, Epstein told Ken Rosenthal that he and Clark have a “love-hate relationship.” Clark has apparently been upset with Epstein since the Cubs President of Baseball Operations pulled a prank on him a couple of Spring Trainings ago.
Epstein was surprised Clark got out of the way. And Epstein told Rosenthal, “He moves quickly without pants on.”
Click here for video of the incident between Theo Epstein and Clark the Cub.
News, Notes and Rumors
• According to Elias, Jake Arrieta has a 1.92 ERA at Wrigley Field, the only other pitcher with an ERA below 2.00 in 100-plus innings at Wrigley Field is Sal Maglie (1.69).
• RHP Jorge De Leon is no longer part of the Cubs’ organization. De Leon signed a minor league deal with the Cubs during the off-season and was in big league camp on a non-roster invite. The Dodgers signed De Leon and Scott Baker to minor league contracts.
• LHP Joseph Ortiz was suspended by the Cubs for one day and missed Iowa’s opener Thursday night. Details other than Ortiz violating a team rule during Spring Training were not given. Ortiz is expected to be activated for Friday’s game.
• ESPN Chicago asked which Travis Wood will show up in 2015.
And last, but not least, spotlight for the Cubs turned to the prospects on Thursday night according to Jesse Rogers.
This Day In Cubstory
2011 – Cubs signed free agent Ramon Ortiz
2008 – Cubs released J.D. Closser
1995 – Cubs signed free agent Mike Perez
1962 – Cubs played the Houston Colt .45’s in the first game in franchise history. The organization that would be renamed the Astros beat the Cubs 11-2.
1957 – Cubs released Ted Tappe
1956 – Cardinals purchased Pidge Browne from the Cubs
1921 – Chuck Connors, born
1917 – Cubs returned Scott Perry to Atlanta in the Southern Association
1868 – Tom Parrott, born