2/23 Early bird notes

The Cubs have moved the live batting practice sessions to Fields 1 and 2. Scheduled to throw on Field 1 Sunday are Blake Parker, Wesley Wright, James Russell and Jonathan Sanchez. On Field 2 will be Chris Rusin, Kyle Hendricks, Eric Jokisch and Carlos Pimentel. As always, this is subject to change.

If you see extra players on the fields, they are most likely the Minor Leaguers in town for a mini camp.

— Carrie Muskat


When the spring schedule begins later this week, with the Cubs facing other major league clubs, on which field will those games be principally played? Is the stadium where there is seating for thousands of fans designated Field 1? I’m confused.

I can tell you what I know jhosk, after that it’s all a guess on my part also. Drove by the Stadium last weekend, it is awesome and there were lots of Cub fans looking on the field. Looking to see guys working out, there was no one on the main field.
You drive around to the other side, there is another huge complex, looked like the workout field or fields. Also, there was a parking lot with security, I took that to be the players parking lot.
My wife and I just kept driving, there were alot of fans walking around already, young and old.

The Cactus League games will be played at Cubs Park, the main stadium. Right now, they’re using Fields 3-4-5-6 for a Minor League mini camp. The players on the Major League spring roster are using Fields 1 and 2, which are closest to the stadium. The Cubs most likely will take BP prior to games on Field 1. Still trying to figure that one out

Thanks for your help, Jasper. There are at least 5 separate fields, as we were told last week that it was Field 5 from which Baez hit a long ball that shattered a car windshield. I do not comprehend why that many fields are necessary. Feels redundant to myself or overkill, or whatever the appropriate word is. Are not the taxpayers of Mesa on the hook for all this? Seems to me no expense was spared.

Not at all jhosk, 5 fields are needed. Think of all the players from AA down, at least I think they are all in ST?? Someone know the answer?

Yes, they do need all of the fields. Right now, they have more than 60 players in big league spring camp and more than 50 in the Minor League mini camp, and the complex is able to handle all of them. And yes, when all of the Minor Leaguers arrive, there will be plenty of activity on all of the fields. The other thing to note is Fields 3-4-5-6 can be used by the city of Mesa

I don’t live in the area, so I might be mistaken, but don’t they use the fields for things other than spring training? For example, if a player gets hurt and goes to extended spring training or rehab, they go to the team’s facility in Mesa and work out there until they are ready to rejoin their club (whether it be the Cubs, the Kane County Cougars, or any other team within the organization). Then when the Arizona Rookie League starts up in the summer, that’s where the Cubs Rookie League team will play. Ditto the Arizona Fall League and the Mesa Solar Sox. And I believe the old HoHoKam facility was also used for some high school and junior college games as well (and also contained a few practice fields beyond just the main stadium). So I’m guessing the new facility will be open to that as well. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe the facility will be utilized year-round, and not just in February and March.
And I don’t know what the tax situation is in Mesa, but I do know that the Cubs and spring training in general are responsible for bring in a lot of tourism to the area. I know I personally took a vacation to Arizona a few years ago just to see a Cubs spring training game, and I’m sure I’m not the only one who has done so! Not only with tourism, but people who are planning on retiring might choose to do so in Arizona because they can still follow and see their favorite baseball team there. So even if the taxpayers of Mesa are on the hook for the bill, it will benefit them in the long run. Remember, the Cubs did briefly float the idea of moving their spring facilities to Naples, Florida a few years ago. If they went ahead and did that, then Arizona would have lost one of its biggest spring training draws and all the tourist money that comes along with it.

The Cubs bring about $130 million to Mesa alone.

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