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Cub Tracks’ choice cuts

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The Cubs are ahead of Baltimore, and other bullets

MLB: St. Louis Cardinals at Chicago Cubs Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

Let’s segue right into today’s Cubs News and Notes. As always * means autoplay on, or annoying ads, or both (directions to remove for Firefox and Chrome).

  • Jordan Bastian (MLB.com*): Cole Hamels preparing to take on leadership role. “...the pitcher felt his time in Chicago last season, combined with the knowledge that he would still be suiting up for the club in 2019, would allow him to more confidently step forward as a clubhouse leader this year.”
  • Jeff Burdick (Cubs Insider): Kyle Hendricks offers surprising model for Nico Hoerner’s development path. “One positive is the Cubs traditionally do not force changes on prospects immediately after drafting them.”
  • MLB.com*: Anthony Rizzo ranked No. 5 first baseman by MLB Network. Max Muncy? Seriously?
  • Cam Ellis (NBC Sports Chicago*): A decade into his career, nothing’s surprising Jason Heyward anymore. “Swirling trade rumors may linger in the minds of younger players, but with a decade of baseball to his name, Heyward’s not phased.”
  • Mark Gonzales (Chicago Tribune* {$}): Cubs Q&A: Roster spots, Tyler Chatwood’s role, left-handed bullpen help and leadoff duties. “Depth is going to play a bigger factor this season.”
  • Keith Law (ESPN+ {$}): Keith Law’s 2019 ranking of all 30 MLB farm systems. Well, the Cubs are ahead of Baltimore...
  • Luis Torres (Beyond the Box Score): Trade Retrospective: Orioles trade Jake Arrieta to the Cubs for Scott Feldman. “...trades will be evaluated based on what was known at the time.”

Food for thought: