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Cub Tracks Hops To It

Happy Easter from Cub Tracks!

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Warm fuzzies:

How do you heal the man of steel?

  • Carrie Muskat ( Bullpen session to shed light on Jake Arrieta's status. Jake had trouble keeping his grip on the ball. Superglue may have solved the problem. Blisters are notoriously difficult to banish. Includes interview with Buster Olney [VIDEO].
  • Sports Mockery: Jake Arrieta could be headed to the DL. Well, yeah. He'd miss a start.
  • Jared Wyllys (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): Weathering a storm: the mental strength of Jon Lester. He's been there, he's done that, and he wants to do it again, as soon as possible.

Heart of rock and roll.

  • Michael Clair (CutFour): Huey Lewis takes BP with Cubs, manages Giants. That Lewis is a Sports fan shouldn't be news to anyone.
  • Jesse Rogers (ESPN): Munenori Kawasaki not out of the Cubs' roster picture just yet. Javier Baez will need to give a thumbs-up to say he's ready.
  • Joel Sherman (New York Post): Loose Cubs raise MLB eyebrows, paint giant bull's-eyes on their backs. An executive from another National League team recently said, "I must have missed their parade."
  • Jesse Rogers (ESPN) Anthony Rizzo Q&A: "We're all in the box at the same time." Rizzo is fun.

Ben Him.

  • Patrick Mooney (CSN Chicago*): Cubs see Trevor Cahill as the Ben Zobrist in their bullpen. A job description so broad that he might wind up closing out games. "He can do that," Maddon said Saturday at Sloan Park. "Part of it is just the psychology that I want him to know that he can."
  • Michael Cerami (Bleacher Nation): Early signals about the batting order, and how about Ben Zobrist batting third? The only thing we know for sure is that the lineup will change a thousand times over throughout the course of the season.

Spring in his step.

  • Bill Slane ( Albert Almora confident in direction he's taking. "I feel like of all the springs this is probably my best one," he said.
  • Patrick Mooney (CSN Chicago*): Albert Almora made a strong impression in Cubs' camp. If Albert Almora had gone to the University of Miami, he would just be starting his first full season in professional baseball. Instead, he's a step away from Wrigleyville.
  • Gordon Wittenmyer (Chicago Sun-Times): 25-man roster basically set, with Neil Ramirez to get the last spot. "Neil’s pitched really well, and he might actually force us to do something," manager Joe Maddon said. "But we’re still discussing it. It’s not done yet." How this relates to the article's title is yet to be determined.
  • Brett Taylor (Bleacher Nation): Shane Victorino will stay with Cubs for now, participate in extended spring training. Agreements for about sixty days are in place.

The plastic grass of home.

  • Paul Sullivan (Chicago Tribune): Cubs glad to give longtime rivalry with Cardinals a much-needed face lift. "The next chapter of the classic rivalry begins April 18 in St. Louis when the teams meet for the first time."
  • Sean Holland (Cubs Den): Do fans always need a scapegoat? Every team has a player or players that seem to be the lightning rod of criticism. Is that necessary?
  • Mark Gonzales (Chicago Tribune): Windshield broken by Kyle Schwarber fetches $900. An exec from Harry Caray's bought it and plans to display it in the Chicago Sports Museum.

Fielding and streaming.

  • Eric Longenhagen (ESPN-Insider-$): Prospect notes: Roberto Baldoquin leaner, Ian Happ displaying quick hands.
  • Neil (Chicago Cubs Online): Five Cubs included in Baseball Tonight's top 100 players of 2016. Jake Arrieta leads the charge. MLB Network had six.
  • Bruce Miles (Daily Herald): Chicago Cubs bullpen looks strong, but count on change. Just because something worked last season doesn't mean it will work this season.

Rabbit Season.

  • I used to own a bunny. He died last June. His name was Dammit and I wish he was here to celebrate. Here he is guarding my oxygen converter. You can see some of his work on the baseboards behind him. He lived to be nine years old, which is a long life for a bunny. He used to beat up cats.

Food for thought:

  • Angus Chen (NPR): Fry and fry again: The science secrets to the double fry. Reduce the internal moisture, get better crust, more flavor. Frozen-food manufacturers know this one real good.
  • Lee Philips (Ars Technica): Meet the largest science project in US government history. The James Webb telescope. Bigger and better than the Hubble.
  • Christie Aschwanden (538): Failure is moving science forward. Replication is the sincerest form of flattery.