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Opening Homestand Promotions and Guests: 4/5/15; 4/7/15-4/8/15

Banks-_NBLThe Cubs will honor Mr. Cub Ernie Banks during a pregame ceremony on Opening Night, April 5.

The Cubs are just a few days away from kicking off the 2015 season in grand fashion with a nationally televised Opening Night matchup against the division-rival Cardinals at Wrigley Field. The evening will begin with a tribute to late Hall of Famer, “Mr. Cub” Ernie Banks, who passed away at the age of 83 in January and will also include an on-field performance by local rock group Fall Out Boy.

Here are the other guests and promotions you’ll find at the Friendly Confines during the three-game opening set.

Opening Homestand Recap, April 5-8

Sunday, April 5, Chicago Cubs vs. St. Louis Cardinals, 7:05 p.m.

  • Special tribute: Ernie Banks pregame ceremony, moment of silence and in-game tributes
  • Promotions: Commemorative No. 14 pin (all fans); Cubs Magnet Schedule presented by Giordano’s (first 30,000 fans)
  • Pregame entertainment: Fall Out Boy
  • National Anthem: Wayne Messmer; God Bless America: London Lo
  • First pitches and seventh-inning stretch: Ernie Banks’ sons, Joey and Jerry Banks
  • Broadcast: ESPN2-TV, WBBM Newsradio 780-AM, Cubs.com

Tuesday, April 7, Chicago Cubs vs. St. Louis Cardinals, 7:05 p.m.

  • Promotion: Cubs Magnet Schedule presented by Jack Daniel’s (first 30,000 adults age 21-and-older)
  • National Anthem: Members of Chicago-based ‘60s band The Buckinghams
  • Seventh-inning stretch: Lombard, Illinois-native band Plain White T’s
  • Broadcast: WGN-TV, WBBM Newsradio 780-AM, Cubs.com

Wednesday, April 8, Chicago Cubs vs. St. Louis Cardinals, 1:20 p.m.

  • First pitch and seventh-inning stretch: Singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Kristian Bush from Sugarland
  • Broadcast: WLS-TV, WBBM Newsradio 780-AM, Cubs.com
  • Cubs Charities Bricks and Ivy Ball post-game at Union Station

Cubs to honor Banks during opening homestand

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The 2015 Major League Baseball season will officially kick off at Wrigley Field this Sunday, April 5, at 7:05 p.m., as the Cubs host Opening Night vs. the Cardinals. The Cardinals remain in town for a three-game series through April 8, when the Cubs conclude their opening homestand, then head to Union Station for Cubs Charities’ annual Bricks and Ivy Ball.

The Cubs will begin their season by honoring the late Hall of Famer “Mr. Cub” Ernie Banks, who passed away at the age of 83 in January. Mr. Banks will be honored with a pregame ceremony Sunday evening and his sons, Joey and Jerry, will throw the game’s ceremonial first pitches and lead the seventh-inning stretch. The team will wear a commemorative No. 14 patch on both its home and away jerseys this season, and the bases used on Opening Night will be adorned with Ernie Banks tribute base jewels. These game-used bases and jerseys will be available for purchase through Cubs Authentics with proceeds benefiting Cubs Charities. Each fan attending Opening Night will receive a commemorative No. 14 pin in his honor as they enter the gates. Fans will see many other tributes paying homage to Mr. Banks’ remarkable life and career throughout the evening.

Fans attending Opening Night at Wrigley Field will want to arrive early following Major League Baseball’s announcement that Chicago-born, award-winning rock band Fall Out Boy will headline MLB Opening Night’s first-ever live musical performance as part of the pregame festivities. Fall Out Boy will perform three songs live on the field, and the band’s platinum hit “Centuries” will be televised live to a national audience on “Baseball Tonight,” airing on ESPN2 at 6 p.m. CST. With Fall Out Boy’s performance taking place pregame, batting practice for both the Cubs and Cardinals will be moved earlier by approximately 30 minutes. Gates at Wrigley Field will open at 4:35 p.m. CST as a result. The first 30,000 fans entering the ballpark will receive a Cubs magnet schedule.

Tickets remain available for the upcoming three-game homestand and Bricks and Ivy Ball at cubs.com or 800-THE-CUBS (800-843-2827).

Cubs Spring Training Lineup: 3/31/15

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Mike Olt will start at third base Tuesday. (Photo by Stephen Green)

Cubs vs. Rangers (SS) @ Surprise
First Pitch: 3:05 CST
Cubs Starter: Eric Jokisch, LHP
Rangers Starter: Derek Holland, LHP
Broadcast: MLB Network (delay), Listen live at MLB.com

Lineup
1. Dexter Fowler, CF
2. Jorge Soler, RF
3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B
4. Starlin Castro, SS
5. Welington Castillo, C
6. Mike Olt, 3B
7. Matt Szczur, LF
8. Eric Jokisch, LHP
9. Arismendy Alcantara, 2B

Cubs add left-hander Phil Coke to big league roster

The Chicago Cubs today selected the contract of left-handed pitcher Phil Coke. The club’s 40-man roster now stands at 40 players.

Coke, 32, joined the Cubs on a minor league contract on March 5 after spending the last seven seasons with the New York Yankees (2008-09) and Detroit Tigers (2010-14), going 22-27 with 80 holds, eight saves and a 4.16 ERA (184 ER/398.1 IP) in 383 major league appearances. He has turned in nine scoreless appearances this spring, covering 7.2 innings pitched.

The left-hander went 5-2 with a 3.88 ERA in 62 relief appearances for the Tigers last season. In his career, he has limited left-handed hitters to a .243 batting average, a .297 on-base percentage and a .648 OPS. Coke had 21 holds with the Yankees in 2009 and 20 holds with Detroit in 2012.

Cubs reduce spring roster; assign Baez, Bryant, Russell to minors

The Cubs have assigned three high-profile players to minor league camp, reducing their spring roster from 38 to 35 players.

Infielder Javier Baez has been optioned to Triple-A Iowa.

Two nonroster invitees have been assigned to minor league camp: infielders Kris Bryant and Addison Russell.

Chicago’s spring roster of 35 players consists of 18 pitchers (one nonroster invitee), four catchers (one nonroster invitee), six infielders (one nonroster invitee) and seven outfielders.

Cubs Spring Training Lineup: 3/30/15

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Kyle Hendricks gets the start for the Cubs against the defending World Series champs Monday. (Photo by Stephen Green)
Cubs vs. Giants – Sloan Park
First Pitch: 3:05 CST
Cubs Starter: Kyle Hendricks, RHP
Giants Starter: Tim Hudson, RHP
Broadcast: CSN, Listen live at MLB.com
Lineup
1. Dexter Fowler, CF
2. Chris Coghlan, LF
3. Jorge Soler, RF
4. Anthony Rizzo, 1B
5. Starlin Castro, SS
6. Tommy La Stella, 3B
7. David Ross, C
8. Kyle Hendricks, P
9. Javier Baez, 2B

Cubs reduce spring roster to 38 players

Jokisch_EricThe Chicago Cubs today reduced their spring roster to 38 players by optioning left-handed pitcher Eric Jokisch to Triple-A Iowa and granting left-handed pitcher Felix Doubront his unconditional release.

Chicago’s spring roster of 38 players consists of 18 pitchers (one nonroster invitee), four catchers (one nonroster invitee), nine infielders (three nonroster invitees) and seven outfielders.

Cubscast Mesa: The Lighter Side, The best clubhouse prank I’ve ever seen

One of the best things about hanging around the Cubs is you get to know the players off the field. While the team is serious and focused about 2015, there are also some great personalities, and they like to cut loose. During Spring Training, we asked the guys to recall the best prank they have ever pulled—or seen—during their careers.

We’ll be posting videos and stories from Sloan Park all spring, so make sure you’re watching the blog and our Twitter account, @cubsvineline.

Check out the other videos from our Spring Training series:

Cubscast Mesa: Spring sit-down with manager Joe Maddon
Cubscast Mesa: The Lighter Side, If I weren’t a ballplayer …
Cubscast Mesa: Checking in with the 2015 Cubs coaching staff
Cubscast Mesa: The Lighter Side, If I could have one talent or superpower
Cubscast Mesa: The Cubs are setting a positive tone in camp
Cubscast Mesa: The Lighter Side, What the Cubs are watching on TV
Cubscast Mesa: The next wave of Cubs talent
Cubscast Mesa: The Lighter Side, The best thing I did this offseason
Cubscast Mesa: Goals for the 2015 season

Cubs Spring Training Lineup: 3/27/15

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Anthony Rizzo will square off against his old teammate Jeff Samardzija as the Cubs host the White Sox Friday. (Photo by Stephen Green)

Cubs vs. White Sox – Sloan Park
First Pitch: 3:05 CST
Cubs Starter: Jason Hammel, RHP
White Sox Starter: Jeff Samardzija, RHP
Broadcast: CSN, Listen live at MLB.com

Lineup
1. Dexter Fowler, CF
2. Chris Coghlan, LF
3. Jorge Soler, RF
4. Anthony Rizzo, 1B
5. Starlin Castro, SS
6. Arismendy Alcantara, 3B
7. Miguel Montero, C
8. Jason Hammel, P
9. Tommy La Stella, 2B

Cubs reduce spring roster to 40

The Cubs assigned 12 players to minor league camp Thursday, reducing their spring roster from 52 players to 40.

Right-handed pitcher Blake Parker and left-handed pitcher Joseph Ortiz have been optioned to Triple-A Iowa.

Ten nonroster invitees have been assigned to minor league camp: Right-handed pitchers Daniel Bard, Anthony Carter, Jorge De Leon and Gonzalez Germen; left-handed pitcher Francisley Bueno; infielder Chris Valaika; outfielders Albert Almora, Mike Baxter and Adron Chambers; and catcher Kyle Schwarber.

Chicago’s spring roster of 40 players consists of 20 pitchers (one nonroster invitee), four catchers (one nonroster invitee), nine infielders (three nonroster invitees) and seven outfielders.

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