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Cub Tracks and Royal pains

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Blank for MVP, Okay Baez, weird vibrations, and other tweets and bullets

safe at home
Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

Tuesday, Cub Tracks addressed the issues. This morning, Kris Bryant and the Cubs are doing that thing, possibly while you’re reading. There’s an article below explaining what I mean. Lots of Cubs positive chatter and positive Chatwood, Javy’s coming back, and more.

Good luck to Jon Jay and Jorge Soler...but no thanks for the RBIs-against. Not much on the history front. We’ll have a better look tomorrow. And now, the news: As always * means autoplay on™ (directions to remove for Firefox and Chrome).

Today in baseball history:

  • 1999 - The Yankees name Don Zimmer to be the club’s interim manager while Joe Torre receives treatments for prostate cancer.
  • 2012 - The website Baseball-Reference.com chooses to leave a blank space next to 2011 on its National League MVP list instead of identifying Ryan Braun as the award’s winner.
  • Happy Cubs birthday: Roscoe Coughlin, Doc Casey, Dick Scott, Bob Locker, Bobby Bonds, Freddie Bynum, Jon Jay.

Cubs news and notes:

Manager Joe Maddon predicted Tuesday that Javier Baez would play again by no later than the beginning of next week. Baez doesn’t see this matter persisting for that long; he’s hoping to get some at-bats in the Cubs’ minor-league camp on Thursday and then be good to go for Friday’s home game against the Diamondbacks or Saturday’s game at the White Sox. — Steve Greenberg

  • Evan Altman (Cubs Insider): Theo Epstein aiming to replicate the Dodgers, Brooklyn squad. Signed, Epstein’s mother.
  • Joe Posnanski (MLB.com*): Cubs plan on keeping core around for a while. “We have a chance to replicate what they did in Brooklyn,” Epstein said. Hopefully, leaving out the moving to LA part.
  • Paul Sullivan (Chicago Tribune* {$}): Cubs no longer have to worry about World Series hangover. “We were one of only a few teams in recent years to get back to the playoffs after winning the World Series. It says a lot about who we are, because it’s not easy in today’s game,” said Anthony Rizzo.
  • Evan Altman (Cubs Insider): The Cubs’ most important pitching coach may not be their pitching coach. “Mike Borzello is 10 pounds of awesome-sauce stuffed into a five-pound bag...”
  • David Adler (MLB.com*): How move to Cubs could make Yu Darvish better. Elevate the 4-seamer.
  • Vinnie Duber (NBC Sports Chicago*): Jose Quintana is really, really good, so why does he seem like the forgotten man in the Cubs’ super rotation? “His tempo never changes. It can be shit hitting the fan, stuff going on, never changes, he’s the same guy’” said Jon Lester.
  • Mark Gonzales (Chicago Tribune* {$}): Tyler Chatwood invigorated by Cubs’ winning culture. “You walk in there today and you have that attitude we’re winning today,” Chatwood said.
  • Steve Greenberg (Chicago Sun-Times*): Chatwood shuts down Giants in best start of promising spring. “Chatwood has his full arsenal working right now.”
  • Steve Greenberg (Chicago Sun-Times*): Willson Contreras returns with a bang from his week off with the flu. “He looked good behind the plate, too,” said Joe Maddon.
  • Mark Gonzales (Chicago Tribune* {$}): Addison Russell believes throwing adjustments he’s making will pay off. “It’s just something I’ve been working on, making sure that my arm has (stamina) throughout the season,” Russell said.
  • Mark Gonzales (Chicago Tribune* {$}): Baez eager to return: ‘I didn’t even get hurt’. “The cause of his cramping, he added, was a lack of hydration.”
  • Carrie Muskat (MLB.com*): Baez feels good, eyes return to Cubs’ lineup. “They took all the sodas from my fridge,” Baez said.
  • Steve Greenberg (Chicago Sun-Times*): Kris Bryant wants to walk more, whiff less; says, ‘I want to be great’. “One-to-one is obviously superstar level,” Bryant said. “I think Anthony [Rizzo] did that last year.”
  • Mark Gonzales (Chicago Tribune* {$}): As Cubs’ new player rep, Kris Bryant eager to address many issues. “Bryant eagerly anticipates plenty of dialogue Thursday morning when he and his teammates meet with Executive Director Tony Clark and other MLBPA officials.”
  • AP via ESPN*: Kyle Schwarber to receive $604,500 salary from Cubs. “It represents a slight raise from last year.”
  • Steve Greenberg (Chicago Sun-Times*): Ian Happeven without deal he sought — is on a path to get what he wants. “We all play this game because we love it and we love the competition,” Happ said. “Everything that comes along with it is just a benefit. That’s how I look at it.”
  • Carrie Muskat (MLB.com*): Like fine wine, Happ savors his playing time. “If it takes two bottles of wine to get more at-bats, it’s worth it.”
  • Bruce Miles (Daily Herald {$}): Cubs still have faith Jason Heyward’s hitting will come around. “The big question is what happens if Heyward gets off to a slow start at the plate?”
  • Todd Johnson (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): Which affiliate is the one to watch in 2018? Eugene and South Bend get the nods.
  • Brett Taylor (Bleacher Nation): IFA season is coming: Out of the penalty box, Cubs already connected to top prospects. “...it tends to be the case that if you’re connected to an IFA … you’re signing him.”
  • Mary Schmich (Chicago Tribune* {$}): Jake Arrieta’s farewell to Chicago was beautifully written — but where’d he find that pen? “...Arrieta owes a debt of gratitude to his writing instrument.”

Food for thought:

  • Robinson Meyer (The Atlantic): Canadian amateurs discovered a new type of aurora. Its name is Steve.
  • Adrian Cho (Science): Weird vibrations poised to control quantum computers. “...a quantum computer uses qubits that can be set to zero, one, or, bizarrely, zero and one at the same time—potentially enabling huge boosts in speed.”

Thanks for reading.