What a weekend for Joe Maddon’s team. The Cubs swept all three games from the Pirates. And Sunday’s finale was an unforgettable game thanks to five home runs, Kyle Hendricks and Willson Contreras launching the first pitch he saw in the big leagues for a two-run homer.
Willson Contreras and Albert Almora Jr. contributed to two of the three wins in their first games at Wrigley Field.
Javier Baez put on a show in the field and on the bases. And he was also pretty good at the plate. The Cubs defense shined all weekend. Addison Russell and Anthony Rizzo made extremely difficult plays look rather routine.
Jake Arrieta dominated the Pirates again. Jon Lester picked up a win on a night he did not have his best stuff.
Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant went yard in back-to-back games and hit back-to-back jacks on Sunday night.
The Cubs finished the weekend series 47-20 (.701), a season-high 27 games over .500. And the Cubs will begin a three-game series Monday against the Cardinals with a 12 ½ game lead over their long-time rival.
Theo Epstein stirred up the rumors by telling the beat writers the front office would love to add an impact reliever. And down on the farm, several of the prospects made the news.
Here are all the headlines packed with the news, notes, recaps and video from the last four days to get you caught up before the first of three against the Cardinals …
Eugene Emeralds Release 2016 Opening Day Roster
The Eugene Emeralds, the Short-Season Class-A affiliate of the Chicago Cubs, kicked off its 2016 season on Friday night. The Emeralds released its initial roster for the season and it was filled with some of the very best young talent in the system.
Dylan Cease, Bryan Hudson and D.J. Wilson headlined the Emeralds’ first roster of the season.
Five Cubs Leading the Way in NL All-Star Balloting
Cubs’ fans voted early and they are voting often. The Cubs have five players leading the way in the NL All-Star balloting for the upcoming Mid-Summer Classic.
Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant, Ben Zobrist and Addison Russell are vying to become the first infield teammates to start the NL All-Star Game since the ’63 Cardinals.
Dexter Fowler is leading the NL outfielders and Jason Heyward is pretty high on the list.
Willson Contreras’ Hitting Streak Reaches 20 Games
Before Willson Contreras got The Call, the Cubs’ young catcher extended his hitting streak to 20 games. Contreras exceeded expectations offensively in the PCL while learning how to be a better receiver.
The Daily CCO: Albert Almora Jr. Has Come to Play and Other Cubs News
The series at Nationals Park did not go the Cubs way. Joe Maddon’s team won one of the three games after the bullpen had issues in the series finale on Wednesday.
Albert Almora Jr. had a very good first week in The Show, offensively and especially defensively.
Jeimer Candelario has hit the ground running at Triple-A Iowa.
The Cubs last off-day for more than three weeks was spent looking ahead to the homestand with the Pirates and Cardinals.
The Daily Report includes all of the news, notes, links and rumors, along with This Day in Cubs History.
Cubs Return to Wrigley for Six Game with Pirates and Cardinals
All of the details for the six-game homestand with the Pirates and Cardinals are included in this report … click on the link to see what’s on tap at Wrigley for the three games with the Redbirds.
Cubs Calling Up Willson Contreras
The news hit the wire, courtesy of Ken Rosenthal, just before lunch on Thursday that Willson Contreras was on his way to The Show.
The Cubs recalled the top catching prospect in baseball and he was set to make his Major League debut on Friday afternoon at Wrigley Field.
Ian Happ Added to Carolina League All-Star Team, Joining Trevor Clifton, Zach Hedges and Jake Stinnett
Like so many of the top prospects in the system, Ian Happ is having a good season. Happ has adjusted well to the Carolina League. And he was added to the All-Star roster.
The Cubs and Pelicans will have four representatives in the California-Carolina League All-Star Game.
- Ian Happ Added to Carolina League All-Star Team, Joining Trevor Clifton, Zach Hedges and Jake Stinnett
Cubs Down on the Farm Report – 06/17/16
Tom recapped all of the action and roster moves from down on the farm.
Iowa received solid contributions from John Andreoli, Jeimer Candelario, Logan Watkins and Mark Zagunis. While in South Bend, Eloy Jimenez has remained a force.
Jake Stinnett and Brad Markey turned in solid outings on the mound.
The Daily CCO: Willson! 24 Games in 24 days and Other Cubs News and Notes
While the Cubs focused on preparing for a stretch of 24 games on 24 days leading up to the All-Star break, the media’s focus was on Willson Contreras’ call up.
Albert Almora Jr. prepared to make his Wrigley Field debut on Jake Arrieta Day.
The Cubs’ run differential remains at historic levels.
The Daily Report includes all of the news, notes, links and rumors … and, of course the very popular This Day in Cubs History.
Maddon Shakes Up Cubs Starting Lineup for Opener with Pirates
With Kris Bryant sick and Jason Heyward with a scheduled day off, Joe Maddon used a Sunday lineup on a Friday … and it produced a win behind Jake Arrieta.
Those that would like to see how deep the Cubs’ roster actually is, click on this report.
From the Wire: Cubs Recall Willson Contreras, Designate Tim Federowicz for Assignment
The Cubs made it official prior to Friday’s game with the Pirates … Willson Contreras was recalled from Triple-A Iowa and to make room on the active roster, Tim Federowicz was designated for assignment.
With Friday’s roster moves, the Cubs’ 40-man roster stood at 38 players.
Arrieta, Cubs Blank the Bucs – Cubs 6, Pirates 0
Matt Szczur smacked a two-run homer. Albert Almora Jr. drove in two runs with a three-hit game. Addison Russell worked a bases loaded walk and Ben Zobrist delivered a two-out knock in the sixth inning that gave the bullpen a little breathing room.
Four of the Cubs’ six runs scored with two out hits and Maddon’s team started the weekend with a win against the Pirates.
Recap includes video.
Rambling About the Cubs while Wrigley is Rocking
Welcome Back, Mr. McCabe! Ramblings returned from a long break and Brian shared his thoughts on all things Cubs.
If you missed the return of one of the most popular columns, click on the link … you won’t regret it.
The Daily CCO: Arrieta’s Dominance, Contreras’ Debut and Other Cubs News
Jake Arrieta continued his dominance over the Pirates … and the numbers are really unbelievable what he’s done against Pittsburgh in two-plus seasons. Video is included that highlights Arrieta’s 11 strikeouts from Friday’s game.
Willson Contreras made his big league debut and received a standing ovation when he took the field.
Theo Epstein provided an update on Kyle Schwarber while reiterating he will not be back this year, not even in the post-season.
The Eugene Emeralds kicked off the season with a win behind Dylan Cease.
The Daily Report includes, as always, the news, notes, links and details from history book.
Cubs Charities to Benefit when Cubs Hit Wintrust or Nuveen Signs at Wrigley Field
The Cubs announced Friday that the team’s charities will benefit if one of the players hit the Wintrust or Nuveen signs at Wrigley Field.
Nuveen donated $10,000 to Cubs Charities for David Ross’ 100th home run hitting its new sign.
Dan Vogelbach Hitting Vogelbombs, Getting on Base in the PCL
Dan Vogelbach leads the I-Cubs in home runs and the Pacific Coast League in walks. Vogelbach has put up really good numbers over the first two and a half months of the season. Vogelbach went yard in consecutive games and he had at least one walk in nine of 10 games.
Report includes video.
Cubs Would Love to Add an Impact Reliever
Theo Epstein said the Cubs would love to add an impact reliever. And the front office has the scouts out doing their homework. The Cubs have been connected heavily to Andrew Miller and linked to Aroldis Chapman.
The Yankees’ lefties are not the only late-inning relievers the Cubs have reportedly shown interest in.
Grandpa Rossy, Bryzzo Power Cubs Past the Pirates – Cubs 4, Pirates 3
Saturday night’s win over the Pirates was a total team effort. David Ross, Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo went yard and grabbed the headlines. Ross bunted in Javier Baez. And the Cubs defense, namely Javier Baez, Addison Russell and Anthony Rizzo played a huge role in the Cubs come from behind win.
Recap includes video of Baez’s defense and incredible slide at second base.
The Daily CCO: A New High-Water Mark, Dexter Fowler, Thomas Hatch and Other Cubs News
The Cubs improved to a season-high 26 games over .500 (46-20) with Saturday night’s 4-3 win over the Pirates. And the Cubs had the franchise’s biggest lead in a division/league since 1929.
Dexter Fowler was scheduled for an MRI on his sore right hamstring that forced him to leave Saturday’s game in the first inning. Fowler’s injury is not believed to be serious and Joe Maddon downplayed its severity in his post-game presser.
Thomas Hatch, the Cubs’ third round pick in last week’s draft, tossed a complete game shutout in the College World Series.
Willson Contreras will likely start Monday’s game against the Cardinals with John Lackey on the hill. Contreras also caught Jason Hammel’s bullpen session.
There is a bunch of info about the upcoming Cubs-Cardinals series at Wrigley.
Bryan Hudson had a good night with the Emeralds.
The Daily Cubs update includes all of the news, notes, links and rumors, plus important stuff from the history book.
Hendricks, Cubs Home Run Barrage Complete the Sweep Over the Pirates
It was another magical night at Wrigley Field as the Cubs completed the sweep over the Pirates. Kyle Hendricks struck out a career-high 12 batters. But his performance was overshadowed by his teammates launching five home runs.
Javier Baez went deep in the second. Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo hit back-to-back jacks in the third. And Addison Russell capped the scoring with a two-run shot in the seventh.
Rookie Willson Contreras supplied an unforgettable moment in his first big league at bat. Contreras pinch-hit for Hendricks in the sixth inning and hit the first pitch he saw in the big leagues out of the park.
Recap includes video.