Cubs Raiding the NFL for Coaches, Lefty Pitching Prospects, and Other Bullets

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Cubs Raiding the NFL for Coaches, Lefty Pitching Prospects, and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

Although the nightmarish cold has passed – it’s 12 degrees here! I’m gettin’ my bikini! – I woke up this morning to the kind of snow that makes roads nearly impassable. I had no idea it was supposed to snow like this, which yielded a third straight day off for the kiddos, who now benefit from a surprise five-day weekend where it’s been virtually impossible to go outside. Our sanity will be tested.

Elsewhere …

  • The Cubs have landed another coach from the ranks of the NFL, as Shane Wallen is joining the Cubs from the San Francisco 49ers (h/t MJ on Twitter):

  • As Wallen notes, he’ll be working with new Cubs Director of High Performance Adam Beard, who recently joined the Cubs from the Cleveland Browns. Wallen, before his gig with the 49ers, was previously a strength and conditioning intern with the Browns, working with Beard. You can read a profile on Wallen here., where you get a better sense for what more modern strength and conditioning work looks like.
  • I gotta say, I like the idea of the Cubs going after NFL strength and conditioning guys as they seek any additional edge they can find. Don’t get me wrong, baseball players are – on the whole – tremendous athletes, but what goes into building, maintaining, extending, and optimizing an NFL player’s body may be even more intense. If these guys can come in and improve the training in such a way to add just a touch more strength while also helping to better preserve health? That’s a huge win.
  • Wonder if the Cubs can poach Bill Belichick to be their new Director of Strategy and Camerawork. He busy right now?
  • It’s February 1 and Martin Maldonado is still available as an elite receiving, quality defensive, passable offensive, veteran back-up catcher. *loud throat clearing sound directed at Cubs*
  • Great thread here on Cubs pitching prospect Justin Steele, whose four-seamer just seems to have that extra giddy-up (“late life”):

  • Another lefty, Brailyn Marquez, gets a little “just missed” love from MLB Pipeline as a guy who was just outside the top 100: “The Cubs haven’t had much success developing pitchers, though they do have high hopes for Marquez, whose $600,000 bonus was the highest given to a left-hander during the 2015-16 international amateur signing period. He can run his fastball into the upper 90s, flashes a plus curveball with power and does a good job of throwing strikes.”
  • Speaking of prospects, if you missed the big META news yesterday, Luke is stepping away as our minor league guy this year. He remains a stud, and we’re so freaking lucky to have had him around this place for the last seven years.
  • The Caribbean Series gets under way in a few days, which always makes for some fun baseball at a time when you’re desperate for it:

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Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.