Russ will be back on Cub Tracks on Sunday. I give him lots of credit for his hard work here: this ain't as easy as it looks!
Here are today's links:
From Comcast SportsNet Chicago:
- Joe Maddon is looking for positional flexibility in moving Starlin Castro to second base.
- Maddon says Addison Russell's "style" at shortstop is "boring" -- but he loves that.
- VIDEO: Dan Haren is "really impressed" with the Cubs. (And he's been on eight different teams, so he's got some real perspective on this.)
- Jake Arrieta has become the Cubs' ace and Phil Rogers says that mirrors the team's rise.
- VIDEO: Joe Maddon on Dan Haren and the Cubs' win on Tuesday night.
- Here is MLB.com's updated Cubs Top 30 prospects list.
- Some bricks from Wrigley Field were installed in the wall at Tribune Tower. The Tribune's home has stones or bricks from 148 famous buildings from around the world in its exterior wall.
From ESPN Chicago:
- Now that the Cubs have reached 15 games over .500, Maddon's next benchmark is 20 over.
- Jesse Rogers answers five "non-pressing questions" about the Cubs. (And if you've ever wondered about Pedro Strop's cap, there's an answer, though not really anything too exciting.)
- Anthony Rizzo says Starlin Castro looks like "a natural" at second base.
From CBS Chicago:
- It should not surprise you that the Cubs have their highest CSN Chicago TV ratings in six years.
Starlin Castro's new role as a bench player for the Cubs has his agent wondering what's going to happen next.
- Jon Lester is having a fundraiser to benefit kids with cancer tonight and looks back on his own battle with cancer.
From the Chicago Tribune:
- Wrigley Field has been an extreme pitchers' park this year. Paul Sullivan looks at some of the reasons this is happening.
- VIDEO: Starlin Castro on playing second base.
- Many different Cubs are contributing to wins this year. (In case you've forgotten, that's how good teams do things.)
- Mark Gonzales' Q&A includes questions on Javier Baez, Kris Bryant, pitcher saves and wins, and night games.
From the Chicago Sun-Times:
- Gordo says Joe Maddon is still going to use "multiple closers" for the rest of the year. He quotes Maddon: "It’s going to be spread among the masses."
From Cubs Den:
- John Arguello previews the Under Armour All-America Game, which will take place at 3 p.m. Saturday at Wrigley Field.
- Remember the link from above where Joe Maddon said he liked Addison Russell's "boring" defense? Arguello looks into that and other Cubs defensive positions, including thoughts about Kyle Schwarber behind the plate.
From Bleacher Nation:
- BN's Luke Blaize continues their midseason Top 40 Prospects list with numbers 21-30. There are some real sleepers on that list, I think.
From Cubs Insider:
- If you are still hoping Albert Almora will turn himself into a big-league regular, you'll like what Mark Jablonoski has to write about his figuring out Double-A pitching.
- Kris Bryant is in a new commercial for Champs Sports, which the company describes as Bryant "using fire and ice to destroy piles of rubble that symbolize the adversity he's faced while making it to the big leagues." Hey, symbolism, right?
- You likely already knew this, but via NumberFire, here's proof by the numbers that Jake Arrieta is the Cubs' "ace."
- Jay Jaffe at SI.com says the Cubs' playoff chances are better with Starlin Castro on the bench.
- Tommy Birch of the Des Moines Register says Javier Baez is open to playing the outfield.
Today's food for thought: