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Cub Tracks And The Falling Domino Theory

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Plus, non-Schwarber news.

Train wreck.
Train wreck.
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

As if there were other news.

* autoplay/annoyance warning.

World's longest domino chain.[VIDEO]

Special "Domino" for Van Morrison fans.[VIDEO]

Munenori Kawasaki: I love the Chicago Cubs. [VIDEO]

Hulk Down.

  • Mark Gonzales (Chicago Tribune*): Cubs believe they and Kyle Schwarber can overcome his season-ending injury. "Twenty-four hours ago I thought we were well positioned to win in large part because of Kyle's presence on the team," President Theo Epstein said. "And now we're really positioned to win for Kyle."
  • Rick Morrissey (Chicago Sun-Times*): With Kyle Schwarber's season finished, fun leaves the ballpark. Wow. Munenori Kawasaki needs to read this one, at the very least.
  • Bruce Miles (Daily Herald): Kyle Schwarber out for season. What's next for Cubs? "The X-factor with any team in any sport is injury."
  • Patrick Mooney (CSN Chicago): How will Cubs respond to the loss of Kyle Schwarber? "We’re going to have the ability to put a lineup full of really talented position players on the field every night," Theo Epstein said.
  • Tim Kurkjian (ESPN): How will the Cubs make up for Kyle Schwarber loss?[VIDEO]
  • Buster Olney (ESPN Insider--$): The domino effect of Schwarber's injury; Stripling sparkles in debut.
  • David Schoenfield (ESPN*): Even without Kyle Schwarber, Cubs still the team to beat in the NL Central. The Cubs will remain the obvious favorite thanks to their depth and viable options to replace Schwarber.
  • Carrie Muskat (MLB.com): Teammates rally behind Schwarber. Win for the Warbird. "This game is hard enough and it's good to have guys who put smiles on each other's faces, and he's one of those guys," Kris Bryant said.
  • Carrie Muskat (MLB.com): Joe Maddon: flexibility will be tested often. "We talked about our flexibility in Spring Training," Maddon said.
  • Phil Rogers (MLB.com): Cubs have depth to cover for Schwarber. "Losing a regular is different, especially when it's a guy with the potential to lead the league in home runs. But as they're currently constituted, the Cubs should recover well."
  • Gunther Dabynsky (Cubs Den): The day after tomorrow. Hulk down. Jarvis in?
  • Carrie Muskat (MLB.com): Jason Hammel will miss his batterymate. "I feel like I lost my son," Hammel said Friday.
  • Brett Taylor (Bleacher Nation): The impact of the loss of Kyle Schwarber, and what comes next. "The implications for the 2016 Cubs are varied and difficult to know with certainty at this point. But it’s obviously not good."
  • Evan Altman (Cubs Insider): Trashing your knee sucks, but War Bear will be back. " Inertia is a nasty SOB."
  • Aldo Soto (Sports Mockery): Worst-case scenario confirmed for Kyle Schwarber. Well...bad-case scenario anyway.
  • RL Anderson (CBS Sports*): Cubs projections change only slightly after loss of Kyle Schwarber. SportsLine expects the Cubs to be about two wins worse than it expected them to be at this time yesterday.
  • Matthew VanTryon (The Sporting News*): Despite the loss of Kyle Schwarber, Cub fans need to chill out. "This is the deepest Cubs team in a decade, and one built to withstand an injury like this, even to a player of Schwarber’s caliber."
  • Corbell Oberholzer (The Outside Corner): What does Kyle Schwarber's injury mean for the Cubs? "Maybe the biggest ramification of this injury is the depth at catcher."

Groove, interrupted.

  • Patrick Mooney (CSN Chicago*): Setback for Javier Baez while Cubs await Matt Szczur decision. When asked about Javier Baez, Matt Szczur and the looming roster decision, Cubs manager Joe Maddon went with a time-tested cliché: "The game has this cruel way of making its own decisions."
  • Michael Cerami (Bleacher Nation): Javier Baez' return slowed by pitch to helmet, complicating roster picture. Baez’s absence has much less to do with injury, but rather on his readiness to face big league pitching. Javy gotta groove.
  • CBS Chicago : Javier Baez not expected back for home opener. Javy has work to do.

Chain, chain, chain...

  • Patrick Mooney (CSN Chicago): Cubs will give Jorge Soler a big opportunity to show he belongs. "We got guys that are ready to step up," said first baseman Anthony Rizzo.
  • Ryan Davis (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): Finding a path forward for Jorge Soler. "Let me better frame this for you; since signing with the Cubs in 2012, Soler has averaged just 286 plate appearances per season—a total of 1,147 in four years." Recommends the AAA option.
  • Jesse Rogers (ESPN*): Jorge Soler needs to step up as Cubs move on without Kyle Schwarber. "He’s ready," manager Joe Maddon said. "I’ve talked to him all spring. He has enough instructions."

Miscellaneous.

  • Chris Sosa (Chicago Tribune*): Addison Russell has a mascot archenemy now. He nearly took out "Baxter". I thought he was DFA'd last July.
  • Chris Sosa: (Chicago Tribune*): Chicago sports announcers spill secrets to their dulcet tones. "Calling games for a professional sports team is a hell of a vocal workout."
  • Gordon Wittenmyer (Chicago Sun-Times*): It's no Wheaties box, but 'that's next', says cereal mogul Anthony Rizzo. Still killin' it. 24.95 per box on Amazon. 3.00 in Jewel/Osco stores.
  • Peter Keating (ESPN): The new elite. Kris Bryant merits a mention in this piece from the magazine edition.
  • Matt Monagan (Cut Four): Munenori Kawasaki continues charades in minors. I imagine that he'll continue as he's not in the minors at present.[VIDEO]
  • Jon Morosi (MLB.com): Jay Bruce's value boosted by hot start. Internal options seem pretty good, but if you need a lefty masher...I dunno.
  • Neil (Chicago Cubs Online): Dexter Fowler off and hitting at top of Cubs lineup. ‘You go, we go.’
  • George Castle (Chicago Baseball Museum): Another heist from St. Louis; Ben Zobrist bled Cardinals red as a kid. "I was probably an obnoxious Cardinals fan," admitted Tom Zobrist, Ben's father.
  • Blair Kamin (Chicago Tribune): Wrigley Field remake; now it's beautiful outside, too. "Like the Cubs, who boast a stacked lineup and have been picked by some to win the National League pennant this year, the long-overdue upgrade of Wrigley's facade shows great promise."
  • Ariel Chung (DNAinfo): Opening Day brings out Wrigley's best, from Schwarburgers to free pizza. "Read up on how to get a cheap ride home after Opening Day festivities and get the scoop on the Schwarburger:"
  • Ariel Chung, Ted Cox (DNAinfo): Let the Cubs block off Clark and Addison for games, Rep. Quigley says. Wrigley Field’s congressman is in favor of closing streets around the ballpark on game days.
  • Roger Schlueter (Belleville News-Democrat): Cards-Cubs rivalry goes back to the 1800s. "Before they were known as the Cardinals and Cubs — before there was an MLB — our two favorite regional teams already were going at it tooth and nail."
  • Fox Sports AZ: Joe Maddon: Cubs expectations are wonderful. [VIDEO]

Food for thought: