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Cub Tracks Plays The Game

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Don't try this at home.
Don't try this at home.
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Pregame:

Behind the plate:

  • Dan Bernstein (CBS Chicago): The Cubs know catching. Get to know CSAA, or Called Strikes Above Average.
  • Evan Altman (Cubs Insider): Top-Ranked Willson Contreras may be the catcher of the future, but there's no need to rush. "The same situation that forced Kyle Schwarber into left allows the Cubs to keep his former Smokies teammate in the minors to hone his craft."
  • Thomas Kohs (iSportsweb): Why Miguel Montero is under-rated. Discussion of the Cubs catcher's capabilities and influence.

Around the horn:

Out Standing in the Field:

  • Kelly Crull (CSN): Everybody's Hungry: One on one with Jason Heyward. [VIDEO]. The new Cubs outfielder talks about his expectations for the 2016 season, his past relationships with his teammates and adjusting to center field.
  • Rick Morrissey (Chicago Sun-Times): If the NL switches to the DH, Cub fans will know there's a God. "There’s a chance that all Cubs fans will soon believe in a higher power." Those that will, already do.
  • Gunther Dabynsky (Cubs Insider): I'm so worried about the 2016 Cubs. "The waves of positivity flowing forth from the 2016 Cubs makes me a touch suspicious." There's always room for pessimism.
  • Rian Watt (Wrigleyville -- Baseball Prospectus): Life at the margins in the Cubs' outfield. Still room for movement there. Austin Jackson, David DeJesus, Drew Stubbs, Will Venable get mentions. Javier Baez might negate the need for any of them.

The Rotation:

  • Gemma Kaneko (Cut4): Jason Hammel made a perfect shot at a BlackHawks game. "Not only is Hammel's slap shot game on point, his hashtags are excellent."
  • Chris Hine (Chicago Tribune): Hammel scores goal, takes to Twitter to taunt Anthony Rizzo.
  • Jared Wyllys (Cubs Den): Is it time to reconsider the closer? "The save has probably done more to alter the way that pitchers operate than just about anything else."
  • Sahadev Sharma (The Athletic): Even after historic 2015, Jake Arrieta looking to make a change. He's looking to employ his changeup more often, that is. He's in the best shape of his life. That goes without saying.
  • Ryan Davis (Wrigleyville -- Baseball Prospectus): Adam Warren whiffs on fastball, sizzles on secondaries. Argument brought forth to drop the sinker, use less fastballs.

Utility Men:

Beyond the Bleachers:

Food for thought:

  • There's a sour side to serotonin. "Unless you’re in the middle of biting into a delicious Reuben sandwich, you might forget that taste is one of the fundamental senses." Mmmm, Reuben sandwich. "A Reuben is no good without the sour tang of sauerkraut. A new study shows we can thank serotonin for communicating the taste."
  • Zebra stripes not for camouflage. Makes me feel like doing a little Kipling.
  • Have you ever kippled? How about taking out the gubbish?
  • The truth is out there: Planet Nine may exist. There are two petitions circulating to name this place -- one group wants it to be called Blackstar, the other, Yuggoth. I loved me some Bowie, but I gotta go with HPL.

Leave it all on the field. We'll clean up later. Thanks for reading.