The Cubs jammed as much as they could into the last three-plus days.
Counting the St. Paddy’s Day win at Sloan Park, the Cubs went 2-2 in the four Cactus League games. And those two victories came in games in which Joe Maddon ran out a majority of his regulars. Maddon received excellent starts from Kyle Hendricks, Jason Hammel, Pierce Johnson and Jon Lester, despite his throwing issues.
Jake Arrieta dominated in a tune up against minor leaguers. News surfaced that Jon Lester has been dealing with a bone chip in his left elbow for years.
The Cubs sent 11 players to the minors. Of the second full round of cuts, Willson Contreras, Jeimer Candelario, Pierce Johnson and Carl Edwards Jr. was optioned out. And players from the system keep ending up on prospect list.
Here are the headlines packed full of news, notes, recaps and videos upon videos from the busy weekend that was …
Cubs Extra Basehit Parade – Cubs 15, Diamondbacks 4
The Cubs spent St. Paddy’s Day at their spring home collecting extra basehit after extra basehit. The Cubs scored five runs in the first inning off Archie Bradley and did not let up. Joe Maddon featured a majority of his every day and 11 extra basehits later the Cubs had a blowout win in Spring Training.
Jason Hammel looked very good once again. Hammel gave up just one run to the high-powered Diamondbacks offense.
Recap includes all of the details and a video of a much-needed hit by Jorge Soler.
Cubs Spring Training Video: Lots of Extra Base Knocks and Home Runs Too
There were too many highlights from Thursday’s spring win to pack into the game recap … This report is filled with lots of video of extra basehits, stolen bases and home runs from Jorge Soler and John Andreoli.
The Daily CCO: Maddon’s Playing Time Plan, Zobrist and Baez Updates and Other Cubs News
Joe Maddon said he is sticking to his plan to play his regulars sparingly until the final seven to 10 days of camp. The Cubs every day lineup should start seeing consistent playing time in the coming week.
The Daily report included injury updates on Zobrist and Baez (both players have returned to the lineup since), info from Cubs ‘B-Game’, the pairing of Kyle Schwarber and Jason Hammel … plus all of the news, notes, links and This Day in Cubs History.
John Andreoli Making Most Out of Non-Roster Invite to Cubs Camp
John Andreoli has made quite the impression on Joe Maddon, the coaching staff and front office this spring. Andreoli hit his team-leading fourth home run of the spring Thursday night and he’s been rather impressive in the field.
Andreoli is pushing for the spot on the Opening Day roster that was believed to be Matt Szczur’s when camp opened.
Report includes video.
CCO Fantasy Baseball: Draft Recap – CCO Fans League
With the baseball season just around the corner, fantasy roster are being set for Opening Day and the first draft of the CCO leagues took place last week.
Cubs Option Contreras, Candelario, Alcantara, Edwards Jr. to Minors as Part of Spring Roster Cuts
The second roster cuts, or third if you count the release of Rex Brothers as the first, happened before Friday’s game against the White Sox. And several of the top prospects on the 40-man roster were optioned to the minors.
Willson Contreras, Carl Edwards Jr., Arismendy Alcantara, Pierce Johnson and C.J. Riefenhauser were optioned to Triple-A Iowa. Jeimer Candelario was optioned, for now, to Double-A Tennessee. The fife non-roster invitees that were sent out: Stephen Fife, Taylor Davis, Felix Pena, Edgar Olmos and Drew Rucinski.
The Cubs spring roster stands at 45 players.
Kyle Hendricks Strong Start Not Enough for Cubs in Spring Loss – White Sox 3, Cubs 2
Kyle Hendricks held a majority of the White Sox every day lineup to one run in five innings. The Cubs offense managed only one hit in a spring loss to the Sox that meant a lot to the Southsiders.
Four of Top 45 Corner Outfield Prospects are in the Cubs System
The Cubs system is loaded with talent and according to Baseball America, four of the top corner outfield prospects in the game are in the organization.
The Daily CCO: Bone Chip in Jon Lester’s Left Elbow Remains a Non-Issue and Other Cubs News
Jon Lester has a bone chip in his elbow that has not created any problems over the years for the lefty. The Cubs knew about it before signing him in December 2014. Lester feels it is a non-issue and does not plan to do anything about it until he has to.
Daily report includes updates on Matt Murton, Tommy La Stella, Matt Szczur and Carl Edwards Jr.
Kris Bryant played a prank on a local community college … and there’s video to prove it.
Josh Vitters is back in baseball. The former first round pick and top prospect signed a contract to play in Independent ball.
News, notes and all of the links, along with This Day in Cubs History are included in the daily.
Willson Contreras, Jeimer Candelario Performed Extremely Well with Cubs in Spring Training
Willson Contreras and Jeimer Candelario were officially optioned to the minors on Friday. Before they were sent out, two of the top prospects in the organization made a lot of noise in big league camp.
The Cubs view Willson Contreras as the catcher of the future. He still has work to do, but the tools are there.
Jeimer Candelario appears to be blocked right now. That could change according to Ken Rosenthal. The Cubs really like what the switch-hitting third baseman brings to the table offensively and defensively.
Report includes videos of both players and Maddon’s thoughts on Contreras and Candelario.
Cubs Albert Almora Jr., Darryl Wilson Ranked Among Top 40 Center Field Prospects
Baseball America posted its positional ranking for the top center field prospects in the baseball … and included Albert Almora Jr. and Darryl Wilson in the top 40.
A Grimm Night for Cubs Bullpen in Goodyear – Indians 10, Cubs 5
Pierce Johnson had his best outing of the spring Saturday night. Johnson outpitched Corey Kluber with four scoreless innings. Johnson singled off Kluber and scored the Cubs’ first run.
Justin Grimm and Neil Ramirez had a rough time and gave up a combined nine runs in two innings. The Cubs relievers were awful.
Minor leaguer Jason Vosler hit a three-run homer to help make the final score more respectable, even in a spring game.
The Daily CCO: Jake Arrieta Cruises Through Minor League Start and Other Cubs News
By all accounts Jake was Jake on Saturday in a minor league game against Rockies’ Triple-A players. Weak contact over five innings with four strikeouts and no runs allowed. Jake Arrieta said he could have gone another 20-30 pitches after tossing 60 in what was his third start of the spring.
Report includes updates on Tommy La Stella, Javier Baez, Matt Szczur, Shane Victorino and the Cardinals’ new shortstop.
News, notes, links and the very popular This Day in Cubs History are all in the Daily.
Cubs Trying to Push Arismendy Alcantara in the Right Direction
Arismendy Alcantara had a good spring before he was optioned to the minors. Joe Maddon talked about what Alcantara needs to work on with Triple-A Iowa. The talent is there, the Cubs are trying to correct his problems and get him to turn his career around.
A Four-Run Fifth Lifts Cubs Over the Royals – Cubs 5, Royals 2
Anthony Rizzo and Jason Heyward drove in the Cubs first three runs. Jorge Soler launched a two-run homer and the bullpen was very good in relief of Jon Lester. The Cubs ended the weekend on a positive note with a spring win over the Royals.
Jon Lester had a good outing on the mound. Fielding and throwing are entirely different subjects. Lester had issues off the mound again that helped the Royals put two runs on the board.
Pedro Strop, Hector Rondon, Clayton Richard, Spencer Patton and Manny Parra kept the Royals off the board over the last four innings.
Recap includes a ton of video.