One week to go.
From Comcast SportsNet Chicago:
- Theo Epstein stated last week that he's never had a player make an Opening Day roster before his big-league debut. Kris Bryant's reply: "Why not me?"
- Not only is there the question of whether or not Bryant will be on the Opening Day roster, but there's also still the question of which position he'll play when he does make it to the big club.
- Jake Arrieta can see both sides of the Bryant debate, being a Scott Boras client himself.
- And then there's the continuing saga of whether or not Javier Baez makes the Opening Day roster, which Epstein said is a completely different decision than that regarding Bryant.
- Lost in all of this conversation is the extremely impressive performance of Jorge Soler, who Joe Maddon believes would have been a number-one pick if he had been available in the draft.
- In case you missed the previous prospect ranking compilation, Tony Andracki also has compiled the rankings from six of the top outlets.
- Fall Out Boy will be playing at Wrigley Field on Opening Night prior to the start of the game against the Cardinals. No mups are safe now.
- If you didn't see the Cubs' 18-4 win over the Rockies on Saturday you missed Anthony Rizzo batting in the leadoff spot, something he says he's always wanted to do.
- Joe Maddon's mystery man for the second spot in the order may be taking some form, and it could be... Jorge Soler.
- Maddon also seems to be more of a fan of batting the pitcher eighth in the batting order, with the exception being in the case of a pitcher expected to go deep in games.
- Phil Rogers writes about how Maddon sees the National League Central becoming the new American League East.
- Chris Valaika has been reassigned to the Minor League camp, but he did make sure to talk a lot with the Cubs' top prospects about the transition to the big leagues before his reassignment.
- Opening Day may be in jeopardy for Chris Denorfia, who has been suffering from hamstring soreness and has not played since March 17.
From ESPN Chicago:
- After the Cubs' 6-3 win over the White Sox on Friday, Sox pitcher Jeff Samardzija said that he's seeing a little feast or famine out of the Cubs this year. Jason Hammel didn't disagree with that assessment.
- [AUDIO] Theo Epstein spoke with Tom Waddle and Marc Silverman about the outlook for Javier Baez, Kris Bryant, and Addison Russell.
- [AUDIO] Joe Maddon also spoke with Waddle and Silverman about Bryant, Baez, managing the Cubs, and making the perfect Bloody Mary.
- The in-progress renovations for Opening Night may cause some headaches for fans, but Epstein says that there will be some inconveniences for the players as well.
- Baseball Tonight is running a series of the top 100 players in baseball this season, including the top 10 at each position starting with first base.
From CBS Chicago:
- The Cubs were reportedly not interested in acquiring Brian Matusz from the Baltimore Orioles for Welington Castillo, according to Bruce Levine.
- Even commissioner Rob Manfred has gotten pulled into the Kris Bryant debate. His take: Whatever the Cubs do with Bryant isn't really any of Scott Boras' business.
- Tom Ricketts revealed on Wednesday that he expects the renovations to Wrigley Field to take one year longer than originally anticipated.
From the Chicago Tribune:
- With Joe Maddon likely to bat the pitcher eighth on somewhat regular occasion, he reassured Arismendy Alcantara and Tommy La Stella that it's not a slight on their batting ability if they hit ninth.
- Nothing is official yet, but Jake Arrieta believes that he will be pitching the second game of the series against the Cardinals.
- Arrieta also believes that a healthy diet and strength training involving Pilates will help his endurance this season.
- David Haugh writes that with Maddon's arrival, baseball can laugh with the Cubs but no longer at them.
From the Chicago Sun-Times:
- Skybox on Sheffield rooftop operator R. Marc Hamid has been relieved of his duties and responsibilities, according to attorneys for Skybox.
From Cubs Den:
- Kevin Gallo previews the 2015 draft class, focusing first on the position players.
From Bleacher Nation:
- After five years of feeling vacant and forced emotions, Michael Cerami is looking forward to a rekindled rivalry between the Cubs and Cardinals.
Today's food for thought:
- From the world of cute animal photos, we present: the Chinstrap Penguin.
- More than 250 million years before the first dinosaur, the most fearsome killers on Earth may have been... lobsters.
- And, finally... here's a list of seven living creatures that were once thought to be hoaxes.