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Cub Tracks breaks down

Space Lasers! More action, and other bullets

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Cubs Win! Berrr-wyn! Recap.

Sven is the season going to start already?

Sven is the season going to start, already?

Without further ado, here’s today’s Cubs News and Notes. As always * means autoplay on, or annoying ads, or both (directions to remove for Firefox and Chrome).

Home Run Derby feedback:

“Everybody’s going to be wanting to do it now,” Anthony Rizzo said. “It’s a million dollars. It’s a fun time. It’s on the biggest stage of summertime baseball. I think it’ll be good for the game, because I think a lot of the bigger stars will want to be playing in it. I don’t care who you are. I don’t care if you’re making $30 million a year. It’s a million bucks.” — Jordan Bastian

  • Tom Kuebel ( D-backs and Cubs break attendance record at Salt River Fields. “...the Arizona Diamondbacks sell out crowd of 14,035 attendees for Saturday’s spring training game against the Chicago Cubs set a single-game record for Salt River Fields at Talking Stick.”
  • Jesse Rogers (ESPN*): Forget Craig Kimbrel, Cubs seeking relief from within as bullpen injuries mount. “I don’t foresee [adding] anything significant at all at this time,” Cubs president Theo Epstein said earlier this week.
  • Mark Gonzales (Chicago Tribune* {$}): 4 takeaways from Cubs spring training, including Tyler Chatwood’s rebound and insurance policies at catcher and infielder. “We’re all pulling for him,” Kyle Hendricks said after Chatwood threw 11 of 16 pitches for strikes.
  • Jordan Bastian (*): Life as a swingman: Be ready for anything. “You can’t have clean innings all the time,” Cubs pitching coach Tommy Hottovy said. “So, we’re trying to start simulating some more game-type situations for everybody.”
  • Mark Gonzales (Chicago Tribune* {$}): ‘Cut from the same cloth,’ Dillon Maples and James Norwood are itching to become fixtures in the Cubs bullpen. “’s all about fastball command,” Maddon said, referring to Maples.
  • Ben Weinrib (Big League Stew): Cubs catcher Willson Contreras raising money, awareness in fight for native Venezuela. “Contreras has become an outspoken critic of his home country’s dictator Nicolas Maduro, and he’s made powerful allies for saving his family and standing up for his people.”
  • Jordan Bastian (*): Kris Bryant tempted by potential Derby windfall. “I don’t know if I’m going to do it, but I think you’re going to get more action, more guys wanting to do it. There’s going to be more of a pool to choose from. I think that’s kind of what they want,” he said. Evan Altman antes in. Patrick Mooney {$} adds on.
  • Tony Andracki (NBC Sports Chicago*): 19 for ‘19: How does the Addison Russell situation shake out? “From a strictly baseball standpoint, the main question would be whose spot Russell takes on the roster.”
  • Sean Holland (Cubs Insider): Kyle Schwarber displaying opposite-field power stroke this spring. “... many have noted how much more athletic he looks in the box this spring.”
  • Mark Gonzales (Chicago Tribune* {$}): Albert Almora Jr. is one of the Cubs’ longest-tenured — and most respected — players: ‘To see the way he handles himself is something we can look up to’. “In this game, you learn from experience,” Almora said.
  • Cubs birthdays: Fred Pfeffer, Bill Gannon, Charlie Root, Hy Vandenberg, Hank Sauer, Jerry Tabb, Bill Mueller, Scott Downs,

Food for thought: