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Cub Tracks Plays Ball

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Who's on first?

It's almost time!
It's almost time!
Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

Uhhh....I don't know?

The Lead-Off Man:

First Inning: Con-ster-nation.

Second Inning: Hammel Time

Third Inning: Catching up.

  • Patrick Mooney (CSN Chicago): Kyle Schwarber the Catcher. "The Kyle Schwarber question doesn’t have a simple, yes-or-no answer."
  • Joe Maddon refers to Eric Hinske as Kyle Schwarber's dad. [VIDEO].
  • Mark Gonzales (Chicago Tribune): Offseason tasks at hand: Kyle Schwarber busy working on all facets of the game. After hitting well enough to earn a significant role in the Cubs' lineup last summer, Kyle Schwarber is playing catch-up this winter.
  • Shawn Ramsey (Fox Sports): Cubs love Kyle Schwarber's bat, but is his future at catcher or in the outfield? Schwarber believes he can eventually develop to play both at a high level.

Fourth Inning: Making every pitch count.

  • Jesse Rogers (ESPN): Salary gap is large, but Jake Arrieta likely to settle. Apparently Jake likes to "settle". He has his foot stomping, after all.
  • Evan Altman (Cubs Insider): Is the $5.5 million gap between Jake Arrieta and the Cubs really a big deal? "In short, no."
  • Patrick Mooney (CSN Chicago): Cubs called their shot with Jason Heyward signing. "As part of the elaborate presentation during Jon Lester’s recruiting visit to Wrigleyville, the Cubs unveiled a diamond diagram projecting their 2016 lineup – with Heyward playing center field. "
  • Michael Cerami (Bleacher Nation): Jason Heyward was part of the sales pitch...to Jon Lester. Wizards plan ahead.
  • Chicago Cubs Online: Cubs reportedly told Adam Warren was acquired to be a starter? English is such a funny language. The Cubs "told Warren he was acquired to be a starter, but weren’t specific when he could break into the rotation." As reported by Jesse Rogers, in the previous Cub Tracks. iswydt.

Fifth Inning: Batter up!

Sixth Inning: Second thoughts.

Seventh Inning: All in fun.

  • Carrie Muskat (MLB.com): Dynamic duo: Joe Maddon, Ben Zobrist re-unite. I can sorta see Joe as Bruce Wayne. Zobrist would look funny in that uniform. Perhaps Nightwing?
  • Cubs quotables (Chicago Tribune staff): Who said it? Can you identify which Cubs player, coach or front office member said each recent offseason quote? Test your knowledge with this quiz.
  • Kyle Thele (Chicago Sun-Times): Young Cubs fan has special tribute to Addison Russell. Shaved by a whisker!

Eighth Inning: Down on the farm.

  • Mark Gonzales (Chicago Tribune): Javier Baez comfortable in brief stint in center. Baez's comfort level in center field improved as more fly balls were hit in his direction last month.
  • Kyle Thele (Chicago Sun-Times): Cubs prospect Albert Almora makes all-defense team. "Despite all of the players who made their MLB debut for the Cubs, their minor league cupboard is not yet bare."
  • Chicago Cubs Online: Cubs prospects news: Gleyber Torres set to start season at Myrtle Beach; Eloy Jiminez at South Bend. Cubs’ farm director Jaron Madison gave an indication Sunday on where two of the organization’s top prospects will begin the 2016 season.
  • Luke Blaize (Bleacher Nation):  Cubs prospect progress report part twelve --  Ryan Williams.
  • John Sickels (Minor League Ball): Chicago Cubs Top 20 prospects for 2016. "The list and grades are a blending of present performance and long-term potential. All of these grades are preliminary and subject to change."

Ninth Inning: Seriously.

Tenth Inning: Uneasy lies the head.

  • Jesse Rogers (ESPN) Cubs Twitter mailbag -- where could things go wrong?
  • Jim Bowden (ESPN Insider -- $): Best fits for seven remaining free agents. Bowden likes Austin Jackson back to Cubs.
  • Buster Olney (ESPN Insider -- $): Ranking of MLB's Top Ten teams: How 'bout those Cubbies? The Cubs' Joe Maddon and Royals' Ned Yost manage the best two teams in baseball, according to MLB evaluators.

Extra Innings:  They don't play the games on paper.

Food for thought:

You're all invited back Sunday for another heaping helping. Thanks for reading!