Chicago Cubs Wiretap

Epstein Not Sure Bryant Is Ready To Begin Season With Cubs

Mar 28, 2015 1:30 AM

Cubs team president Theo Epstein, appearing on ESPN during Thursday's Cubs-Angels spring training game, reiterated that Kris Bryant might need more seasoning in the minors before making his major league debut.

Bryant, who leads both spring training leagues with nine home runs and is hitting .406 with 15 RBIs this spring, disagrees and thinks he'll be ready on Opening Day.

"I look at it as 'Why not me?' " Bryant said Friday morning. "I think I'm the type of guy that can go out there and do it. I've made it a point of mine to come out here and show them that I can."

Tags: Chicago Cubs, Misc Rumor

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'Dead Arm' Not An Issue For Lester

Mar 27, 2015 8:50 AM

Jon Lester, who missed a Cactus League start on Saturday because of a "dead arm," is no longer dealing with any issues.

Lester faced hitters on Thursday and threw without pain or discomfort.

"It was good," The Chicago Cubs left-hander said. "It felt good. Everything felt good."

He threw 54 pitches, 33 for strikes, over 3 2/3 innings against Minor League hitters.

"I thought he looked really comfortable and his arm was working well," Joe Maddon said. "I thought as the game went along, maybe in the fourth inning, he was coming out of his delivery a little bit. But I thought overall it was really good.

"What I was really watching was him, watching his face. It never seemed like anything bothered him, so his arm felt great. He threw some good fastballs, some nice cutters, yeah, yeah, yeah, but he felt comfortable and that's the most important thing. I liked what I saw today."

Mike Bauman/MLB

Tags: Chicago Cubs, Injury, Misc Rumor

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Bryant To See Action In Left Field For Cubs

Mar 26, 2015 10:18 AM

The Chicago Cubs will play top prospect Kris Bryant in left field on Thursday.

Bryant has played third base and was the designated hitter while limited because of fatigue in his right shoulder in Cactus League games this spring.

"My biggest concern, always, with infielders going to the outfield and vice-versa is arm -- that you would hurt your arm because you would chose to use different arm stroke," Joe Maddon said.

Bryant has made a case to make Chicago's Opening Day roster. He has nine home runs this spring.

Carrie Muskat/MLB

Tags: Chicago Cubs, Misc Rumor

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Forbes: Average MLB Team Worth $1.2B

Mar 26, 2015 10:02 AM

The average Major League Baseball team is worth $1.2 billion, according to Forbes.

The valuation represents a 48 percent increase from last year.

The reason for the growth is the national television deal, which the magazine notes will deliver an average of $52 million per team per year through the 2021 season.

The New York Yankees are worth $3.2 billion, tops on the list and just the second United States sports franchise to eclipse the $3 billion mark. The Dallas Cowboys were estimated to be worth $3.2 billion by Forbes last August.

Darren Rovell/ESPN

Tags: Arizona Diamondbacks, Atlanta Braves, Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Indians, Colorado Rockies, Detroit Tigers, Houston Astros, Kansas City Royals, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Los Angeles Dodgers, Miami Marlins, Milwaukee Brewers, Minnesota Twins, New York Mets, New York Yankees, Oakland Athletics, Philadelphia Phillies, Pittsburgh Pirates, San Diego Padres, San Francisco Giants, Seattle Mariners, St. Louis Cardinals, Tampa Bay Rays, Texas Rangers, Toronto Blue Jays, Washington Nationals, Misc Rumor

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Lester May Be On Pitch Count In Opener

Mar 25, 2015 8:21 AM

Jon Lester could be "restricted" on Opening Day for the Chicago Cubs as he continues to build his pitch count up after missing a recent spring start due to arm fatigue.

Lester didn't pitch Saturday against the Seattle Mariners, but is still on pace to throw April 5 when the Cubs host the St. Louis Cardinals.

"He might somewhat be restricted regarding length in that first game," Joe Maddon said.

Maddon indicated that Lester has already reached about 70 pitches in a start this spring but would be limited to 60 in his next appearance on Thursday. His final tuneup next week won't go for more than about 80, which means don't expect him to reach 100 on Opening Day.

Jesse Rogers/ESPN

Tags: Chicago Cubs, Injury, Misc Rumor

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Lester Confident He's On Track After Bullpen Session

Mar 24, 2015 2:55 PM

Jon Lester, scratched from his last start because of a tired arm, threw a bullpen session on Monday.

The left-hander, who signed with the Chicago Cubs as a free agent this offseason, is confident he'll be ready to start on Opening Day.

"Today was more getting out there, getting my feet under me and going through my normal routine," Lester said. "The other stuff will be there. We're still in the process of building arm strength and arm speed, and that will come as the innings get higher.

"I've always felt it takes me a little longer, maybe toward the end of May, when you feel strong -- you feel good and just go through the five days with the games, throwing 100 something pitches every fifth day. It takes some time to where you're consistent with everything."

Lester is not worried about velocity, just building arm strength and staying healthy. He was scheduled to start on Thursday for the Cubs.

Carrie Muskat/MLB

Tags: Chicago Cubs, Injury, Misc Rumor

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Maddon Has 'Epiphany' About Makeup Of Cubs Roster

Mar 24, 2015 8:36 AM

Joe Maddon says he had an "epiphany" about the makeup of the final roster for the Chicago Cubs to begin the 2015 season.

Maddon has met with Chicago's baseball operations people to discuss his ideas.

"I normally believe these things answer themselves," Maddon said. "You talk about the game being cruel with injuries sometimes, and some questions are answered based on injury. Other times, let the guys keep playing and keep letting those answers come to you. Nothing has been finalized yet. I had a thought, and am just floating it a bit."

Maddon wouldn't reveal details about his roster ideas.

Carrie Muskat/MLB

Tags: Chicago Cubs, Misc Rumor

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Cubs Could Play Kris Bryant In Outfield

Mar 23, 2015 8:29 AM

Kris Bryant has played well at third base this spring and now the Chicago Cubs will most likely give him some time in the outfield.

Bryant has eight home runs this spring, including three two-homer efforts.

"Speaking to him, he was all for it," Joe Maddon said of having Bryant play some outfield. "I think he understands the ability to play more than one position, how that benefits you in the future as a Major League Baseball player. His tools play in both spots. He's very confident with the glove, runs well, has a fine arm."

Carrie Muskat/MLB

Tags: Chicago Cubs, Misc Rumor

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Kris Bryant Hits Seventh And Eighth HRs Of The Spring

Mar 22, 2015 12:58 AM

Cubs top prospect Kris Bryant kept the heat on the team's front office by hitting his seventh and eighth home runs of the spring Saturday, including a first-inning shot off Felix Hernandez of the Mariners.

"I couldn't be happier with where I am right now," Bryant said after the Cubs' win over the Mariners. "It gives me a whole lot of confidence heading into the season."

Tags: Chicago Cubs, Seattle Mariners, Game Recap, Misc Rumor

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Jon Lester Experiencing 'Dead Arm'

Mar 21, 2015 1:29 AM

Cubs pitching ace Jon Lester will miss his next scheduled spring start on Saturday due to a "dead arm," according to manager Joe Maddon.

"(It's) not pain," Maddon said Friday. "A lot of guys go through that moment where the arm just doesn't feel right. He came out of the chute really strong and probably went after it too hard, too early. Possibly trying to impress everybody, just being Jon Lester."

Tags: Chicago Cubs, St. Louis Cardinals, Injury, Misc Rumor

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Red Sox Seeking Trade Partner For Craig
They have had some of their top pro scouts around the Giants, Padres and Cubs.

Nick Cafardo/Boston Globe

Boras Has Strong Words For Cubs Regarding Kris Bryant
Scott Boras issued critical comments for how the Cubs have handled the Major League timeline of Kris Bryant.

Ken Rosenthal/FOX Sports

Jon Lester Sharp In Spring Debut For Cubs
Jon Lester faced the minimum in his spring debut on Friday, in front of 15,331.

Cubs Add Phil Coke To Bullpen
Coke, 31, appeared in 62 games for the Tigers last season.

Jesse Rogers/ESPN

Wrigley Renovations May Not Be Ready For Opening Day
The Cubs will seek permission to work longer hours on renovations at Wrigley Field.

Associated Press

Lester Will Start Opener For Cubs
Jon Lester will start on Opening Day for the Cubs, which means he'll throw the first pitch of the 2015 season.

Jesse Rogers/ESPN

Maddon Coy About Where Bryant Will Begin Season
Joe Maddon is impressed with how Kris Bryant has looked so far this spring, but that doesn't mean he's secured a spot on the Opening Day roster with the Cubs.

Carrie Muskat/MLB

Judge Rules In Favor Of Signage At Wrigley Field
A temporary restraining order petition on a video board and additional signage planned for the right field bleachers at Wrigley Field has been denied by a U.S. District Court Judge.

Jon Greenberg/ESPN

Youkilis Joining Cubs As Special Assistant
Kevin Youkilis played under executive Theo Epstein when they pair were both with the Red Sox.

Mark Gonzales/Chicago Tribune

Cubs Will Experiment With Lineup Possibilities
Joe Maddon has been doing some research on lineups, particularly about the pluses and minuses of having the pitcher bat eighth.

Carrie Muskat/MLB

2015 MLB Draft Order Set
The order for the 2015 Major League Baseball draft is set now that James Shields has reached a deal with the Padres.

Jeff Todd/MLB Trade Rumors

Cubs 'Kicking The Tires' On Shields
James Shields is the last major free agent on the market and his cost has appeared to decline.

David Kaplan/CSN Chicago

Ernie Banks Suffered Heart Attack
Ernie Banks spent his entire major league career with the Cubs.

'Mr. Cub' Ernie Banks Dies At Age 83
Hall of Famer and two-time NL MVP Ernie Banks died Friday night.

Cubs Aren't Ready To Name Bryant Third Baseman
The Cubs traded Luis Valbuena to the Astros in the Dexter Fowler deal on Monday, creating a void at third base.

Carrie Muskat/MLB

Cubs Acquire Dexter Fowler From Astros
The Cubs have acquired Dexter Fowler from the Astros in exchange for infielder Luis Valbuena and right-hander Dan Straily.

Charlie Wilmoth/MLB Trade Rumors

Joe Maddon Receives Warm Welcome From Cubs Fans
New managerJoe Maddon tells Cubs fans, "bring on the expectations."

Wrigley Field Bleachers Won't Open Until May
The target date for the left field bleachers is May 11, and late May for the right field bleachers.

Lester Not In Favor Of Using Pitch Clock
MLB will experiment with a pitch clock at Double-A and Triple-A this season.

Rizzo: Cubs Will Win NL Central
At the end of last season Anthony Rizzo predicted the Cubs would make the playoffs, he's added a potential World Series to the mix.

Jesse Rogers/ESPN