Today is the first full squad workout at Spring Training for the Cubs, so hopefully we’ll soon get some of those totally meaningless, but totally fun batting practice videos to share. The crack of the bat, baby.
- Many thoughts from and about Anthony Rizzo at CSN, Cubs.com, Tribune, and ESPN, among others. It sounds like Rizzo looks forward to greeting the youngsters (he’s just 24, himself) when they’re ready to break in with the big club, but he sees much more value in developing at the big league level as early as possible, rather than waiting to get a set number of at bats in the minors. It’s an interesting perspective from a guy who came up very young, struggled in San Diego, went back down, and then came back up after a half-year and had success. It looks like the story of a guy who needed more development time in the minors, but you could also argue that coming up and failing was the best developmental/learning tool Rizzo has received over the last few years. Of course, as our discussions in the comments the last couple days have demonstrated, there’s a natural disconnect between a player’s desire for the earliest promotion possible and the organization’s desire to save the promotion for the right time developmentally and, well, service time-ily. It’s an interesting topic – the balance of development, finances, need, and competitiveness – that’ll play out again and again over the course of the next few years as the Cubs’ top prospects rise toward the big leagues.
- Jesse Rogers held a pretty good chat yesterday, which included a couple factual bits: Jake Arrieta says he’ll be throwing off of a mound by Friday, and Jorge Soler will be starting the season at AA. On that second one, it’s possible Rogers was making an educated guess, but a AA start for Soler would be a surprisingly positive development after his injury-marred 2013 season. I wonder if how he looks in Spring Training could still go a long way to determining his starting level.
- Cubs VP of Scouting and Player Development Jason McLeod took in Tyler Beede’s start last Friday for Vanderbilt, per Mark Gonzales. Beede, a righty starter, is a candidate for the Cubs’ first round pick (4th overall) in June. But, ease up: McLeod will see lots and lots of players over the next few months.
- Lots of quotes about Rick Renteria.
- As someone who writes about the Cubs for a living, let me just say it would be a privilege to have David Ortiz on the team. Example, here’s a snippet from a parking lot interview with Ortiz yesterday, per the Boston Herald: “I don’t even know why they’re bitching about me talking about contracts,” Ortiz said. “Guys putting up my numbers, they’re making $25, $30 million. I’m not asking for that. I’m asking for half of it. And they’re still bitching about it? [Expletive] them. I’m tired of hearing them talk [expletive] about me when I talk about my contract. Hey, every time I talk about my contract, I earn it, [expletive]. So don’t be giving me that [expletive].” That is just [expletive] glorious, man.
- And your prospect porn of the day:
— Brett Taylor (@BleacherNation) February 19, 2014