Finally, after almost a year of writing for Bleed Cubbie Blue, I'm starting to know my true talent!
From Comcast SportsNet Chicago:
- Starlin Castro is starting to know everything that he can do on the field, and it's the moment he's waited for all of his life.
- Anthony Rizzo doesn't ever want to be one-dimensional. Given his performance so far, I don't think he has anything to worry about in that department.
- How important has the good start in April been for the Cubs? Quoting Rizzo: "Huge."
- Meanwhile, Joe Maddon has noticed frustration in components of Jorge Soler's game but he's confident that Soler will go back to being the patient hitter that he's shown himself to be.
- Adding to the discussion on the designated hitter, Maddon comes down on the side of liking the National League game better.
- Down on the farm, the Cubs are keeping an eye on Javier Baez and Albert Almora.
- The latest round of MLB Power Rankings from Tony Andracki and J.J. Stankevitz finds the Cubs in the Top 10.
- The Cubs are now leading the National League in stolen bases with 25 after stealing 65 bases all of last year.
- Travis Wood attributes part of his success this season to attacking the strike zone better and cutting down on the walks.
- As for Jason Hammel, his success starts with his fastball.
- What did Addison Russell think of first game at Wrigley Field? "It's hard to put into words."
- As for being with the big club, Russell is enjoying every bit of it.
- Phil Rogers writes that Starlin Castro could have years and years of shelf life as the Cubs' shortstop.
- Tom Ricketts apologized Tuesday for using an offensive term during an interview with Kevin Millar on MLB Network's "Intentional Talk."
- The All-Star Game ballot is now available online, and eight Cubs are on it. Vote early and vote often!
From ESPN Chicago:
- Jesse Rogers writes that if a single game could sum up what the front office has been trying to do since they arrived in 2011, Tuesday's game was it.
- Rogers also answers some questions from the Twitter Mailbag.
- [VIDEO] Dexter Fowler speaks on the Cubs' early base-stealing success.
- Kris Bryant isn't concerned that he hasn't hit a home run yet. Hey, if he's going to have a .471 on-base percentage I'm good with singles and doubles.
- It's official: In an informal poll of all five Cubs starting pitchers, all five either like to hit or don't want to see the designated hitter in the National League.
- Talk about random stats: Going into Monday's game, Jorge Soler had a batting average of .136 when the temperature was under 51 degrees. That's why the stat guys get paid the big bucks.
From CBS Chicago:
- Bruce Levine writes that Anthony Rizzo is the heart and soul of this year's young and evolving Cubs team.
- [AUDIO] Joe Maddon on Addison Russell's future position: It's too soon to worry about that.
- As for the disco celebrations after Cub wins this season, Maddon insists on it. Reason number 1,735 for me to like this guy.
- Another promise from Maddon for this season: Expect the 1989 "Zimmer Play" sometime this summer.
From the Chicago Tribune:
- Travis Wood is both aware and optimistic that his partners in the rotation are starting to pitch deeper into games.
- Paul Sullivan writes that while the "Bryant Effect" may not be an official statistic, there's little doubt that the callup of Kris Bryant has had a significant impact on the Cubs.
- [VIDEO] Joe Maddon speaks about the Cubs' five stolen bases on Tuesday night.
- [VIDEO] Starlin Castro talks about Maddon's support and the Cubs' confidence.
- The legal case surrounding the estate of Ernie Banks continued on Wednesday with an inventory of Banks' assets filed in Cook County Probate Court in advance of the hearing.
- Some in the Illinois/Iowa/Indiana blackout areas are still unable to view some Cubs TV games this year. Robert Channick has a summary of this issue.
From the Chicago Sun-Times:
- Gordon Wittenmyer says that it's not just the young guys who have pushed the Cubs to a strong start, but also the veterans who have played a key role.
- Okay, I'm not making this headline up. Really, I'm not. Will Kris Bryant's blue eyes hurt him in day games?
From the Daily Herald:
- The Cubs' winning record in April is a first step in one of Joe Maddon's goals: Win every month.
- Maddon also spoke about the White Sox playing the Orioles in an empty stadium as well as whether or not he's noticed any changes from the pace of play adjustments.
- When asked about the identity of this year's team, Theo Epstein described it as a "best-case scenario."
From Cubs Den:
- John Arguello and Kevin Gallo present their 2015 MLB mock draft.
- It bears repeating: One of the big keys to the Cubs' success so far this season has been controlling the strike zone.
From Bleacher Nation:
- One of the key members of the bullpen has been Zac Rosscup, and the numbers may point to some reasons why.
- Luis Medina looks at some of the statistics through the first 10 percent of the season.
- Michael Cerami also looks at some early returns, this time from the defensive metrics.
From Chicago Cubs Online:
- Dan Vogelbach is the Southern League Player of the Week. Again.
From Cubs Insider:
- One of the big reasons for Travis Wood's early success: More first-pitch strikes.
- Evan Altman presents 12 random tidbits of Cub minutia.
Today's food for thought:
- The Progress spacecraft that was on a normal cargo run to the International Space Station is having some problems. Just little things, though, like spinning out of control and not being able to dock.
- The NASA MESSENGER mission is coming to an end, but not before it can take as many pictures of Mercury as possible.