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Cub Tracks Helps Self

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Exercising my demons...

Rizzo recognizes meatball.
Rizzo recognizes meatball.
Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

My head got shrunk. My gut didn't.

"A waist is a terrible thing to mind." -- Terry Forster

Catcher in the dry:

Phrenology:

  • JJ Stankevitz (CSN Chicago*): Cubs see self-awareness as key to Javier Baez' development. " Where Joe Maddon wants to see Baez improve is in his ability to understand himself and why he’s either succeeding or failing on a play-to-play, at-bat-to-at-bat, game-to-game basis. "
  • Carrie Muskat (MLB.com): For Javier Baez, a spring of learning, adjustments. Baez's development won't happen overnight.
  • Jesse Rogers (ESPN*): Javier Baez taking the ups and downs in stride. Maddon admits Baez is in a tough spot playing all around the diamond without a starting position but it's up to him to make the most of it.
  • Mark Gonzales (Chicago Tribune*): Jake Arrieta treats Pierce Johnson with kid gloves. "Arrieta has taken an interest in the development of prospect Pierce Johnson dating back to last spring."
  • CBS Chicago: Theo Epstein only needs six words to keep Cubs humble. Epstein also appeared on Speigel and Goff (Tuesday-the interview is at the bottom of the article), and he has a go-to line: "We’re a defending third-place team."

Dr. Feelgood:

  • JJ Stankevitz (CSN Chicago*): Albert Almora '100 percent' after back-spasm scare. Almora said his back knotted up when he broke in to chase a fly ball.
  • Carrie Muskat (MLB.com): Kristopher Negron hoping versatility leads to Cubs job. He's healthy, and ready for whatever the Cubs want him to do.
  • Carrie Muskat (MLB.com): Cubs fan donates tickets through Steve's Dream. "It's a little bit of Cubs heaven -- it is Cubs heaven in Arizona," Mike Berry said. Special note: BCB member puckov is a friend of Mike Berry's.
  • Chicago Tribune: Jake Arrieta on his first start. [VIDEO]
  • Robert Villareal (Baseball Essential): Kyle Hendricks making a spot for himself in Cubs rotation. "Perhaps the most important ingredient to his success is his growth in maturity."

Appointment with destiny:

  • JJ Stankevitz (CSN Chicago*): Jake Arrieta good with Cubs' plan to limit workload. "I think those bullets that I do have left are going to be more important in October," Arrieta said.
  • CBS Chicago: Anthony Rizzo was also on the Speigel and Goff show, and he touted Addison Russell's MVP future.
  • Bruce Miles (Daily Herald): Addison Russell looks like mainstay for Cubs at shortstop. The young player passes all tests.
  • Jonathon Mayo (MLB.com): The next wave: Cubs' system features rising crop of hurlers. "Don't look now, but there are some arms on the way to back up all those bats."
  • Chicago Sun-Times: Cubs' top pitching prospect waits for first big-league chance. Duane Underwood has shed the flu bug and awaits his turn.

Committed:

  • Jesse Rogers (ESPN*): Cubs take revenge on coach Tim Buss and tie him to a chair for warmups. Buss can dish it out, and was made to take it.
  • Buster Olney (ESPN): Arrieta's contract talks, Jonathon Lucroy and more. [AUDIO]
  • Chris Landers (Cut4): Anthony Rizzo sleeps, breathes, and eats baseball in new MLB At-Bat app commercial.
  • Fran Spielman (Chicago Sun-Times): Chicago may ban athletes from using chewing tobacco at home games. Jake Arrieta, who uses chewing tobacco, said Wednesday he supports the ban but predicts a backlash.
  • Bruce Miles (Daily Herald): Cubs have some powerful options with Schwarber, Soler in left. The position hasn't exactly been manned by gazelles over the years.
  • Evan Altman (Cubs Insider): Albert Almora's pursuit of perfection turning heads at spring training. "I want to help the team win and I know it’s hard offensively at times, but defensively, I feel like I should be perfect," Almora said.
  • Mike Niederman (Cubbies Crib): Jake Arrieta wants job security. "The Cubs remain open to an extension but feel that given Arrieta’s age, a seven-year deal just doesn’t make sense."
  • Robert Villareal (Baseball Essential*): Clayton Richard could be dependable option in Cubs' bullpen. "...if there is such a thing as a utility pitcher, Richard is it."

Food for thought: