Recent News

Cubs’ Lester Looks to Get on Track Vs Reds

April 24th, 2015 at 1:15 PM
By Tim Duxbury

Jon Lester will take the ball for the fourth time in a Chicago Cubs' uniform tonight and hopefully he is able to turn in his first quality start of the season. Lester, who signed a club record $155 million contract this off-season, is 0-2 with a 6.89 ERA on the year and is starting to catch some bad press on the north side of the city.

Jon Lester has only faced off against the Cincinnati Reds once before and the result was not pretty: six runs on ten hits over six innings. History is not on Lester's side either as he has never been one to come out of the gate swinging. In the months of March and April, Lester owns a career record of 13-15 with a 4.04 ERA, according to baseball-reference.com. Lester typically heats up in the month of June (3.18 ERA) and September/October (3.20 ERA).

Jon Lester may also have to overcome the Cubs' struggling bullpen that has blown leads in each of the past three games, two of which resulted in losses. Game time is set for 6:10PM ct and will be broadcasted on CSN (TV) and WBBM (Radio).

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Cubs’ Middle-Relief Corps Proving to Be Team’s Soft Underbelly

April 24th, 2015 at 3:00 AM
By Tim Duxbury

The Chicago Cubs have played well enough to win each of the past two games but have come up short thanks to the insufficient efforts of their middle-relief corps. Hector Rondon (2.25 ERA), Pedro Strop (0.00 ERA) and Zac Rosscup (1.69 ERA) have made for a formidable back end recently but guys like Phil Coke, Jason Motte and Brian Schlitter have just not gotten the job done.

Pitcher

Appearances

IP

ERA

.oba

WHIP

Coke

8

4.2

5.79

.350

1.93

Motte

8

8.0

5.63

.226

1.00

Schlitter

7

5.2

9.53

.385

2.12

(Stats per Cubs.com)

This trio entered Spring Training with questions about their ability to pitch in the big leagues, stay healthy and serve as productive members of the bullpen and so far they have not done much to impress. A bullpen is only as strong as its weakest link and, despite having a really tough back-end, the Cubs’ bullpen has been a bit of a let down so far.

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Youth Movement: Chicago Cubs Just Keep Getting Younger

April 23rd, 2015 at 10:44 AM
By Tim Duxbury

When the Chicago Cubs sent Arismendy Alcantara, 23, back to Iowa for some remedial work, one would think that the team would replace him with a veteran on the bench. However, this is the Chicago Cubs we are talking about, so naturally Alcantara’s replacement was, 21-year-old, Addison Russell.

It seems as though the Cubs are getting younger and younger at every turn and as the roster stands right now, they have three of the league’s six youngest players:

Player

Age

Team

Addison Russell

21 (January 23, 1994)

Chicago Cubs

Bryce Harper

22 (October 16, 1992)

Washington Nationals

Archie Bradley

22 (August 10, 1992)

Arizona Diamondbacks

Joc Pederson

23, April 21, 1992)

Los Angeles Dodgers

Jorge Soler

23 (February 26, 1992)

Chicago Cubs

Kris Bryant

23 (January 4, 1992)

Chicago Cubs

(per chicagotribune.com)

And the Cubs could get even younger before 2015 is out as we fully expect for Alcantara and Javier Baez (22, December 1, 1992) to rejoin the big league team later on in the summer. Additionally, CJ Edwards (23, September 3, 1991) and Kyle Schwarber (22, March 5, 1993) are on the fast track to the big leagues.

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Kris Bryant Proving He Can Do It All

April 23rd, 2015 at 3:00 AM
By Tim Duxbury

Chicago Cubs’ phemon, Kris Bryant’s career is nearly a week old and already he has made a strong impression on the baseball world. After a rough debut in which he went 0-4 with three strikeouts, Bryant has gone 9-18 with four runs and six RBI’s in the five games that have followed. Entering play today Bryant has a slash line of .409/.552/.591 and has proven to be quite an asset on defense as well. The 23-year-old has proven to be better than expected at the hot corner and got his first taste of the outfield last night against the Pittsburgh Pirates in centerfield!

We all knew that Joe Maddon was a creative manager and we knew that he would have to shake things up when it was announced that Miguel Montero, David Ross and Welington Castillo would be on the MLB roster and we got our first taste of his plans when we saw Chris Coghlan make a number of appearances in the infield; however, no one ever saw him putting Bryant in center. Bryant has played the outfield before, both in college and in Spring Training but he has been limited to the corners because of his speed and mobility, but Joe Maddon is really breaking through the modern convention that says guys can’t play everywhere in the big leagues.

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Addison Russell’s Underwhelming Debut a New Trend for Cubs

April 22nd, 2015 at 3:00 AM
By Tim Duxbury

Addison Russell, the Chicago Cubs’ #2 prospect, made his Major League debut last night against the Pittsburgh Pirates but didn’t contribute much to the team’s 9-8 victory. Russell, like Kris Bryant, struggled in his first big league game going 0-5 with three strikeouts and three men left on base. There must be something in the water in Chicago this summer because, contrary to what we have seen from the organization’s current top two prospects, Cubs’ rookies normally have very impressive debuts:

Player

Debut

H-AB

HR

RBI

Starlin Castro

5/7/10

2-5

1

6

Junior Lake

7/19/13

3-4

0

0

Javier Baez

8/5/15

1-6

1

1

Jorge Soler

8/27/15

2-4

1

2

Kris Bryant

4/17/15

0-4

0

0

Addison Russell

4/21/15

0-5

0

0

(Stats per ESPN.com)

Fortunately, Kris Bryant’s uneventful debut tempered fans’ expectations for Russell, but when the Cubs’ new third baseman took the field last week many expected him to go yard right away (something that he still has not done yet). Aside from his prodigious power numbers in the minor leagues, most fans probably expected him to hit one out because that had been the trend with the Cubs’ prospects that came before him. Both Starlin Castro and Jorge Soler homered in their first big league at bats and Javier Baez became a late inning hero by hitting a game winner.

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