One. More. Day. The ants have descended upon my pants.
- Dave Kaplan interviewed Anthony Rizzo about a few things, and Rizzo was actually fairly candid in his answers, noting that he’s honored to be one of the faces of the team, and that if he performs to the best of his ability, some day he and the Cubs will “rip up this contract” and “sign the really big bucks.” Hey, man, nothing would make the Cubs and the fans more happy than Rizzo performing so well that, with a couple years left on his deal, everyone agrees that another, bigger money extension is in order.
- I’m not crazy about how long Justin Ruggiano’s minor ankle issue has lingered, and he tells the Tribune that it will feel fine for a while, but after running on it over the course of several innings, it’ll start to hurt. The MRIs look clean, and he doesn’t think there’s a serious problem, but you had to hear about any kind of lingering issue that won’t seem to go away. We’ll know more when the regular season starts – the Cubs face a lefty tomorrow, so you’ve gotta figure Ruggiano will be in there if he can go.
- In that same Tribune piece, James Russell says he feels like his changeup is working for him again, which would be very good news, given that a good lefty changeup can be a very effective pitch against righties (the side of the plate that hammered Russell last year). You’d like for Russell not to have to be relegated to LOOGY duty all year, even if the numbers say he could be fantastic at it.
- Ricky Renteria compliments Brian “Schlit” Schlitter on sticking to it after he was cut from big league camp (Cubs.com), so much so that the Cubs decided to bring him back and put him on the Opening Day roster. Let that be a lesson for future cuts, I suppose.
- Matt Snyder with an NL Central storyline for each of the five teams heading into the 2014 season. For the Cubs, there are only so many reasonable choices for a national publication, so the “bounce back” of Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo seems a fair one.