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Cub Tracks catches them all

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Happenings, and other bullets

Pedro Strop gets the save
Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Previously, in Cub Tracks goes pi-eyed, we posted about Jason and his granny, and other words and pictures. Today, we celebrate this:

I have nothing more to say — as always * means autoplay on, or annoying ads, or both (directions to remove for Firefox and Chrome).

Cubs News and Notes:

“You hit balls at this level, man, you watch guys make plays, there’s a lot of talent all over the place. He probably should have got the save along with [Pedro] Strop today, playing left field.” — Clint Hurdle on Ian Happ

“I just have to keep building up, facing some competition,” Smyly said. “Right now it’s exciting, because it’s been a long road of not much competition, not much throwing. I’ve built up my bullpen [sessions], and now I’m facing hitters. I feel I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. It’s exciting to have a hitter in the box and get my adrenaline going.”

The Cubs signed Smyly in December, knowing that anything he could do for the team this season would be a bonus. He had the procedure done last July, and he missed all of 2017.

”With each time, I feel a little less and less hesitation,” Smyly said of his rehab outings. “With my curveball, I don’t think I snapped it down yet. With my fastball and changeup, [the hesitation] is kind of gone and I can forget about my elbow and pitch. That’s a really good feeling. It’s basically a year since I’ve been pain-free.” — Carrie Muskat.

  • 670 The Score: Theo Epstein speaks [AUDIO]. Michael Cerami (Bleacher Nation) comments.
  • ESPN: Jed Hoyer talks to Buster Olney [AUDIO].
  • Patrick Mooney (The Athletic {$}): Cubs GM Jed Hoyer on the Darvish/Chatwood dilemma and an X-factor for the trade deadline. “We haven’t had a chance to get on that sustained turn-after-turn consistency,” Hoyer said.
  • Teddy Greenstein (Chicago Tribune* {$}): Happ’s diving catches, Kris Bryant’s leadoff debut lift Cubs to 3-1 victory. Mike Montgomery thanked Happ for his effort, saying: “I needed a pick-me-up in those spots. He put his body on the line.”
  • Jack Baer (Yahoo Sports*): The Cubs’ $164 million commitment to the rotation this offseason is not off to a great start. “The Cubs are built to absorb one or two underperformers.”
  • Jesse Rogers (ESPN*): Yu Darvish’s replacement is doing his job better than Darvish. “Chris Gimenez was Montgomery’s personal catcher. In the minors.”
  • Vinnie Duber (NBC Sports Chicago*): This is the opportunity Montgomery wanted: ‘What he’s showing right now is how good he actually is’. “This doesn’t surprise me, what he’s doing,” said Maddon.
  • Carrie Muskat (MLB.com*): Montgomery’s arm, Happ’s glove seal Cubs’ W. “He saved the game,” Maddon said of Happ. “Literally, he saved the game with a couple catches.”
  • Mark Gonzales (Chicago Tribune* {$}): Drew Smyly’s comeback with the Cubs on schedule. “Hopefully by July, I’ll be relatively built up to three or four innings and then maybe start a rehab assignment,” Smyly said.
  • Bruce Miles (Daily Herald {$}): Cubs front office pleased with pitcher Smyly’s progression. “He put a smiley on our face,” Maddon said.
  • Patrick Mooney (The Athletic {$}): The evolution of the Cubs and Javier Báez: ‘They don’t call him El Mago for no reason’. “He’s amazing,” said John Mallee.
  • Teddy Greenstein (Chicago Tribune* {$}): Joe Maddon wanted Bryant to ‘set the tone’ and that he did. “I probably will do it again (Saturday),” Maddon said, saying he liked Bryant’s more “erect” setup at the plate.
  • Carrie Muskat (MLB.com*): Bryant goes 3-for-4 in first game batting leadoff. “‘Change of scenery’ for third baseman boosts Cubs’ offense.”
  • Sam Fels (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): Spreading the love — the Cubs and plate appearances. “...in reality, the Cubs only have one true bench player.”
  • Jon Greenberg (The Athletic {$}): How did Itamar Steiner, a diehard Cubs fan, get drafted by his favorite team? “He was studying to be a rabbi and he said Wrigley Field was his temple.”
  • Adam Greene (Knoxville News-Sentinel*): Don’t confuse Smokies outfielder Jeffrey Baez with Chicago Cubs infielder Javier Baez. “...he’s played himself into the lineup every day,” said Smokies manager Mark Johnson.

Food For Thought:

Thanks for reading.