Chicago Cubs 2016 NL Central Championship Gear

Today’s Spring Training game – at 2:05 CT against the White Sox – is the first televised game of the Spring (on WGN), which is awesome. Though, as a White Sox home game, it’ll undoubtedly feature … eh hem … the White Sox’s broadcast team. That part? Not so awesome. Recall, it wasn’t that long ago that Spring Training was the only time these teams would meet.

  • Chicago Cubs single game tickets go on sale today at 10 am CT. More details on the single game ticket sale, as well as the games I plan on going to (in case you were curious), here.
  • Dale Sveum isn’t ready to say Jeff Samardzija has a rotation spot to lose, but the manager is clearly crushing on the big righty. “For a power arm, I can’t remember the last time I’ve seen a power arm like that come into Spring Training and everything’s been that crisp,” Dale Sveum said Thursday. “He doesn’t throw any scuds, everything is at least somewhere where he wants it to be. His cutter was tremendous. It was almost a waste of his time to drive an hour. It’s like he didn’t even break a sweat, he was that good. It’s an interesting dilemma we’ll be in here in a few weeks.” Sveum added that it’s a “manager’s dream” to have a player like Samardzija.

  • Samardzija’s rotation competition, Chris Volstad, says he’s keeping tabs on how the other pitchers are performing. “I don’t follow on the computer and go out by out,” Volstad said about monitoring his teammates, “but at the end of the day I check it to see how everybody did. It’s competition, but friendly competition. You always want your teammates to do well. It pushes you as a player, also.”
  • Sveum says that, when it comes to selecting late-inning relievers (a decision that may become more difficult if Samardzija makes the rotation), “[t]he makeup [of the pitcher] is probably more important in those innings than the stuff.” There’s undoubtedly something to that, but I’d still like the guy to have strikeout stuff, obviously.
  • The same article notes that, indeed, in his rough outing yesterday, closer Carlos Marmol was just working on locating his fastball, rather than trying to pitch perfectly.

  • The Cubs Bunt Tournament is almost to a final four. Casey Coleman, Paul Maholm, and Welington Castillo are the first three in the group, after beating Jeff Beliveau, Randy Wells, and Adrian Cardenas. The other final four spot will go to the winner of Starlin Castro vs. David DeJesus.
  • Carrie Muskat answers a handful of questions, noting, among other things, that Randy Wells does indeed have an option year left. Something to keep in mind.
  • Fluff on Dale Sveum, partly from the Brewers’ perspective.
  • MLBullets over at BCB – Jonathan Papelbon takes little pooplebon on Red Sox fans.

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