Two years ago today, a trio of Cubs prospects did something that sent us all into orbit: Jorge Soler homered off of Indians prospect Trevor Bauer, then Javy Baez homered off of Bauer, and then Kris Bryant homered off of Bauer. Back-to-back-to-back. It was sublime:

  • You’re going to want to read Sahadev Sharma’s new profile on Cubs center fielder Albert Almora, which is a great reminder of what his path has been, and where he could be going. I really dig this, which Almora actually said to Sharma back in 2013 in the Arizona Fall League, when Almora was 19: “Our focus is the World Series. That’s our goal at the end of the day, whenever it happens, but it’s gonna happen. This organization is going to have that ring in the near future. We’re working really hard to get there.” That quote, from the fall after the Cubs had just failed to win more than 66 games for the second straight year, says not only a whole lot about Almora, but a whole lot about the organizational philosophy the Cubs were installing (successfully) at that time.
  • Speaking of Almora, he returns to the lineup today (calf).
  • A mild rumor-y bit to share from Jon Heyman and Tommy Stokke: apparently the Diamondbacks reached out to the Cubs about getting Miguel Montero back, but they were told the Cubs wanted to keep him. In retrospect, it’s pretty obvious that the Cubs needed to hang onto Montero, who figures to be among the better backup catchers in baseball (and a big bounceback candidate with the bat), but there were some offseason rumors about interested teams. Montero, 33, will make $14 million this year before reaching free agency.
  • You think the players don’t care about the WBC? Cardinals starter Carlos Martinez was pumping fastballs over 100mph(!) in the Dominican Republic’s win over Team Canada last night.
  • Former Cubs pitcher Ryan Dempster started for Canada in that one, and, although he did get knocked around by a ridiculous DR lineup, I still say it was pretty impressive that he could finish two innings a couple years after retirement. (Perhaps Theo Epstein’s shot off of him the other week gave the Dominicans a blueprint …. )
  • This is fantastic: Joe Maddon opening a 25-year-old pack of baseball cards, and discussing what he remembers of the players and his own experiences with them. Just fantastic.
  • The Yankees have a longstanding – and long mocked – rule about facial hair and long hair, which whatever. It’s dumb, and I mostly ignore it. But this is truly ridiculous, and they should probably be embarrassed that it came to this:


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