Matt Murton’s stomach was bothering him last Thursday, so he took some Tums and Pepto Bismol, but that didn’t alleviate the pain. One day later, Murton was in a hospital to undergo an appendectomy.
The Cubs open the Cactus League season on Thursday against the Brewers, and aren’t going to waste time seeing if Javier Baez can play the outfield. Baez will start in center and bat sixth in the first Spring Training game, to be played in Phoenix.
Jake Arrieta was honored to be named the Cubs’ Opening Day starter, but he downplayed the assignment.
The only thing holding Duane Underwood back right now is allergies. The right-handed pitcher, ranked No. 4 on the list of top 30 Cubs prospects by MLB.com, has been slowed because of the high pollen count in Arizona. That doesn’t mean Underwood is not taking advantage of his first big league Spring Training camp.
Joe Maddon made the easiest decision he’ll likely have this spring on Tuesday when he announced that reigning National League Cy Young Award winner Jake Arrieta will be the Cubs’ Opening Day starter.
The Cubs are hoping they have enough depth, and the addition of players like outfielders Dexter Fowler and Shane Victorino certainly helps. Maddon can’t wait for the games to begin. The Cubs open Cactus League play Thursday against the Brewers.
Jon Lester likes being able to get a feel for a new ballpark before a game, while John Lackey says it doesn’t really matter. The two Cubs starters had their first action at Sloan Park on Tuesday, each throwing two innings in a simulated game.
It’s been a little crazy for pitcher Stephen Fife. “Big leagues to bartending in six months,” Fife said. “Then I went back to pro ball, and here I stand. The game will find a way to humble you.”
Cubs second baseman Ben Zobrist had to battle emotions last December. He was born and went to high school in Eureka, Ill., a small town about 120 miles southwest of Chicago and about 180 miles northeast of St. Louis, in the part of Central Illinois where that Cubs-Cardinals rivalry creates heated debates.
Cubs fans won’t see the projected rotation in the first four Cactus League games as the team eases Jake Arrieta, Jon Lester, and John Lackey into spring games. Travis Wood will start the Cactus League opener Thursday against the Brewers.
Cubs players were greeted by a clown, confetti and some Earth, Wind & Fire on Monday morning. Manager Joe Maddon drove his souped-up van, which he calls “Cal State Fullerton,” onto the agility field before the morning stretch, stopped in front of the players and then the music started.