I'm trying something a little bit different in this installment of Cub Tracks... there are many times in the course of my searches where I'll find the same story (or a very similar one) posted by multiple outlets and end up posting the first one that I see while skipping the others. This time I'm adding links to the other stories as well and noting them with an "Also covered by" notation, just in case there's a source that you like more than others. As always, your feedback is appreciated.
With that in mind, here's the latest from around the web:
From Comcast SportsNet Chicago:
- Kris Bryant is still just trying to have fun and not let the outside distractions get to him.
- Javier Baez has been struggling in Spring Training, striking out four times in his eight Spring Training at-bats. Joe Maddon is putting the blame on himself and his staff for it. (Also covered by Cubs.com, ESPN Chicago, the Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Sun-Times.)
- Jake Arrieta can picture himself throwing a no-hitter in a Cubs uniform.
- Patrick Mooney writes that Arrieta and Jon Lester give the Cubs a dynamic one-two combination at the top of their rotation. (Also covered by the Chicago Sun-Times.)
- Arrieta wasn't too pleased with himself after his two innings of work on Sunday, punishing himself with extra running after the game as motivation to improve next time.
- Edwin Jackson still hopes to be the man to get the final spot in the rotation, but he's not losing sleep over what role he may have on Opening Day. (Also covered by CBS Chicago and the Chicago Sun-Times.)
- Who would win in a home run contest between Kris Bryant and Rangers prospect Joey Gallo? If you ask Bryant, he'd say that Gallo would win.
- Bryant is also enjoying having Dexter Fowler as his neighbor in the clubhouse, even if Fowler does give him some good-natured grief.
- Fun fact (maybe): With Joe Maddon at the helm this year, Chris Coghlan has played under seven different managers in seven years.
- The road back to the majors took another step forward for Daniel Bard, who pitched a simulated game on Sunday for the first time this spring.
- Despite the lack of wins, Maddon has been very impressed with the effort he has seen and has made his feelings known on Twitter. (Also covered by Bleacher Nation.)
- That praise includes the work of Kyle Schwarber, who has impressed Maddon both with his bat and with his baserunning.
- If you could have one superpower, what would it be? Several Cubs offer their opinions varying from teleportation to... playing the guitar.
From ESPN Chicago:
- Answering the Twitter Mailbag this week: Jon Lester!
- While Maddon is okay with giving baserunners the green light this early in Spring Training, he knows that the bad baserunning mistakes will have to end when the season starts.
- Talk about strange reunions: Jeff Samardzija pitched on Sunday at HoHoKam Stadium -- former home of the Cubs and current home of the Oakland Athletics -- as a member of the White Sox, pitching against the team he used to play for last season.
- Jake Arrieta isn't the only person who's confident in his own stuff; Rick Sutcliffe expects to see him in the All-Star Game in Cincinnati this summer.
- Another bold prediction from the Red Baron: Kyle Schwarber will be a catcher in the majors someday.
- [AUDIO] Sutcliffe also spoke with Jesse Rogers about the breakout performances of Arrieta and Kyle Hendricks.
- After their outings on Monday against the Padres, Jesse Rogers writes that Hendricks and Edwin Jackson are pitchers on opposite paths.
From CBS Chicago:
- Miguel Montero is happy to be making a fresh start this season with the Cubs after a 2014 campaign in which he feels that he put too much pressure on himself.
From the Chicago Tribune via RedEye Chicago:
- The Cubs may not have any wins in their first six Spring Training games, but Joe Maddon isn't concerned. (Also covered by the Chicago Sun-Times.)
- Paul Sullivan says that with the current progress shown by Addison Russell he may end up forcing the issue at shortstop.
- More news from the Lakeview Baseball Club and Skybox on Sheffield rooftops, who said in papers filed Friday that they would expect to lose more than $410,000 if their views were blocked by a video board in right field.
From the Daily Herald:
- Do the Cubs have the best rotation in the National League Central? If you're a believer in WAR, then the answer is yes.
- Bruce Miles also writes that three currently isn't a crowd when it comes to catchers, but he still expects Welington Castillo to be the odd man out eventually.
From Cubs Den:
- Tom Loxas is back at Cubs Den, and he's excited about the new culture that's surrounding the Cubs under the leadership of Joe Maddon.
From Bleacher Nation:
- With the signing of lefty reliever Phil Coke now finalized, Brett Taylor looks into whether Coke has the inside track for the vacant role of the lefty specialist.
- When Kris Bryant does eventually show up in the big leagues, what will happen to Mike Olt? Michael Cerami looks at the options.
- What is a manager truly worth? Russell Carleton from Baseball Prospectus does some heavy math to give a manager's worth a statistical value.
- While the Cubs may be improved this season, their strength-of-schedule may still present a challenge for those playoff hopes that are going around.
- [VIDEO] Oh, and you shouldn't try to run on Jorge Soler.
From Chicago Cubs Online:
- Tom Usiak looks at five players that will be at Double-A Tennessee and Triple-A Iowa who may have an impact in the majors this season.
From Cubs Insider:
- For those of you who know people that might jump on the Cubs' bandwagon this year, Evan Altman presents the 2015 edition of Cubs for Dummies.
Today's food for thought:
- NASA's planet-hunting Kepler space telescope celebrated its sixth year in space on March 6.
- [VIDEO] If you find time-lapse videos to be dull, two filmmakers from Austria would like to attempt to change your opinion.
- And, finally... For those of you who are planning on taking a trip out of the country and coming back with a snake (hey, there could be one of you out there), you'll be happy to know that boa constrictors are no longer banned from import into the United States.