USA TODAY Sports
We're modeling after the Cubs new minor league pitching coordinator, so this edition of Cub Tracks is trying to get you to think. So turn your attention to: the benefits of rebuilding and what "direction" you'd like the Cub organization to point, why Jim Bowden hates Cub prospects, why the team's best bunter won't be bunting, the future of Venezuela, and how we welcome heroes home.
I'm convinced this will be the most analyzed, scrutinized, and discussed Cubs' June draft ever. Many are pointing to that event to help fan the flames of hope, which according to one link, are starting to flicker.
From Comcast SportsNet
- The Cubs are already seeing the benefits of rebuilding. It turns out what Theo has really been building is Tampa northwest, Minnesota southeast, and Texas northeast while avoiding becoming Kansas City east. There's no mention of Pittsburgh west.
- The Cubs see Matt Garza and Scott Baker helping the rotation step forward.
- (Video) Jeff Samardzija has take a turn as opening day approaches.
From Cubs Den
- A preview of the probable Iowa Cubs position players.
- Some notes that are draft and prospect heavy.
- More notes: Could Jason McLeod be moving on soon to become a GM? And there's a video clip of draft prospect Clint Frazier homering in a well attended high school game.
- (Video) ICYMI here Wednesday night, some BP video of Albert Almora. I'd like to see more with a better angle cause at first blush, I see a slight little hitch in his stride.
- The Cubs' new minor league pitching coordinator is just as interested in what happens between the ears as his pitchers' physical tools.
- The Cubs' new hitting coach James Rowson has managed to keep a pretty low profile so far. But he is seeing some good signs in the Cubs' spring at-bats.
- A rebuilt pitching staff is the foundation to the Cubs' improvements.
- An interpreter on the mound is helping reliever Kyuji Fujikawa and Dioner Navarro.
- (Insider) Some of the Cub prospects have sizable holes in their swings. But that is according to Jim Bowden, so we can all rest fairly easy. This became a bit of a quasi-controversy, but the more I think of it, the more I'm convinced this was little more than pot-stirring. He also thinks the Cubs are more likely to extend Matt Garza, which almost assures he will be traded. Have I mentioned there's a reason Bowden is a former GM?
- (Insider) Keith Law says Jeff Samardzija looks ready.
- The Detroit Tigers may have done a favor for the Cubs or division-rival White Sox by releasing outfielder Brennan Boesch.
- This was mentioned before, but Javier Baez definitely was victim to a classic spring training prank.
- There's a lot to like about Anthony Rizzo.
- Scott Baker is ready to put his elbow to the test.
- Don't expect bunting champ David DeJesus to, well, bunt much.
- After a month, the Cubs are showing a flicker of hope.
From the Chicago Sun-Times (can read a paragraph, register to read the rest)
- Jeff Samardzija says it is better to feel good than look good. I'm not quite sure where his hairstyle choice fits into this.
- I've stayed away from injury updates, but Matt Garza and Ian Stewart are making big steps.
- The Cubs have a few Venezuelan natives on the team. And they're hoping conditions in their country improve after the death of Hugo Chavez.
From the Daily Herald (registry required for all)
- The New York Yankees are looking at a handful of former Cubs. Of course, there's a former Yankee and current Cub who many feel might be a fit to return to the Bronx.
Today's food for thought
- Sorry, but I'm a sucker for these. I mist up every time and I don't care who knows. This isn't "new", but the link will take you to the roar of the crowd during a soldier's surprise homecoming. There are more listed along the bottom of the link, if you like.
- If you prefer something a little lighter, you could check out some seals and sea lions catching a ride with kayakers.