The Cubs cancelled Tuesday night’s game with the Cardinals due to the sub-freezing wind chills and rain. The game will be made up when St. Louis returns to Wrigley in either July (July 6-8) or September (Sept. 18-20). By July, the bleachers will be open and the Cubs’ roster could look a lot different by then as well.
The Cubs altered the rotation after receiving an unexpected day off.
Jake Arrieta will face Lance Lynn and the Cardinals on Wednesday afternoon in what is now the series finale. Travis Wood pitches the opener in Denver as scheduled. But Jason Hammel will get the ball for Saturday’s game against the Rockies and Kyle Hendricks is now scheduled for the finale on Sunday.
Jon Lester was pushed to Monday. Lester will pitch on eight days rest in the opener of the three game series with the Reds at Wrigley Field.
The Sun-Times pointed out that by postponing Tuesday’s game with the Cardinals, the Cubs were able to get a day closer to calling up Kris Bryant without playing a game. By the time the I-Cubs open the season Thursday night, the Cubs will be five days into the baseball season.
Gordon Wittenmyer spoke with Theo Epstein about the Kris Bryant situation. Epstein admitted “it was uncomfortable” around the team for a few days after Bryant was sent out. Epstein thinks in a few months the Cubs decision to send Bryant down to Triple-A Iowa will be “a blip on the radar screen.”
The Cubs skipper talked to the beat writers about the importance of him learning the teams in the National League, especially the ones in the central. Maddon admitted he doesn’t know the players or the managers’ tendencies.
And it’s going to take a lot more than just scouting reports for him to be in the best position to help his team win games.
News, Notes and Rumors
• Mike Olt cannot worry about the Kris Bryant watch according to Comcast SportsNet.
• Almost 3.4 million tuned in to ESPN2 on Opening Night to watch the Cubs and Cardinals, the biggest Opening Night audience since 2008.
• Jake Arrieta had his first start of the season pushed back at least one day. Arrieta recently admitted to ESPN Chicago that he would be disappointed if he doesn’t complete 200 innings this season.
• Major League Baseball had a very good spring. MLB set a new Spring Training record this year: 4,034,708 fans attended games over 481 dates for an average of 8,388 per game, the previous record of 3,823,489 was set in 2013. The Cubs set the All-Time Spring Training attendance mark and several single-game attendance marks. The Cubs had 222,415 fans at Sloan Park this spring. The Cubs and White Sox set the All-Time single game attendance record for a Spring Training contest on March 27 when 15,342 fans packed into Sloan Park.
• The Cubs have the sixth youngest team in the majors with an average age of 28.63 years. The Rangers (27.92) have the youngest team in the game followed by the Diamondbacks (28.04), A’s (28.34) Orioles (28.38) and Blue Jays (28.56).
• There was no excuse for what happened Sunday night according to Cubs’ spokesman Julian Green.
And last, but not least, A.J. Preller is in the market for a shortstop. And Starlin Castro was linked to the Padres by Bob Nightengale. Hardball Talk thinks Elvis Andrus could be of interest to the Padres.
This Day In Cubstory
2010 – Randy Wells pitched six shutout innings in the Cubs 2-0 win over the Braves, the first victory of the season for the Cubs. Tyler Colvin and Marlon Byrd hit home runs in the win.
1996 – Cubs traded Matt Franco to the Mets for a PTBNL. Mets sent Chris DeWitt to the Cubs on June 11, 1996 to complete the trade.
1995 – Cubs signed free agents Tom Edens, Todd Pratt and Chris Nabholz
1989 – Lendy Castillo, born
1985 – Cubs signed free agent Chris Speier
1984 – Diory Hernandez, born
1983 – Eric Patterson, born
1976 – Cubs purchased Tim Ireland from the Brewers
1973 – Alex Gonzalez, born
1970 – Cubs released Ken Johnson
1969 – Willie Smith hit a two-run pinch hit homer in the 11th inning as the Cubs topped the Phillies in dramatic fashion 7-6 in the opener at Wrigley Field. Ernie Banks hit two home runs in one of the most memorable finishes in the history of Wrigley Field.
1960 – Cubs traded Lee Handley, Johnny Goryl, Ron Perranoski and $25,000 to the Dodgers for Don Zimmer.
1915 – Kirby Higbe, born
1866 – Henry Lynch, born
1850 – John Peters, born