Results tagged ‘ Chicago Cubs ’

Cubscast Mesa: The Cubs are setting a positive tone in camp

The Cubs finished on a strong note in 2014 and were riding a huge wave of momentum as they entered Spring Training. New veteran additions have joined with the organization’s unmatched young talent to make the Cubs the talk of the Cactus League. We sat down with some of the new and old players to find out what the feeling is like in camp and how it differs from the feeling in previous years.

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

Cubs Spring Training Lineups: 3/11/15

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Rick Sutcliffe looks on as Jon Lester throws during Spring Training. (Photo by Stephen Green)

Cubs vs. Dodgers – Sloan Park
First Pitch: 3:05 CST
Cubs Starter: Jon Lester, LHP
Dodgers Starter: Zack Greinke, RHP
Broadcast: MLB Network, Listen live at MLB.com

Lineup

1. Dexter Fowler, CF
2. Anthony Rizzo, 1B
3. Starlin Castro, SS
4. Miguel Montero, C
5. Chris Coghlan, LF
6. Mike Olt, 3B
7. Ryan Sweeney, RF
8. Arismendy Alcantara, 2B
9. Mike Baxter, DH

Cubs rank third in ESPN future power rankings

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Javier Baez could be a key to the Cubs’ future success. (Photo by Stephen Green)

In an attempt to forecast how well each major league organization will do over the next five-years, ESPN Insiders Jim Bowden, Keith Law and Buster Olney created the preseason MLB Future Power Rankings. The trio ranked each club in the following five categories: the quality of the current big league roster, the quality of the farm system, the team’s finances, a team’s management, and the mobility of the current roster or the current age and contract status of the team.

With the best minor league system in the game and a number of key veteran offseason additions, the Cubs find themselves at No. 3 in the rankings. The team jumped up one spot from when these rankings were last compiled on Oct. 31. Here’s what ESPN had to say about the Cubs.

Majors: 17 points (30 being the best score)
Minors: 30 points
Finance: 23 points
Management: 29 points
Mobility: 23 points

The overview
To date, Theo Epstein’s plan is playing out very well. Now the Cubs need prospects such as Kris Bryant, Addison Russell and Javier Baez to make a successful jump to the next level. They also need to grab one of the elite starters on next winter’s free-agent market, such as Jordan Zimmermann or David Price. — Buster Olney

The dilemma
How will the Cubs configure their middle infield over the next few seasons? For now, Javier Baez is the front-runner at second base, with Starlin Castro at shortstop, but when shortstop prospect Addison Russell is major league-ready, he’ll end up beating out one of them, which could cause multiple players to shift positions. It could even mean third-base prospect Kris Bryant has to play a corner-outfield spot. — Jim Bowden

Impact prospect
Bryant should be the Cubs’ Opening Day third baseman, but he’ll probably be brought up by late April and is my pick to win NL Rookie of the Year. If it’s not him, it could just as easily be right fielder Jorge Soler. — Keith Law

Cubs Spring Training Lineup: 3/10/15

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Jorge Soler will bat fourth for the Cubs Tuesday. (Photo by Stephen Green)

Cubs @ Indians – Goodyear
First Pitch: 3:05 CST
Cubs Starter: Travis Wood, LHP
Indians Starter: Trevor Bauer, RHP
Broadcast: MLB Network (delay), listen live at MLB.com

Lineup
1. Tommy La Stella, DH
2. Junior Lake, LF
3. Arismendy Alcantara, CF
4. Jorge Soler, RF
5. Javier Baez, 2B
6. Kris Bryant, 3B
7. Welington Castillo, C
8. Chris Valaika, 1B
9. Addison Russell, SS

Cubs Spring Training Lineup: 3/9/15

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Dexter Fowler (center) and Anthony Rizzo (right) hang out after a workout at Spring Training. (Photo by Stephen Green)

Cubs vs. Padres – Sloan Park
First Pitch: 3:05 CST
Cubs Starter: Edwin Jackson, RHP
Padres Starter: Andrew Cashner, RHP
Broadcast: Listen live at MLB.com

Lineup
1. Dexter Fowler, CF
2. Chris Denorfia, RF
3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B
4. Starlin Castro, SS
5. Miguel Montero, DH
6. Mike Olt, 3B
7. David Ross, C
8. Chris Coghlan, LF
9. Jonathan Herrera, 2B

Cubscast Mesa: The Lighter Side, If I could have one talent or superpower

Major League Baseball players are blessed with all sorts of talents. Most mere mortals would give anything to be able to turn around a 98 mph fastball or to be able to throw said 98 mph fastball. But even the Cubs best athletes can’t do everything.

When we sat down with the team during Spring Training, we asked the guys which special talent or superpower they wish they had. The answers are enlightening.

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

1000 Words: Happy Birthday to Jake Arrieta

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(Photo by Stephen Green)

Cubs pitcher Jake Arrieta turned 29 years old Friday. The right-hander enjoyed his best season as a major leaguer last year, finishing 10-5 with a 2.53 ERA and a 9.6 K/9 rate over 156.2 innings. He’s projected to start Sunday as the Cubs host the Rangers in Cactus League action.

Cubscast Mesa: Checking in with the 2015 Cubs coaching staff

There’s a totally different feeling in Cubs camp this spring, and that all starts at the top with the coaching staff. Two-time AL Manager of the Year Joe Maddon brings his vast experience and quirky personality to Mesa, and he is joined by a cast of new and familiar faces who are all working together to rewrite the script for Cubs fans. We talked to the staff, new and old, about their expectations for 2015 and why this year will be different.

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 …

Cubs Spring Training Lineup: 3/6/15

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Mike Olt will bat fourth on Friday after hitting a two-run homer on Opening Day. (Photo by Stephen Green)

Cubs vs. Reds – Sloan Park
First Pitch: 2:05 CST
Cubs Starter: Jon Lester, LHP
Reds Starter: Tony Cingrani, LHP
Broadcast: Listen live at MLB.com

Lineup
1. Chris Denorfia, RF
2. Arismendy Alcantara, CF
3. Javier Baez, SS
4. Mike Olt, 1B
5. David Ross, C
6. Junior Lake, LF
7. Chris Valaika, 3B
8. Welington Castillo, C
9. Matt Szczur, CF

Cubs agree to terms with 20 players on 2015 contracts

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(Photo by Stephen Green)

The Cubs have agreed to 2015 contract terms with all 20 players on their 40-man roster with zero to three years of major league service.

Right-handed pitchers Dallas Beeler, C.J. Edwards, Justin Grimm, Kyle Hendricks, Blake Parker, Neil Ramirez, Hector Rondon and Brian Schlitter agreed to terms, as did left-handed pitchers Drake Britton, Eric Jokisch, Joe Ortiz and Zac Rosscup. The position players include catcher Rafael Lopez, infielders Arismendy Alcantara, Javier Baez, Tommy La Stella, Mike Olt and Christian Villanueva, and outfielders Junior Lake and Matt Szczur.

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