SCOTTSDALE, Arizona -- Patrick Mooney from CSN Chicago wrote about Jon Lester's sharp performance in Friday's game and elicited this illuminating quote:
Lester had a direct message to the kids after throwing two scoreless innings in his Cactus League debut, and it’s exactly what the overhyped prospects need to hear. "(Got) to grow up sometime," Lester said. "When I played in Boston, we didn’t have time to grow up. You just had to show up and play and each year you’re expected to win. That’s how I feel. That’s how I want (it to be). "Every year, they should come in and expect to be not only division winners, but World Series champions. If you don’t have that mindset, then I think you’re playing for the wrong reasons."
I'm not sure I agree with Mooney's characterization that the prospects are "overhyped." That isn't true, not yet, anyway. But more importantly, what Lester said is exactly correct. And that's the kind of leadership the Cubs will get from Lester, leading by example, just as he was led by veterans on the Red Sox team he joined, a team that had already won a World Series and was making the postseason almost every year.
It was noted somewhere else that the Cubs have five players in camp with World Series rings that were not in camp a year ago. Just so you don't have to guess, they are Lester, David Ross, Felix Doubront, Jason Motte and Daniel Bard. And FWIW, Edwin Jackson has one, too (2011 Cardinals). That kind of experience is valuable to any club.
Fowler CF, Rizzo 1B, Castro SS, Montero C, Soler RF, Bryant 3B, Coghlan LF, Ross DH, Herrera 2B
This will be my first chance to see Jorge Soler and Kris Bryant in the starting lineup (Bryant pinch-hit on Friday). Among players on the reserve list today: Addison Russell, Tommy La Stella and Albert Almora.
Barnes CF, Bernadina LF, Arenado 3B, Morneau 1B, Rosario DH, McKenry C, McBride RF, Descalso 2B, Adames SS
Jason Hammel gets his first spring start for the Cubs, and he'll be followed by Doubront, who is also vying for a spot in the rotation. Both Hammel and Doubront will likely go two innings each. After that it's Anthony Carter, Joseph Ortiz, Drake Britton, Blake Parker, Hunter Cervenka and Francisley Bueno, not necessarily in that order.
The Rockies were going to go with Jorge De La Rosa today, but his start has been pushed back due to groin soreness. Instead, Brett Marshall, who was briefly a Cub during the 2013-14 offseason, will start for Colorado. The Rockies also released a colossally long list of available pitchers after Marshall, 10 in all: Kraig Sitton, Brooks Brown, Jorge Rondon, Yohan Flande, Rafael Betancourt, John Axford, LaTroy Hawkins, Adam Ottavino, Boone Logan and Justin Miller.
Today's game will be on WBBM radio with Pat Hughes and Ron Coomer, WBBM's first broadcast under the new radio contract.
Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.
For spring-training games, we'll have a first-pitch thread at five minutes to game time and one overflow thread, 90 minutes after game time (because I know how you all like overflow threads!). For today, that will be 2:05 p.m. CT and 3:30 p.m. CT. These threads will not post individually onto the front page; instead, you can find links to them in the box marked "Chicago Cubs Game Threads" at the bottom of the front page. They will also appear in this StoryStream™. The pitcher box and regular-season stats will return on Opening Day.
Discuss amongst yourselves.