Cubs set Opening Day Roster, Place Four Players on DL, Sign a Pitcher, Add Kawasaki to 40-Man, Bryzzo Souvenir Company opened for business
The Cubs finished the exhibition season with a pair of games in Las Vegas and one in Orange County. Practice is over. The most anticipated season in franchise history begins Monday night in Anaheim with Jake Arrieta taking on Garrett Richards and the Angels.
As is the case every year leading up to the first game of the season, the Cubs made several personnel moves, both at the Major League and minor league levels.
The Cubs announced the first 25-man roster of the season Sunday and placed four players on the disabled list, including Javier Baez. Munenori Kawasaki was added to the 40-man roster and optioned to Iowa. The Cubs signed a pitcher to a minor league deal and released several familiar names from the organization.
It was busier than usual over the last three-plus days as the team prepared for Opening Day.
Here are all the headlines filled with news, notes, rumors, roster moves and videos to get you caught up before the first pitch of the Cubs season is thrown …
Cubs Opening Homestand Features Wrigley Changes, Award Presentations, Hall of Famers
The Cubs home opener is a week from Monday (April 11) against the Reds. And the Cubs sent out the details for the first homestand of the season.
Jason Heyward and Kris Bryant will receive awards. Billy Williams, Ferguson Jenkins and Ryne Sandberg will throw out first pitch and sing the stretch.
There are a lot of changes to Wrigley. And the Cubs are stressing fans show up to the park early in order to help with the new security measures, especially during the first homestand.
Cubs Manufacture a Spring Win – Cubs 5, Mets 1
The Cubs and Mets kicked off the two-game series in Las Vegas on Thursday night. The Cubs played small ball early and scored two runs without balls leaving the infield. And Jorge Soler put a ball in play with a runner on third and less than two outs, the sac fly resulted in a run.
Ryan Williams had a very good outing. Trevor Cahill was effective on the mound and even bunted in Jason Heyward.
Pedro Strop and Hector Rondon were solid and Justin Grimm was lights out.
Recap includes lots of video
Cubs Reportedly Sign RHP Jake Buchanan to Minor League Deal
The Astros released RHP Jake Buchanan on Thursday and the Cubs reportedly snapped him up quickly. Buchanan gives the Cubs another bullpen option in the minors and one that has starting experience.
Buchanan is expected to be included on Iowa’s Opening Day roster.
The Daily CCO: Tommy La Stella Just Keeps on Hitting, John Lackey and Other Cubs News and Notes
Tommy La Stella collected two more hits on Thursday night and was hitting close to .400 with a .417 OBP in the spring as the exhibition season winded down. La Stella is the only backup infielder on the Cubs’ Opening Day roster and as long as he stays off the DL, he should be Maddon’s No. 1 pinch-hitter early in the season.
John Lackey made his final tune-up on the backfields at the Cubs’ complex.
Ryan Williams was impressive Thursday and the Cubs said he was fine after taking a comebacker off his lower right hamstring.
Daily report includes update on Dexter Fowler, news, notes, links and This Day in Cubs History.
Cubs Release Jacob Rogers, Six Minor Leaguers
The Cubs released several players from the system toward the end of the week. Jesus Guzman and Mike O’Neill were released Wednesday and Thursday, the Cubs decided to part ways with Jacob Rogers, Jasvir Rakkar, Fernando Cruz, Luis Parra, Tayler Scott, Corbin Hoffner and Angelo Amendolare.
One Step Closer – Mets 8, Cubs 1
The Cubs took another step towards Opening Day as Maddon’s team wrapped up the two-game series in Las Vegas with the Mets. Maddon got his regulars out early and the practice game got out of hand late.
Cubs Spring Training Video: Albert Almora Jr. Highlights
Albert Almora Jr. could patrol center field for the Cubs at Wrigley Field right now. Almora Jr. made several outstanding defensive plays in Spring Training … and four are highlighted with videos in this report.
If Almora Jr. can take the steps to improve offensively this season, the Cubs could have one of the best defensive outfields in the game a year from now regardless of who is in left field because of what Almora Jr. and Jason Heyward bring to the table.
Report includes video
Time for Javier Baez and Jorge Soler to Step Up
The Cubs have two players on the roster that have not played to expectations yet in the big leagues. Chris throws some serious heat in this report about Javier Baez and Jorge Soler.
The Daily CCO: Maddon Still Debating Opening Day Lineup and Other Cubs News and Notes
As of Friday, Joe Maddon was still debating his Opening Day lineup. Dexter Fowler was good to go against the Mets but the Cubs wanted to give him a little more time.
Taylor Teagarden cheated, was caught on video admitting he used PEDs and was suspended for 80 games, that is if a team decides to give him another contract.
Daily report includes all of the news, notes and links and of course, This Day in Cubs History.
Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant Open Bryzzo Souvenir Company
Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant have embraced the ‘Bryzzo’ nickname the two sluggers were given. And have played it up for the latest #This ad for Major League Baseball.
Kyle Schwarber Could Have a Bigger Role Behind Plate for Cubs
Kyle Schwarber took positive steps forward with his defense this spring … both in left field and behind the plate. The Cubs like the improvements he’s made as a catcher and could expand his role beyond just catching Jason Hammel every five days.
The Daily CCO: Baseball’s Back, Cubs Have Three of the 50 Most Important Players in the Game
While the Cubs had one more spring game on the schedule, Sunday was Opening Day for six teams including the incredibly happy St. Louis Cardinals.
Nick Cafardo ranked three Cubs in his top 50 most important players in the game … a NL Cy Young Award winner, a team leader and MVP candidate and the NL Rookie of the Year.
Theo Epstein talked to Comcast SportsNet about the possibility of the Cubs trading for a starting pitcher before the deadline. And Jim Bowden made a prediction on which young, controllable arm could end up in the Cubs rotation this season.
Aaron Crow, Stephen Fife and Jack Leathersich could find a role in the Cubs’ bullpen this season.
Along with This Day in Cubs History, the Daily report includes all of the news, notes and links.
Cubs Overwhelming Favorites in Pre-Season Predictions
The Cubs begin the season not only as the favorite to win the NL Central, but many of the experts have picked Maddon’s team to represent the NL in the Fall Classic and a lot them are even picking the Cubs to win it all this year.
Report includes links to several of the pre-season predictions … ESPN, FOX Sports, MLB Network Radio.
Cubs Announce 2016 Opening Day Roster
The Cubs made the 2016 Opening Day roster official … and placed four players on the disabled list.
The first 25-man roster for the season is set, at least for the first week of games.
Bryzzo, Addy Smack Longballs in Cubs Spring Finale – Angels 6, Cubs 4
The Cubs got their work in Sunday afternoon in Anaheim. The Cubs lost their last Spring Training game and finished the exhibition season 11-19-2.
Addison Russell, Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant homered. Kyle Hendricks had a good start and the Cubs saw a late lead evaporate at The Big A.
Recap includes video of all three home runs
From the Wire: Cubs Select Contract of INF Munenori Kawasaki, Add to 40-Man Roster, Option to Iowa
The Cubs made a roster move shortly after the conclusion of the practice game with the Angels on Sunday afternoon.
Munenori Kawasaki had his contract selected from Iowa. The Cubs added him to the 40-man roster and optioned him back to Iowa.
Kawasaki is a phone call away in Iowa … just in case.