I head back out to Arizona for more Spring Training goodness tomorrow, so if you’re around the park over the next week, look for a dashing gentleman with blue and red shoes on. Say hello. It’s possible it’s me.
But even if it’s not, you might make a new friend.
- Jake Arrieta feels really good and strong. I know. Story at 11. After another dominating-looking start yesterday, Arrieta’s next outing will come on Saturday against minor leaguers, but it’s certainly no reflection of his readiness for more competitive action. Indeed, he tells Phil Rogers and Patrick Mooney that, even after just a couple weeks of rest last year following his extremely long season, he knew he was going to bounce back well. And he’s ready to take on 250 innings again (Cubs.com, CSN): “The fatigue is just one of those things you can’t necessarily account for. That innings jump was difficult. I had to just deal with it by going through some fatigue at the end. Now I’ve obviously bounced back. I’m in better shape than I’ve ever been in, and I’m ready for another 250 [innings].”
- Hopefully he gets there – not because he throws a complete game every start (the Cubs have already put a plan into motion that will limit his innings a bit in the early going), but instead because he’ll make about six or seven overwhelmingly dominant starts in the postseason.
- And, in case you were wondering: yes, he kinda did walk Derek Norris yesterday on purpose so that he could work with a runner on base (Tribune).
- A great profile on Matt Murton, and his long stay in Japan, plus his return to the States. The article also gets into the time period when he left MLB in favor of the opportunity in Japan, and how the Cubs let him go, despite his ostensible success with the team.
- The Cubs have extended their partnership with Pepsi, so you Coke lovers out there (guilty) will just have to deal with it. As part of the new deal, Pepsi will be sponsoring the batter’s eye in center field, so you’ll see new Pepsi branding out there, and there are also some fan-related activities they’ll be participating in during the season.
- At BP Wrigleyville, Ryan Davis takes a look at Javier Baez at every single position – some serious, some less so.
- It’s a little sad to see cheap Starlin Castro shirseys on Amazon.
- Jose Bautista taking on the Phillie Phanatic in a fitness competition was, for me, extremely entertaining. Maybe I’m just cheesy like that.
- Luis got some great shots of Arrieta from yesterday’s start (including the lovely one above), and you can see more here:
Jake Arrieta still looks good (spring training photos) https://t.co/Issxxw1eJM
— Luis M. (@lcm1986) March 15, 2016
- The extent to which I’m comfortable mentioning politics around here:
— Brett Taylor (@BleacherNation) March 15, 2016