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Cub Tracks Is In Preseason Form

Not ready for prime time?

The Look of Glove
The Look of Glove
Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Sum times yes, sum times, no.

Safety in numbers.

  • ESPN: Top 100 players (100-91). Ben Zobrist is #95 -- who else is on the list?
  • John Arguello (Cubs Den): Cubs talent pipeline far from dry: 8 prospects who could contribute this year. Willson Contreras, Jeimer Candelario, lead the class.
  • TJ Tedeschi (isportsweb): What the Chicago Cubs still need for a World Series title. "...a fourth effective starting pitcher."
  • Ryan Davis (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): Javier Baez at nine: The Cubs' most versatile player. A close look at Baez' game.
  • Patrick Mooney (CSN Chicago*): Matt Murton trying to ramp up his comeback. Hard to do with no at-bats. Murton needs to prove that he's more than an appendix.
  • Neil (Chicago Cubs Online): Munerori Kawasaki pushing for spot on Cubs roster? An injury to Tommy La Stella may have created an opening. Kawasaki's play hasn't hurt his case.
  • David N. Wilson (Baseball Essential): Munenori Kawasaki is funny, but his game is no joke. Might be his last chance at an opening-day roster spot. He's good to go.

Digital dexterity.

  • Patrick Mooney (CSN Chicago*): Dale Sveum's takeaways after Royals beat Mets team that shut down Cubs. Former manager has things to say.
  • Carrie Muskat ( Taylor Davis having fun in bid to make Cubs. "Baseball's got to be fun," he says. "When it loses that, you lose everything."
  • David Laurila (Fangraphs): Kyle Schwarber on handling high heaters. "The Chicago Cubs slugger crunches video, but he draws the line at spin rates."
  • Tony Andracki (CSN Chicago*): Kelly Crull joins Joe Maddon on a spring training bike ride. The best part of Wednesday's game. [VIDEO]
  • Michael Cerami (Bleacher Nation): New U.S. labor laws provide clearer path for Cuban players to reach the states. Interpreting New York Times article.

Calculated risk.

  • Cat Garcia (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): The Jake Arrieta extension talks, and why both parties are right. It’s just a bit premature for either side to be discussing a long-term extension.
  • Evan Altman (Cubs Insider): Jake Arrieta is so good, even his mistakes aren't mistakes. "...the only thing that may be able to slow down Jake Arrieta is…Jake Arrieta."
  • Bruce Miles (Daily Herald): Now among the elite, what's next for Jake Arrieta? He's in the best shape of his life™. He always is. His mind is clear, his health is good. He's thrifty, brave, clean, reverent, and he has heat vision. Super, man.
  • Patrick Mooney (CSN Chicago*): Tyson Ross still looks like a pitcher Cubs will have on trade-deadline radar. Building on Mark Simon article. Maybe. Maybe not.
  • Michael Cerami (Bleacher Nation): Is Tyson Ross going to be a Cubs trade target again this summer? Amplifying and clarifying Patrick Mooney article. Ross does come with his flaws.

It all adds up.

  • Tony Blengino (ESPN Insider -- $): Addison Russell creeping up on top 100. "Russell's strikeout rate is concerning, as are his high popup rate and relative inability to hit the ball hard on the ground. That said, he could take aim at the friendly left-center-field power alley in Wrigley Field to the tune of 20-25 homers this season."
  • Michael Cerami (Bleacher Nation): Addison Russell coming in for serious praise, could break out in a big way. "The Cubs will have one of the deepest lineups in the league."
  • Matthew Kory (Fangraphs): The Cubs and the best start ever. Comps to the '84 Tigers.
  • Ken Rosenthal (Fox Sports): The Cubs might finally have the perfect World Series recipe. " least on paper, the Cubs seemingly have the answers to every question."
  • Patty Wetli (DNAinfo): First game at Kerry Wood Cubs Field gives goosebumps. Lake View High School baseball coach Brett Bildstein offered his team three simple words of advice: "Enjoy this moment."
  • George Castle (Chicago Baseball Museum): Cubs' John Mallee confident his young hitters will adjust in new season. The "sophomore jinx" isn't a concern.

Spitting out data.

  • Mark Gonzales (Chicago Tribune): Joe Maddon dislikes tobacco ban. The Cubs manager is no fan of the ban on tobacco at Chicago's sports venues. He gave up the chew fifteen years ago, but is into freedom of choice.
  • Gordon Dixon (Larry Brown Sports): Miguel Montero hopes tobacco ban helps him quit. "I’ll probably be a little bit moody," Montero joked. "I’m going to do my best to try and not use it."

Food for thought:

Count me among the believers. Praise theory.