Cubs Lineup: 4/4/16 vs. Angels

ArrietaCy(Photo by Stephen Green)

Cubs at Angels — Angel Stadium
First Pitch: 9:05 CST
Cubs Starter: Jake Arrieta, RHP
Angels Starter: Garrett Richards, RHP
TV: ESPN 2, ABC 7 Chicago; Radio: 670 The Score

1. Dexter Fowler, CF
2. Jason Heyward, RF
3. Ben Zobrist, 2B
4. Anthony Rizzo, 1B
5. Kris Bryant, 3B
6. Kyle Schwarber, LF
7. Jorge Soler, DH
8. Miguel Montero, C
9. Addison Russell, SS

Cubs Opening Homestand Events and Promotions: April 11-17

Sandberg(Photo by Stephen Green)

Following a six-game road trip to begin the 2016 season, the Chicago Cubs will host Opening Night at Wrigley Field Monday, April 11, at 7:05 p.m. vs. the Cincinnati Reds. The homestand continues vs. the Reds until April 14, followed by a visit from the Colorado Rockies April 15-17.

Gates will open 30 minutes earlier than the standard two-hour window on Opening Night at 4:35 p.m. to help accommodate the new security procedures implemented at Wrigley Field this season, including mandatory metal detector screenings as fans enter the gates. Fans are encouraged to arrive to games earlier this season and can find information about the new screening process at cubs.com/security.

Up to the first 30,000 early arriving fans on Opening Night will receive a Cubs Magnet Schedule presented by Giordano’s. Cubs Hall of Famers Fergie Jenkins, Ryne Sandberg and Billy Williams will throw ceremonial first pitches and lead the seventh-inning stretch. Each base and baseball used during the game will feature special Opening Day logos. Pending availability, fans can purchase these items at the Cubs Authentics kiosk located in the main concourse or by visiting cubs.com/authentics. Net proceeds benefit Cubs Charities.

On Friday, April 15, the Cubs will join all of Major League Baseball by hosting Jackie Robinson Day at Wrigley Field. Jackie Robinson’s legacy is memorialized each year on April 15 to recognize the anniversary of the Hall of Famer breaking baseball’s color barrier. Uniformed players and personnel at each ballpark will wear Jackie Robinson’s retired No. 42 on their jerseys that day. Each base used at Wrigley Field will feature a commemorative Jackie Robinson Day base jewel. These game-used bases may be purchased at the Cubs Authentics kiosk, and the No. 42 jerseys will be available through an online Cubs Authentics auction benefiting Cubs Charities. The team will present the 10th annual Jackie Robinson Most Valuable Diverse Business Partner Award, which recognizes diverse business partners who exhibit and continue the legacy of Jackie Robinson. A pregame ceremony will include video highlighting Jackie Robinson’s career and legacy.

Two Cubs players will receive awards from last season during the homestand. Major League Baseball will present outfielder Jason Heyward with his 2015 Rawlings Gold Glove Award pregame April 15. On Sunday, April 17, third baseman Kris Bryant will receive his Player’s Choice Award for National League Outstanding Rookie from the Major League Baseball Players Association.

This season marks a century of the Cubs playing at Wrigley Field (which originally hosted the Federal League’s Chi-Feds and Whales from 1914-15). The team will wear a commemorative patch featuring a version of the team’s 1916 logo in modern colors on home uniforms throughout the 2016 season. Following Opening Night, the celebratory logo will be featured on base jewels and as a stamp on baseballs used during 2016 home games.

Tickets remain available at cubs.com or 800-THE-CUBS (800-843-2827). New attractions at Wrigley Field and highlights of the homestand follow.

Ballpark Updates
Fans sitting in the Budweiser Bleachers will notice a new Budweiser Bleacher Bar as they enter the gates at the corner of Sheffield and Waveland avenues. This sizeable bar offers an array of beer, cocktails and wine on the main concourse level. Bleacher guests also will enjoy five new display cases showcasing Cubs and Wrigley Field history, a replica ivy wall perfect for photo opportunities and additional décor throughout the bleacher concourse.

Those looking for a VIP experience inside the Budweiser Bleachers can reserve the Fannie May Bleacher Sweet (formerly the Budweiser Bleacher Suite), an ideal space for corporate or large group gatherings that offers heating and air conditioning, private restrooms, limited parking passes and all-inclusive food and beverage, including the chance to purchase upgraded dessert packages. Additionally, clients throughout the Nuveen Investments Suite Level can treat their guests to pre-ordered Fannie May chocolate trays, cheesecakes and souvenirs to help celebrate birthdays and other special occasions.

This season, through a number of contests and retail activations, Pepsi will reward fans each game with the opportunity to sit in four reserved seats in the new Pepsi Batter’s Eye, located in center field in the Budweiser Bleachers below the iconic Wrigley Field scoreboard.

Guests on the terrace level of Wrigley Field’s reserved seating bowl can order many of their favorite ballpark concessions at the new Marquee Grill located directly behind its namesake sign.

Finally, guests and Season Ticket Holders driving to and from Wrigley Field will notice newly branded parking lots as part of the team’s Legacy Partnership with Toyota. The updated names include the Toyota RAV4 Lot, formerly the Brown Lot, and the Toyota Camry Lot, formerly the Green Lot, which includes premier parking spaces for a limited number of early arriving fans who are driving Toyota cars. A parking map and full list of updated lot names can be found at cubs.com/transportation.

Promotional Items
Up to the first 30,000 early arriving fans on Opening Night, April 11, will receive a Cubs Magnet Schedule presented by Giordano’s.

Food and Beverage Offerings
Fans seeking a hot dog or sausage at Wrigley Field can select from a menu as deep as the Cubs roster, with 25 different options available throughout the ballpark.

Gilbert’s Craft Sausages joins the team this year with three offerings at the new Gilbert’s Grill Cart in the main concourse. The Caprese Sausage is a chicken sausage topped with diced tomatoes, chopped basil, mozzarella pearls and balsamic glaze. The Aloha Sausage is a chicken sausage topped with pineapple salsa, lime aioli, hot sauce and crushed potato chips. The Beef and Cheddar is a beef smoked sausage with cheddar cheese, topped with mac and cheese, bacon, caramelized onions and BBQ sauce. All three options are available during the opening homestand.

Back by popular demand, Budweiser Bleacher guests will continue to enjoy rotating Hot Doug’s offerings this season. The opening homestand features The Barry Foote, which is a corned beef sausage, aka “The Tueben,” topped with Russian dressing, shredded Swiss cheese and sauerkraut. The Joe Wallis is a curry bratwurst topped with curry dijonnaise, caramelized onions and smoked gouda cheese. The Champ Summers is a Vienna Beef spicy polish sausage with Goose Island beer mustard and crispy fried onions.

Fans also can enjoy High Plains Bison hot dogs, bratwursts and Italian sausages at the High Plains Bison Grill Cart, while vegetarian guests can opt for Veggie Hot Dogs at the Decade Dogs stand. Guests in the Nuveen Investments Suite Level can order additional specialty dog options such as the Philly Dog, Deli Dog, Big Kid Dog and Taco Dog, while diners in the Audi Club can enjoy the new Colossal Deconstructed Hot Dog.

These unique options join a robust offering of classic Vienna Beef hot dogs, Chicago dogs, three footlong selections, bratwursts, Italian sausages, Polish sausages and Wrigley Field Smokies served at various locations throughout the ballpark, including the Decade Dogs stand, concession stands, grill carts and in-seat vending.

Of course, guests have options beyond hot dogs and sausages. Family-owned Buona Beef joins the team as the Official Italian Beef of the Chicago Cubs after serving Chicago’s original Italian beef sandwiches since 1981.

Giordano’s Pizza returns to exclusively provide what many claim to be Chicago’s best stuffed pizza.

Fans age 21-and-older looking to wash down their meal with an adult beverage can order beers ranging from classics like Budweiser to newer offerings like Goose Island’s Four Star Pils or Goose IPA.

Budweiser Bleacher guests can try the new Chicago Dog Bloody Mary, which is a classic Bloody Mary with a celery salt and poppy seed rim, skewer with a mini Vienna Beef Chicago dog and garnishes served in a souvenir mason jar.

Terlato Wines will offer Nuveen Investments Suite Level guests the chance to purchase an upgraded food and wine package, as well as a Sommelier Wine Tasting Suite Experience complete with a pregame tour of Wrigley Field.

Tito’s Vodka will soon introduce “Brunch at the Ballpark,” which will allow fans to purchase an all-inclusive ticket for Tito’s Bloody Marys and breakfast foods during select Sunday home games throughout the season.

These offerings join an existing roster of classic favorites and creative homestand specials prepared by Levy Restaurants.

“Let’s Give” Cubs Charities Events
The Chicago Cubs will host the 11th Annual Race to Wrigley Charity Run presented by ATI Physical Therapy Saturday, April 23, following the team’s first homestand. This year’s Race to Wrigley 5K route will feature an updated course, allowing runners to race through historic Wrigley Field. Race participants will again see and experience the Lakeview neighborhood along the course route before entering the concourse through the Budweiser Bleacher Gate on Sheffield Avenue and crossing the finish line steps away from the Wrigley Field Marquee. For more information and to register, fans can visit racetowrigley.com.

Manager Joe Maddon will once again support Chicago nonprofit organizations through his “Respect Community” charity T-shirt initiative. After every Friday home game, Maddon will represent a different Chicago nonprofit by wearing the organization’s T-shirt during his post-game press conference. On Jackie Robinson Day, April 15, Maddon will represent the Jackie Robinson Foundation, whose scholarship program is designed to address the financial needs of minority college students and provide comprehensive mentoring services through its 42 Strategies for Success Curriculum.

Homestand Recap, April 11-17

Monday, April 11, Chicago Cubs vs. Cincinnati Reds, 7:05 p.m. (Gates open early at 4:35 p.m.)

  • Promotion: Cubs Magnet Schedule presented by Giordano’s, up to the first 30,000 fans
  • National Anthem: Wayne Messmer
  • First pitches and seventh-inning stretch: Cubs Hall of Famers Fergie Jenkins, Ryne Sandberg and Billy Williams
  • Broadcast: WGN-TV, 670 The Score, Cubs.com

Wednesday, April 13, Chicago Cubs vs. Cincinnati Reds, 7:05 p.m.

  • First pitch and seventh-inning stretch: Chicago Bears cornerback Kyle Fuller
  • Broadcast: CSN+, 670 The Score, Cubs.com

Thursday, April 14, Chicago Cubs vs. Cincinnati Reds, 7:05 p.m.

  • Pregame: Cubs Charities Diamond Project grant recipients recognized.
  • Broadcast: CSN, 670 The Score, Cubs.com

Friday, April 15, Chicago Cubs vs. Colorado Rockies, 1:20 p.m.

  • Pregame: Jackie Robinson Day Ceremony
  • Award presentation: Jason Heyward 2015 Rawlings Gold Glove Award
  • First pitch and seventh-inning stretch: Former Blackhawks forward, 2013 Stanley Cup champion and current Blackhawks community liaison Jamal Mayers
  • Broadcast: CSN, MLB Network, 670 The Score, Cubs.com

Saturday, April 16, Chicago Cubs vs. Colorado Rockies, 1:20 p.m.

  • Broadcast: CSN, 670 The Score, Cubs.com

Sunday, April 17, Chicago Cubs vs. Colorado Rockies, 1:20 p.m.

  • Award presentation: Kris Bryant 2015 Player’s Choice Award for National League Outstanding Rookie
  • First pitch and seventh-inning stretch: Former Cubs outfielder Bobby Dernier
  • Broadcast: WGN-TV, 670 The Score, Cubs.com

Saturday, April 23, Race to Wrigley Charity Run presented by ATI Physical Therapy, 8 a.m.

Cubs Charities launches 2016 “Let’s Give” community campaign

LesterEvent(Photo by Will Byington)

Cubs Charities will continue their “Let’s Give” community initiative this season in conjunction with the organization’s 2016 marketing campaign, “Let’s Go.” This yearlong charitable campaign will include Cubs Charities events, player fundraisers and programs benefiting the Chicago community. The efforts will be highlighted throughout the season using the social hashtag #LetsGive.

The campaign also will include Cubs players and associates engaging in community service projects throughout the season, including programs aimed at increasing access to sports opportunities and targeting improvements in health, fitness and education for those at risk. Cubs Charities offers three ongoing Signature Programs to further this mission. The Cubs on the Move Fitness Program promotes physical activity while encouraging kids to “Play Every Day.” The Cubs Charities Diamond Project expands opportunities for children to play baseball by creating or preserving green space and baseball facilities. Finally, the Cubs Scholars program offers quality mentoring and scholarships for Chicago-area high school students, coupled with a program that promotes academic achievement and encourages post-secondary educational advancement.

Cubs manager Joe Maddon will once again support Chicago nonprofit organizations through his “Respect Community” charity T-shirt initiative. After every Friday home game this season, Maddon will represent a different Chicago nonprofit by wearing the organization’s T-shirt during his postgame press conference.

The list of “Let’s Give” Cubs Charities and player foundation events follows, with future events and appearances possible throughout the season. For more information, visit cubscharities.org.

11th Annual Race to Wrigley Charity Run, April 23
The Chicago Cubs will host the 11th Annual Race to Wrigley Charity Run presented by ATI Physical Therapy Saturday, April 23. This year’s Race to Wrigley 5K route will feature an updated course, allowing runners to race through historic Wrigley Field. Race participants will again see and experience the Lakeview neighborhood along the course route before entering the concourse through the Budweiser Bleacher Gate on Sheffield Avenue and crossing the finish line steps away from the Wrigley Field Marquee. For more information, visit racetowrigley.com.

Bricks and Ivy Ball, April 28
The annual Bricks and Ivy Ball is Cubs Charities’ primary fundraising event. This year’s Bricks and Ivy Ball will feature a fun island theme at Navy Pier’s Grand Ballroom. Cubs players, coaches, alumni, owners and management will be in attendance for an evening of musical entertainment, cocktails and dinner. Fans will have the opportunity to bid on unique live and silent auction items. Net proceeds benefit Cubs Charities. For more information, visit cubs.com/bricksandivy.

Annual Cubs Care Grant Luncheon, May 9
The Cubs will team up with the Robert R. McCormick Foundation for the annual Cubs Care Grant Luncheon in the Audi Club at Wrigley Field. Cubs Charities and Cubs Care will grant money to nonprofit organizations serving those in need in the Chicago area. Last year, the Cubs and Robert R. McCormick Foundation distributed more than $1 million in grants. For more information, visit cubscharities.org.

Kerry Wood and Friends Battle of the Bats Charity Home Run Derby, May 25
The Wood Family Foundation will join Cubs Charities to host the second annual Kerry Wood and Friends Battle of the Bats Charity Home Run Derby at Wrigley Field. Kerry Wood and other Cubs alumni will coach participants to swing for the fences while competing for the ultimate title of Home Run Derby Champion. Individuals will have to fundraise a minimum of $3,500, which will benefit underserved youth in Chicago through Cubs Charities and the Wood Family Foundation. For more information, visit cubs.com/derby.

Anthony Rizzo Family Foundation’s Cook-Off for Cancer, June 2
The Anthony Rizzo Family Foundation will celebrate its fourth annual Cook-Off for Cancer, which will feature tasting portions prepared by notable Chicago chefs and served by Cubs players at Morgan Manufacturing. Guests will vote for their favorite chefs and dishes by tipping their Cubs server. Tips and event net proceeds will benefit pediatric cancer research as well as provide support to children and their families battling the disease. For more information, visit cubs.com/cook.

Foundation To Be Named Later’s Hot Stove Cool Music Chicago Concert, June 17
The fifth annual Hot Stove Cool Music Chicago benefit concert will rock Chicago again at Metro Chicago. Cubs President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein, Hall of Fame baseball writer Peter Gammons, Cubs broadcaster Len Kasper and the Chicago Hot Stove All-Stars will take the stage for an evening of music and giving back to the Chicago community. Net proceeds benefit the Foundation To Be Named Later, started by Epstein and his twin brother, Paul. The foundation raises funds and awareness for nonprofit agencies working on the front lines, serving disadvantaged youth in the Greater Boston and Chicago areas. For more information, visit foundationtobenamedlater.org.

Jon Lester’s NVRQT Goes Country, July 6
Cubs starting pitcher Jon Lester and his wife, Farrah, will host a country-themed fundraiser at Joe’s Bar on Weed Street in Chicago this July. Net proceeds from the event will benefit Lester’s NVRQT campaign, run by the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation (PCRF), which helps raise awareness and money for pediatric cancer research. For future information, visit cubs.com/nvrqt.

Cubs Wives Present Players’ Favorite Things Baskets, July 16
Cubs wives and girlfriends will once again create and auction off Chicago Cubs “Players’ Favorite Things Baskets.” Each basket will contain one-of-a-kind autographed memorabilia and hand-picked items, such as players’ favorite movies, restaurant gift cards, snacks, team gear and much more. The auction will launch online July 16 through July 23 and also will be available inside the concourse at Wrigley Field Saturday, July 16. Net proceeds benefit Cubs Charities. For more information or to place a bid online, visit cubs.com/auction.

Joe Maddon’s Respect 90 Main Event, July 20
Cubs manager Joe Maddon will host the second annual Respect 90 Main Event at the Wintrust Bank Building, featuring dinner and drinks along with several rounds of amateur boxing. The night will help provide Chicago’s inner-city children and young adults with opportunities to develop championship attitudes through sports while encouraging fitness, academics and community engagement. For future information, visit cubscharities.org.

Let’s Go Gold, Sept. 2
Cubs Charities will team up with Major League Baseball to take part in the fight against pediatric cancer by helping Wrigley Field “go gold” Friday, Sept. 2. Cubs Charities will host a special pregame ceremony along with other gold-themed activations throughout the ballpark, including fundraising opportunities to help fund pediatric cancer research and awareness. For future information, visit cubs.com/letsgogold.

Cubs reduce Spring Training roster to 36 players

The Chicago Cubs have assigned nine players to minor league camp, reducing their spring roster from 45 to 36 players.

Nine non-roster invitees have been assigned to minor league camp: Right-handed pitchers Brandon Gomes, Jean Machi and Ryan Williams; infielders Jesus Guzman and Kris Negron; and outfielders Albert Almora, John Andreoli, Matt Murton and Juan Perez.

Chicago’s spring roster of 36 players consists of 19 pitchers (two non-roster invitees and one DL), four catchers (one non-roster invitee), eight infielders (one non-roster invitee) and five outfielders (one non-roster invitee).

Worth the Wait: Navigating the Cubs Season Ticket Holder Waiting List

FANW_070515_Cubs_JG_063

(Photo by Stephen Green)

Greg Augsburg is the personification of the old axiom “Good things come to those who wait.”

When Augsburg was a college student at Eastern Illinois University in the mid-2000s, he got into the habit of watching the standard Cubs 1:20 day game. Each telecast would include a plug about joining the Season Ticket Holder Waiting List. For the longtime Cubs fan, who always followed the team but really got hooked around the time of the 2003 playoff run, it was a siren call.

“It was always something to look forward to,” said Augsburg, now a technology coordinator and trainer at Wood Dale School District 7. “What’s five minutes out of my day to fill out a questionnaire? It was just something charming to think of once in a while.”

Of course, Augsburg knew it would be a while before he got a crack at tickets. The Cubs send regular updates on where each person stands in line, and at one point, he was informed he was customer No. 75,000.

“I was like, ‘Oh, this is never going to happen,’” Augsburg said, laughing. “Seriously, my train of thought was, ‘Well, maybe when I’m retired, I’ll get to do it.’”

Though he did have a little wait, a decade later, the 29-year-old is now the proud owner of two Cubs season tickets.

The Chicago Cubs Season Ticket Holder Waiting List is a no-cost way for Cubs fans to get in line for season tickets. To join the list, fans complete the form at cubs.com/waitinglist and, well, wait. How fast the list turns over depends on various factors. Seat locations primarily become available when current Season Ticket Holders opt not to renew their spots, so the product on the field can be a big determinant.

With the Cubs major-league team struggling over the last few seasons, there was quite a bit of turnover. That’s not the case anymore.

Going into 2015, the Cubs churned through 17,112 names on the waiting list before hitting capacity. That kind of movement is why Augsburg became a Season Ticket Holder in his late-20s instead of his late-60s. This year, the team went through fewer than 1,000 names.

“It’s always fun to welcome new Season Ticket Holders into the Cubs family, especially since we know our fans wait years for the opportunity,” said Cubs Senior Director of Ticketing Cale Vennum. “The increased interest in becoming a Season Ticket Holder is just another example of the tremendous demand we’ve seen to watch this year’s exciting team. It may take some time to get that call, but stories like Greg’s are a reminder the wait is definitely worthwhile.”

After completing the form, fans receive an account number and their current place on the list. The list is updated annually, and fans receive periodic emails so they know just how close—or far—they are from getting an opportunity.

Augsburg worked with Cubs Ticket Sales Representative Charles Zubrod, who he said offered constant feedback and communication once his number finally came up. Not only did Zubrod provide progress updates and advice about how to get through the line quickly once Augsburg got into the virtual waiting room, he was also honest and helped temper expectations. There is no guarantee a fan’s preferred seats will be open.

If a fan is offered a season ticket location but chooses to decline the offer, the Cubs will proceed to the next person in the queue, and that fan will be required to sign up again and obtain a new waiting list number, which can mean years more waiting.

But when the day came and Augsburg went online to claim his spot, the stars aligned, and he was able to get exactly what he wanted. Now he has only one more thing left to wait for—another deep Cubs playoff run.

“This really is quite the opportunity,” Augsburg said. “We’re probably in our best position to win in a very long time, and it just happens to be the year that my number gets called. It’s very nice. Coincidental, but I’ll take it.”

Cubs reduce Spring Training roster to 45 players

The Chicago Cubs have assigned 11 players to minor league camp, reducing their spring roster from 56 to 45 players.

Right-handed pitchers Carl Edwards Jr. and Pierce Johnson; left-handed pitcher C.J. Riefenhauser; infielder Arismendy Alcantara; and catcher Willson Contreras have been optioned to Triple-A Iowa. Infielder Jeimer Candelario has been optioned to Double-A Tennessee.

Five non-roster invitees have been assigned to minor league camp: right-handed pitchers Stephen Fife, Felix Pena and Drew Rucinski; left-handed pitcher Edgar Olmos; and catcher Taylor Davis.

Chicago’s spring roster of 45 players consists of 22 pitchers (five non-roster invitees and one DL), four catchers (one non-roster invitee), 10 infielders (three non-roster invitees) and nine outfielders (five non-roster invitees).

Cubs extend partnership with Pepsi

Following an extended partnership announced today, fans visiting Wrigley Field will continue to enjoy Pepsi, the Official Soft Drink of the Chicago Cubs, while also having the opportunity to win unique experiences and prizes throughout the season.

“We’re thrilled to continue our longstanding partnership with Pepsi,” said Allen Hermeling, Cubs senior director of corporate partnerships. “For decades, Cubs fans have enjoyed ice cold Pepsi as part of the game experience at Wrigley Field, and both organizations are proud to see this tradition continue.”

Beginning this season, Pepsi will reward fans each game with the opportunity to sit in four reserved seats in the new Pepsi Batter’s Eye, located in center field in the Budweiser Bleachers below the iconic Wrigley Field scoreboard. Pepsi will give Cubs fans a chance to get closer to the action as well, with opportunities to participate in the operation of the manually operated scoreboard controls from the press box; presenting the lineup card and saying “play ball” before a Cubs home game; playing catch in the outfield prior to a game; and watching batting practice from the field.

In addition to providing unique fan experiences, Pepsi will present multiple promotional dates each season with giveaway items for up to the first 10,000 fans. The new Pepsi Batter’s Eye center-field bleacher façade will feature a Pepsi logo, plus rotational signage behind home plate and inside the main concourse. Pepsi will continue to support Cubs Charities fundraising events.

“Pepsi loves the great sport of baseball and we are excited to show Cubs fans what we have planned this season,” said Kim McConnie, Pepsi senior director of sports marketing. “We look forward to continuing to refresh fans at Wrigley Field with our partner, the Cubs.”

Other popular PepsiCo beverages, including Mountain Dew and Sierra Mist, remain available for purchase at Wrigley Field. Gatorade continues to be the Official Sports Fuel of the Cubs, hydrating athletes on field.

Cubs reduce Spring Training roster to 56 players

The Cubs have assigned seven players to minor league camp, reducing their spring roster from 63 to 56 players.

Right-handed pitcher Andury Acevedo, left-handed pitcher Eric Jokisch and infielder Dan Vogelbach have been optioned to Triple-A Iowa.

Four non-roster invitees have been assigned to minor league camp: Right-handed pitchers Jonathan Pettibone, Duane Underwood Jr. and Armando Rivero; and left-handed pitcher Jack Leathersich.

Chicago’s spring roster of 56 players consists of 29 pitchers (nine non-roster invitees and one DL), six catchers (two non-roster invitees), 12 infielders (three non-roster invitees) and nine outfielders (five non-roster invitees).

Cubs agree to terms with 21 players on 40-man roster

The Cubs have agreed to 2016 contract terms with 21 players on their 40-man roster with zero-to-three years of major-league service.

The following players have agreed to 2016 contract terms:

Right-handed pitchers Dallas Beeler, Aaron Brooks, Carl Edwards Jr., Kyle Hendricks, Pierce Johnson, Spencer Patton and Neil Ramirez.

Left-handed pitchers Eric Jokisch, C.J. Riefenhauser and Zac Rosscup.

Catchers Willson Contreras and Kyle Schwarber.

Infielders Arismendy Alcantara, Javier Baez, Kris Bryant, Jeimer Candelario, Tommy La Stella, Addison Russell, Christian Villanueva and Dan Vogelbach.

Outfielder Matt Szczur.

Cubs bring back OF Dexter Fowler on one-year deal

FowlerGettyImages-492406022The Chicago Cubs outfielder Dexter Fowler have agreed to terms on a 2016 contract with a mutual option for the 2017 campaign. To make room for Fowler on the 40-man roster, left-handed pitcher Zac Rosscup has been placed on the 60-day disabled list with left shoulder inflammation.

Fowler, who turns 30 next month, returns to the Cubs after batting .250 (149-for-596) in 156 games and setting career highs in many offensive categories, including 102 runs scored, 17 home runs, 149 hits and 84 walks, which contributed to his .346 on-base percentage, 96 points above his batting average. He batted .272 (73-for-268) with a .389 on-base percentage and a .463 slugging percentage, good for an .852 OPS, in 71 games after the All-Star Break to help lead the Cubs to the National League Championship Series.

The switch-hitter is a career .267 hitter with a .363 on-base percentage in all or part of eight major league seasons with the Colorado Rockies (2008-13), Houston Astros (2014) and Cubs (2015). Per 162 games, Fowler has averaged 29 doubles, 11 triples, 11 homers, 20 stolen bases, 82 walks and a .418 slugging to contribute to a career .781 OPS. Including a .326 average (44-for-135) and .399 on-base percentage last year, Fowler is a career .303 hitter with a .392 on-base percentage when batting from the right side of the plate.

Fowler has exclusively played center field since his first full season in the big leagues in 2009, when he finished eighth in National League Rookie of the Year voting, and his 65 triples since 2009 lead all major leaguers covering the last seven seasons. He set the Rockies record for triples in a single season in 2010 (14) and again in 2011 (15), when he also recorded a career-high 35 doubles.

A native of Atlanta, Fowler was originally selected by the Colorado Rockies in the 14th round of the 2004 draft out of Milton (GA) High School.

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