Chicago Cubs Wiretap

All-Star Game Starters Announced

Jul 5, 2015 9:24 PM

2015 ALL-STAR GAME STARTERS ANNOUNCED

Leading Vote-Getter Josh Donaldson Sets All-Time Single-Season Voting Record, Edges Out AL Teammate Mike Trout for Top Overall Spot;

Bryce Harper Finishes as Top NL Vote-Getter, Sets All-Time NL
Single-Season Voting Mark;

Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson, MLB’s leading vote-getter, and Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper, who led the National League in voting, will be among the starters in the 86th All-Star Game, to be played on Tuesday, July 14th at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati.  The 2015 AL and NL All-Star starters were unveiled earlier this evening during the “Esurance All-Star Starters Selection Show” on ESPN.  

Donaldson, who collected 14,090,188 total votes, set a new all-time single-season voting record, surpassing Josh Hamilton’s 2012 total of 11,073,744 tallies.  

Harper receives his third Midsummer Classic selection (2012-13) and his second fan-elected start (2013), becoming the first player in Nationals-era history to claim multiple fan-elected starting assignments.  

Third baseman Todd Frazier of the host Reds received 9,233,686 votes, surpassing Matt Carpenter of the Cardinals (7,133,753) in the final week to earn his first fan election after being named an All-Star reserve in 2014.  

In the AL, reigning league batting champion Jose Altuve of the Astros reclaimed the top spot at second base in the final week, finishing with 9,634,464 votes to beat out Kansas City’s Omar Infante (8,999,117).  

Angels outfielder Mike Trout received 14,013,021 total votes, which was the second-highest total in the Majors behind Donaldson.  Trout will make his fourth consecutive All-Star appearance and third consecutive fan-elected start.

Joining Trout in the AL outfield will be Royals teammates Lorenzo Cain (12,399,127) and Alex Gordon (10,609,006).  

Rounding out the fan elections in the NL outfield alongside Harper is Giancarlo Stanton (7,036,537) of the Miami Marlins and Matt Holliday (6,362,653) of the Cardinals.  

Two-time AL Most Valuable Player (2012-13) Miguel Cabrera of the Tigers garnered 13,834,271 votes en route to his 10th career All-Star selection (also 2004-07, 2010-14) and third consecutive fan election.  

Cabrera’s NL counterpart will be Paul Goldschmidt of the Diamondbacks, who received 9,119,375 votes to attain his second consecutive fan-elected start.  

Giants catcher Buster Posey will make the start behind the plate in the NL, marking his third career Midsummer Classic selection (2012-13) and second career fan-elected start (2012).  

For the AL, Royals backstop Salvador Perez tallied 13,747,294 votes to receive his first career starting assignment in the Midsummer Classic after making the AL squad as a reserve in each of the last two seasons.  

In the AL’s tightest race, Mariners designated hitter Nelson Cruz (10,632,184) claimed his fourth All-Star selection (2009, 2013-14) as he held off Kendrys Morales (10,320,500) of the Royals.  

Up the middle of the NL infield will be Marlins second baseman Dee Gordon (7,574,750) and Cardinals shortstop Jhonny Peralta (8,478,474).  Joining Altuve up the middle of the AL infield is Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar, who tallied 11,960,907 votes to receive his first career All-Star selection. 

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Cubs Meet With Joe Torre To Discuss Issues In Baseball

Jul 2, 2015 6:47 AM

A group of Chicago Cubs players met with Joe Torre on Wednesday afternoon to discuss important issues in baseball.

One topic that was discussed was the ever changing strike zone -- especially an expanding lower half.

"He gave me an option of talking to the whole team or choosing a smaller group and I chose the smaller group," Joe Maddon said. "Had the hitting coaches, the catchers and some other players."

Torre is Major League Baseball's executive vice-president of baseball operations.

They also discussed instant replay and other game-related issues but at least one player wanted Torre to look at video to assess the ball/strike calls.

Jesse Rogers/ESPN

Tags: Chicago Cubs, Misc Rumor

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Mets Aren't In Hurry To Trade Jon Niese

Jul 1, 2015 5:10 PM

The New York Mets are expected to trade Jon Niese in the near future.

The Mets haven't engaged in serious talks with the Chicago Cubs or Los Angeles Dodgers about Niese, according to two sources.

New York could stick with a six-man rotation for a few weeks to help limit the innings of their young starters.

David Lennon/Newsday

Tags: New York Mets, Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Dodgers, Misc Rumor, Trade Rumor

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Joe Maddon Entertains Cubs With Magician To 'Lighten Things Up'

Jul 1, 2015 6:37 AM

Joe Maddon brought in a magician to perform for the Chicago Cubs before Tuesday's game against the New York Mets.

"Joe started talking about [baseball] magic and the next thing I know there was a magician there," Addison Russell said.

Maddon thought of the idea "on the plane or bus" after the Cubs' weekend series in St. Louis, where they were swept. They were on a season-high five-game losing streak, having fallen 11½ games behind the Cardinals going into Tuesday's games.

"It was about time," Maddon said. "Tough series in St. Louis. I don't want our guys to get all distraught for the wrong reasons. We played a good game. They beat us. Let's keep moving it forward."

Jesse Rogers/ESPN

Tags: Chicago Cubs, Misc Rumor

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Joe Maddon Lashes Out At Replay System After Loss

Jun 25, 2015 9:25 AM

Angry with a call on the final play of the Chicago Cubs' loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday night, Joe Maddon lashed out at the replay system, calling for an overhaul that includes "nerds" well versed in analyzing video on the fly.

"I think it screams for an independent group back there to research the video," Maddon said. "That's what I think it screams for as opposed to working umpires that are actually on the field. I think you should get a bunch of nerds back there that know how to look at a videotape and then come to a conclusion. I think it would be much more interesting that way."

All reviews are administered at MLB headquarters in New York by umpires who make the final call.

Jesse Rogers/ESPN

Tags: Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Dodgers, Misc Rumor

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Should Cubs Trade Starlin Castro?

Jun 23, 2015 8:05 PM

Starlin Castro has hit for the Chicago Cubs, but his defense at shortstop has been below average.

The Cubs have been slowly adding young offensive talent to their Major League roster, which may eventually make Castro's bat less important than his glove.

Chicago could easily move Addison Russell from second to shortstop.

"If the Cubs' front office is for maxing out the situation at hand, it will take advantage of Castro's friendly contract, his offensive potential and his friendly team demeanor and look to move him for pitching," writes Jesse Rogers.

"Despite the game-winning hits, his value isn’t as high as it once was, according to two scouts who have watched the Cubs this year. The miscues on defense have been glaring, and it takes more than a few late-inning hits to impress other teams. Overall, Castro is hitting .267 with a .301 on-base percentage. Those numbers won't net the Cubs pitcher Cole Hamels. Either way, I feel the Cubs will eventually choose this option and package Castro while moving Russell to shortstop."

Jesse Rogers/ESPN

Tags: Chicago Cubs, Misc Rumor, Trade Rumor

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Cubs Looking For Starting Pitching

Jun 23, 2015 1:32 PM

The Chicago Cubs are looking to add a starting pitcher well ahead of the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.

The club is looking into a wide range of options, according to a source.

Chicago has reached out to a number of clubs, among them the New York Mets and Los Angeles Angels, in search of a match.

Gordon Wittenmyer/Chicago Sun-Times

Tags: Chicago Cubs, Misc Rumor, Trade Rumor

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Schwarber Happy To Help Cubs, Not Disappointed By Demotion

Jun 22, 2015 7:58 AM

Kyle Schwarber finished his six-game stint with the Chicago Cubs on Sunday, finishing his brief Major League debut 8-for-22 with a home run and six RBI.

"I'm glad I got to help the team win a couple games," Schwarber said. "Now it's time to go down and start working on all the stuff I need to work on and hopefully I'll get back up here.

"I knew what my role was coming in," he added. "I'm not disappointed at all. I knew the day was going to come."

The Cubs promoted Schwarber for a six-game trip to American League ballparks so he could serve as designated hitter.

"He knew regardless of how well he did he was going back," Joe Maddon said. "As we can see, there are different things to work on yet. He definitely helped us. He contributed and helped us win a couple games. … He did an outstanding job for us."

Dane Mizutani/ESPN

Tags: Chicago Cubs, Misc Rumor

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Cubs Expected To Sign Big Name Pitcher This Winter

Jun 19, 2015 2:54 PM

Folks around Major League Baseball fully expect the Chicago Cubs to sign a big-name free agent pitcher this coming winter.

David Price and Jordan Zimmermann appear to be the leading candidates at this point.

Price has a longtime connection to Joe Maddon stemming from their many years together with the Tampa Bay Rays.

Jon Heyman/CBS Sports

Tags: Chicago Cubs, Free Agent Rumor, Misc Rumor

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Joe Maddon's Group Texts Bring Cubs Together

Jun 19, 2015 2:41 PM

Joe Maddon and first-base coach Brandon Hyde send a mass text to Chicago Cubs players letting them know the upcoming game's lineup well ahead of time.

"Guys are programmed for it," Hyde said. "If I'm late with it, I'll get a sarcastic response from various guys. 'How can I prepare if I don't know if I'm playing?' Stuff like that. Then someone else will bust that guy. And they go back and forth a little."

Maddon believes strongly in letting regulars know the night before if they won’t be playing. He doesn't want them to be surprised and it allows for a mental break.

"If you don't tell a player the day before he has the day off, then he doesn't have a day off," Maddon explained. "He';l get up and go through this whole routine and get ready and then find out he's not in the lineup. He actually might be mad. I think it's great we do it this way."

Maddon also values the team sending group messages amongst one another.

"[Anthony] Rizzo and [Dexter] Fowler are the main responders," Hyde said. "And a sneaky one, you would never guess, is Addison Russell. He might send a little jab toward the older guys, and I love it. They love it, too. You don’t expect it because he’s so quiet."

Jesse Rogers/ESPN

Tags: Chicago Cubs, Misc Rumor

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Kyle Schwarber Will Join Cubs For Week
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