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Cub Tracks’ since I don’t have Yu

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Dillon Maples, Kevin Towers, No Yu news, and other bullets

I don’t have...
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I don’t have the words. Apologies to the Skyliners.

The nihilist version:

You can say that again.

this is the greatest pun ever.
I’ll be relieved when this is all over.
Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

Rob Huff and Patrick Mooney are still at the Athletic, Todd Johnson has some minors reports, we imported some unusual suspects, there’s no Yu news and not much news period. But there’s some fun to be had, and elegies for Kevin Towers. Also, happy belated birthday to Mr. Cub.

As always * means autoplay on™ (directions to remove for Firefox and Chrome).

Today in baseball history:

  • 1913 - Olympic hero Jim Thorpe, turning down an offer from the last-place Browns, signs with the Giants.
  • 1914 - In the very first game ever to take place in the Egyptian desert, the White Sox and Giants play to a 3-3 tie. The contest is part of a 56-game world tour, which also includes stops in Tokyo, Paris, and London, organized by New York manager John McGraw and Chicago owner Charles Comiskey to promote the sport of baseball on a global scale.
  • 1965 - The National League adopts a disaster plan in the event a team’s plane crashes or is involved in another type of catastrophic accident. The Senior Circuit’s Emergency Crisis Rule allows the affected club to draft from a pool of two or three replacement players from each team, following a similar concept adopted in 1962 by the American League.
  • Happy birthday: Carl Reynolds, Vince Barton, Kent Mercker, Phil Norton, Austin Jackson

Cubs news and notes:

  • A. E. Schafer (Viva El Birdos): The problem with trying to catch the Cubs. “...it’s not like we’ve never had a situation where the Cards were behind the Cubs before.”
  • Michael Cerami (Bleacher Nation): A new and improved pitch mix was probably a big part of Brian Duensing’s breakout season. More fastballs, improved velocity, less sinkers and sliders.
  • Tony Andracki (NBC Sports Chicago*): Who are Cubs relying on to finally bring homegrown pitching to big leagues? “Health is a big part of the problem.”
  • Jared Wyllys (The Sporting News): Predicting surprise: Young players who could shine for Cubs, Red Sox in 2018. A closer look at Dillon Maples. And Rafael Devers.
  • Tony Andracki (NBC Sports Chicago*): Dillon Maples is primed for the next chapter of his book. “Now it’s just about being more consistent and efficient with his pitches,” Jaron Madison said.
  • Evan Altman (Cubs Insider): Jake Arrieta’s market seems to have vanished. “...there don’t seem to be any serious suitors for the 2015 Cy Young winner.”
  • Madeleine Kenney (Chicago Sun-Times*): In a quiet offseason, where in the world is former Cubs RHP John Lackey? Don’t tell me he’s in San Diego.
  • Andy Ziccarelli (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): Quantifying the Cubs’ quest to control the strike zone. “...the Cubs “produced” roughly 25 fewer runs from controlling the strike zone this past season as compared to 2016.”
  • Carrie Muskat (MLB.com*): Anthony Rizzo helps illuminate former high school field. Rizzo helped raise more than $100,000 to install modern lighting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
  • Patrick Mooney (The Athletic {$}): How Kevin Towers and his huge personality helped shape The Cubs Way. “He gave so many of us opportunities, brought a lot of us together as friends,” said Jason McLeod, the Cubs’ senior vice president of scouting and player development. Buster Olney (ESPN) adds on.
  • Tony Andracki (NBC Sports Chicago*): The prospect that may change everything about the Cubs’ long-term pitching plans. “It doesn’t take a mind reader to know how the Cubs feel about Adbert Alzolay.”
  • Todd Johnson (Cubs Insider): Cubs Prospect Profile: Thomas Hatch could turn Spring Training invite into big 2018 at Double-A. “...his percentage of pitches thrown for strikes was at 63 percent and really needs to be closer to 70 percent.” He also weighs in about Cubs minor-league pitching prospects.
  • Rob Huff (The Athletic {$}): Cubs minor league climbers and fallers: Where have all the hitting prospects gone? “Today, it’s the position players’ turn.”
  • Todd Johnson (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): The 2018 draft is shaping up to be an important one for the Cubs. “...it is worth noting the following 10 things about what is going to take place the next four months.”

Food for thought:

Thanks for reading/watching.