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Cub Tracks Is In The Best Shape Of Its Life


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Today's Deep Thoughts:

For exercise, I lift my eyebrows, roll my eyes, and jump to conclusions. I also enjoy long walks to the refrigerator, Vogon poetry, herbal remedies, and thumbing through today's links.

(*denotes autoplay video/audio, excessive ads, etc.)

Don't Panic.

  • Mark Gonzales (Chicago Tribune): Javier Baez' sore thumb delaying Cubs from finalizing opening-day roster. The Cubs could put Baez on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 25. But they might need two guys to replace him.
  • Patrick Finley (Chicago Sun-Times): Cubs in 11th hour to decide Javier Baez' opening-day fate. Thumbs up? Thumbs down? You make the call.
  • Patrick Mooney (CSN Chicago*): Time running out for Javier Baez to make opening day roster. "We’re attempting to create an 11th hour to get this whole thing done," Joe Maddon said.
  • Luke Norris (Sports Mockery): Why Javier Baez isn't a lock for the opening day roster. He hasn't had enough time in, for starters. It’s not a matter of if Baez will be on the big league roster this season, it’s only a matter of when.
  • Evan Altman (Cubs Insider): Let's give 'em thumb things to talk about. Bonnie Raitts high in my universe too. Things are Jake with Arrieta. Maddon Baez some time with Javy.
  • Patrick Finley (Chicago Sun-Times): Dexter Fowler 'not worried at all' about left-side injury. "If there was something to worry about, I’d be worried," he said. "And I’m not worried at all."
  • Patrick Mooney (CSN Chicago*): The buzz around Dexter Fowler at Cubs camp. All kidding aside, he feels fine. Jason Heyward was stung by wayward bees.
  • Jesse Rogers (ESPN): Joe Maddon on Dexter Fowler: "He's stronger right now." He plays for Chicago. He's in the best shape of his life (tm), and he's feelin' stronger every day.

Zaphod plays it safe.

  • Patrick Finley (Chicago Sun-Times): Cubs option Spencer Patton to Triple A. No surprise. The reliever did look good in the spring and could be an emergency replacement.
  • Patrick Finley (Chicago Sun-Times): Kyle Schwarber comfortable with catcher, left-field switches. Did so twice over the weekend with no apparent trouble.
  • Evan Altman (Cubs Insider): Theo Epstein (maybe) confirms eight-man bullpen to open season. "It won’t stay the same way the whole year," The Cubs president explained.
  • John Arguello (Cubs Den): Musings on yesterday's game: the swarm, Cubs' depth, and Addison Russell's emerging power. An odd day at the park. Al gets a shoutout. Russell, Joe Maddon says, " in great shape. He was in fine shape last year, and I think he's in even better shape now."

Hotblack Desiato's bodyguard.

  • Robert Sanchez (ESPN): Is the secret to Kris Bryant's success...his dad? Mike Bryant very well could be.
  • Sports Mockery: Kris Bryant reveals the secret to his success. Not Michael J. Fox -- that was so last year. Michael Bryant, formerly a center fielder in the Boston system.
  • Aldo Soto (Sports Mockery): Kris Bryant helps a Cub fan get a date for prom. It's really hard not to like these players.
  • Mike Bauman ( Joe Maddon's optimism just right for Cubs. When Maddon was asked about the goat curse last year, he replied: "I don't vibrate on that frequency."
  • Bruce Levine (CBS Chicago): Jake Arrieta good to go for Opening Day. Arrieta threw 46 pitches against minor leaguers Sunday and reported no discomfort on his thumb or throwing hand.
  • Sports Mockery: Cubs host superhero as guest at practice.

Bring your towel.

  • Brett Taylor (Bleacher Nation): Chicago Cubs were near the top in international spending in 2015. Another case of being a defending third-place team: the Cubs came in at number three.
  • Michael Cerami (Bleacher Nation): Let's feast on recent batted-ball data for Cubs offensive regulars. Exit velocity isn't everything.
  • Joseph Piazza (The Game of Redemption): Q&A with Hall of Famer Fergie Jenkins. Well worth the reading.
  • Chad Yoder (Chicago Tribune): Cubs building boom: three structures going up around Wrigley. New pictures and some words.
  • Mike Neiderman (Cubbies Crib): Cubs prospects trying to hang on. The Cubs still have a few decisions to make.
  • Sean Sears (Sports Mockery): Why Kyle Hendricks is flying under the radar. "The 2016 Chicago Cubs are scary are for all the right reasons."
  • Michael Hall (ChiCitySports): How will the Cubs find playing time for Jorge Soler? Lefthanded pitching, Schwarber catching, DH.

So long, and thanks for all the fish.

Food for thought: