From Comcast SportsNet Chicago:
- The Cubs are still keeping up their momentum after a big off-season while many other teams that made a big splash are fading, writes Patrick Mooney.
- Whether or not the Cubs land Chase Utley, Mooney says that ultimately the Cubs are going to win or lose based on the performance of their young hitters.
- Along that line, if the 2015 Cubs are ahead of schedule, the poster child for their progress could be Addison Russell.
- Jorge Soler is still looking for his power stroke, which seems to be missing due to a lack of elevation on his swing.
- The back-and-forth between Pedro Strop and Alexei Ramirez in the eighth inning on Saturday provided a buzz to a rivalry that has been missing personality for the past several seasons.
- Even though Jorge Soler struck out in a key bases-loaded situation on Sunday, Joe Maddon says that moments like that one "will contribute to our guys getting into September and eventually October."
- Maddon says that Hector Rondon will probably pitch a lot in the ninth inning... but that doesn't necessarily mean that he's the closer.
- Carrie Muskat writes about Kyle Schwarber's ability to seemingly come up with a big hit every game while avoiding distractions that are thrown his way. Sometimes literally thrown his way.
- What do you do if your mechanics don't seem to be going right? If you're Kyle Hendricks, you go to the videotape.
From ESPN Chicago:
- Jesse Rogers looks at the Chase Utley situation and the effects that it could have on the current lineup.
- Rgoers also broke down the Cubs' nine-game winning streak by the numbers.
- Justin Grimm is the new closer. Of the middle innings, that is.
- Another positive to come out of Sunday's loss: Joe Maddon gets to wash his socks.
From CBS Chicago:
- This week's "Behind the Plate" focuses on John Metz, one of the Wrigley Field tour guides.
- Bruce Levine writes about the Cubs' young players and the almost seamless transition of the spotlight from one player to the next.
From the Chicago Tribune:
- Kris Bryant has gone from a potential defensive liability at third base to being ranked the third best defensive third baseman in the National League, according to a survey of managers conducted by Baseball America.
- Joe Maddon knows the importance of players called up from the minors for the September stretch drive.
- Hector Rondon is used to having his resolve tested, both on and off of the field.
- Paul Sullivan also looks at the Chase Utley situation and what it could mean to the team to acquire him.
- One person not in favor of acquiring Utley is David Haugh, who says that the Cubs don't need him.
From the Chicago Sun-Times:
- FanGraphs currently shows the Cubs as having an 88.1 percent chance of making the playoffs. That projection includes a 25-21 finish for the rest of the season.
- The Cubs are also in the top five in both ESPN and MLB's most recent power rankings, along with the Cardinals and the Pirates.
- Rick Morrissey also thinks that the Cubs don't need to pursue Chase Utley because the kids have earned the right to see if they can make the playoffs on their own.
- Starlin Castro is tuning out all of the Utley talk, saying that "I can't put something in my mind that I can't control."
- [VIDEO] Jon Lester and Anthony Rizzo recently spoke about their experiences in dealing with cancer at Lester's NVRQT Chicago fundraiser.
- The day off on Monday provided a perfect opportunity for David Ross to take his two kids to their first day of school this year. Man, I remember when school in Chicago used to start right after Labor Day. How the times have changed.
- [VIDEO] Joe Maddon was the subject of a recent feature on SportsCenter.
- Did you ever wonder why Maddon started growing a beard now that he manages the Cubs? Well, he's just a bit superstitious.
From the Daily Herald:
- Connor McKnight writes that Joe Maddon's recent handling of "veteran issues" -- including the situations with Starlin Castro and Jason Hammel -- should give fans and the players confidence in the man at the helm.
From Bleacher Nation:
- Luis Medina takes a look at some of the challenges coming up in the Cubs' schedule -- including 12 of their next 16 road games against the Cardinals, Pirates, Giants, and Dodgers.
- The Cubs have reportedly signed Korean prospect Kwang-min Kwon, a 17-year-old left-handed outfielder, for $1.2 million.
- It doesn't impact the Cubs directly, but Major League Baseball and Fox have reportedly reached a deal that will allow people who watch their home games on a Fox-affiliated regional sports network to stream games within their own market.
- Jeff Sullivan looks at Jon Lester's issues with holding runners on base and asks the question: Just how much does it matter?
- Rob Neyer gives his take on the current water cooler question: Jon Lester or Jake Arrieta?
Today's food for thought:
- [VIDEO] Who knew that an octopus could be so sneaky? And who knew that they liked cheesy '70s music that sounds like it came from a particular type of film?
- And in the world of bizarre medical studies: A group of doctors from the United Kingdom put together a study... to measure how much a human ear grows over time.