Results tagged ‘ Kris Bryant ’

3/13 Cubs lineups

Sorry for the late post. Drove from Phoenix to Las Vegas, and just arrived. The Cubs play split squad games on Friday. Here’s the lineup vs. the Indians in Mesa:

Denorfia DH
Szczur CF
Alcantara 2B
Castro SS
Olt 3B
Coghlan LF
Ross C
Sweeney RF
Baxter 1B

Wada P

And here’s the lineup vs. the Athletics in Las Vegas at Cashman Field:

Fowler CF
Rizzo 1B
Soler RF
Montero C
Baez 2B
Bryant DH
Lake LF
La Stella 3B
Russell SS

Arrieta P

* Kris Bryant belted two home runs on Thursday against the Angels. Manager Joe Maddon likes what he’s seen of the young third baseman.

“It’s been pretty impressive,” Maddon said Friday in Mesa. “A lot of times early in camp, the pitchers are maybe not using all of their pitches. They’re just getting fastballs over, whatever. But this guy has done it before. I watch him in practice, and the practice is impressive also. I’ve said it before, I know he knows he’s good. But he does it in the right way. He’s kind of humble about it.”

But the question Cubs fans want to know is will Bryant be on the Opening Day roster?

“Again you have to see him cope with a Major League season, because it totally turns different,” Maddon said. “The moment the first pitch is thrown, everything changes. People may not understand it, but it’s true — the difference between a regular season and a Spring Training is incredibly different. But, again, this guy’s different. He’s good. He’s going to be really good.”

— Carrie Muskat

3/12 Bryant blasts 3rd HR

Will Ferrell replaced Mike Trout in center field for the Angels in the third inning, but the Cubs’ Kris Bryant hit a ball too far for anyone to get. Mike Olt walked to open the Chicago third against Matt Lindstrom and Bryant then launched a towering home run to left center, well out of reach of Ferrell. Bryant, who led the Minor Leagues with 43 home runs, now has three blasts this spring, all coming on the road.

Ferrell did show his glovework when he cleanly fielded Welington Castillo’s single to center one out later.

3/12 Ferrell at first

Kris Bryant was a little worried about making a good throw to first. After all, Will Ferrell will be receiving the throw. Ferrell was to play first base for the Cubs in the fourth or fifth inning, depending on his arrival at Tempe Diablo Stadium Thursday for their game against the Angels.

As part of a new HBO special from Funny Or Die, Ferrell will be at five different Spring Training ballparks in Arizona. He’s doing so to honor the historic feat of Bert Campaneris five decades ago by playing every position on the field for 10 different teams in the same day.

Cubs pitcher Jon Lester won’t be there and was a little miffed. He posted on Twitter: “Bummed to miss the #FerrellTakesTheField fun today but love the cause! Remember, it’s hot out there, milk would be a bad choice! @NVRQT

Mike Olt will start at first for the Cubs and then hand over his glove to Ferrell. Did Olt have any tips?

“He’s asking the wrong guy,” said Olt, who normally plays third for the Cubs. “I don’t know how to play first base either. He might do just as well. Just have fun with it. That’s all that matters.”

Asked if he was worried that Ferrell might take his roster spot, Olt smiled.

“I talked to [Anthony] Rizzo about it, and he and I are both a little nervous,” Olt deadpanned.

Bryant was starting at third base. It’ll be up to him to make a good throw.

“It’s exciting — it’s kind of scary, too,” Bryant said. “Hopefully, he knows how to catch the ball. I’m sure he does. He’s a big target. That might help us out throwing to first.”

Any advice?

“Block the ball, keep it in front,” Bryant said. “I don’t think he’ll do as good a job as Rizzo over there. I think if we give him a good throw, he’ll handle it.”

Ferrell’s goal is to honor “Campy” Campaneris while also helping organizations dedicated to fighting cancer, including Cancer for College. On Sept. 8, 1965, Campaneris, in only his second Major League season, went 0-for-3 playing all nine positions for the Kansas City Athletics in a game against the California Angels.

“It says a lot about their character and a lot about that person and you gain a lot of respect for people who do that,” Olt said of Ferrell’s efforts. “I think for him doing this, it’ll be huge [for the cause].”

Ferrell is no stranger to the Cubs. He’s sung the seventh inning stretch at Wrigley Field and donned over-sized glasses to deliver his best Harry Caray impersonation. Now, he’s listed on the team’s active roster.

Bryant was excited to be part of it, too.

“I think it does put a little more pressure on me to make a better throw,” Bryant said. “And, I’m throwing to Will Ferrell, too. That’s pretty cool. I would’ve never expected that in a million years playing this game.”

— Carrie Muskat

3/11 Homer-happy Cubs


3/11 Back to back to back selfie

One of the first things Dexter Fowler did when he arrived at the Cubs complex Wednesday was to take a selfie with Jorge Soler, Javier Baez and Kris Bryant, a day after their back to back to back home runs. Anthony Rizzo snuck into the picture as well.

“It’s great and they’re all handling it very well,” Rizzo said of the buzz generated by the trio of homers in the fourth inning Tuesday against the Indians’ Trevor Bauer. “It’s exciting — everyone’s excited about it and so are we.”

Rizzo saw a teaser on television about the consecutive blasts, then watched video later.

“They were impressive swings,” Rizzo said. “Nothing amazes me with anyone in this camp and the talent, to be honest.”

Fowler was watching the game on MLB-TV, and figured Bryant had to connect after Soler and Baez did.

“I said, ‘He’s got to go deep right now,'” Fowler said.

And Bryant did, hitting his second spring home run to the opposite field in right.

“We didn’t make that big of a deal of it,” Bryant said. “I’ve never been a part of a back to back to back home runs. It was like any other home run. It’s a shame we didn’t win that game, if we would’ve won, it would’ve made it that much better. It’s a work in progress and we’re getting there. Get all the losses out in Spring Training and get ready for the season.”

— Carrie Muskat

3/10 Indians 10, Cubs 6

Jorge Soler, Javier Baez and Kris Bryant hit back to back to back home runs Tuesday in the fourth inning but it wasn’t enough as the Cubs lost, 10-6, to the Indians to fall to 0-6-1 in Cactus League play. Welington Castillo also homered in the sixth.

“I know people are concerned with that — I’m not at all concerned,” manager Joe Maddon said about the Cubs’ record. “I’d like to see us win often to get that lovin’ feeling going on right here. If you’re getting some wins, you’re probably doing some good things.”

Travis Wood started and gave up four runs, two earned, on seven hits over three innings.

“It’s still early in spring,” Wood said. “If it was the season and we were 0-4, we’d start to press. It’s spring and everybody is starting to get their feet under them, especially the young guys. Everything’s going to fall into place.”

* Up next: Jon Lester makes his second spring start Wednesday, taking the mound against the Dodgers and Zack Greinke at Sloan Park in Mesa. In his first Cactus League start, Lester struck out three of the first four batters he faced, then served up a broken-bat single before getting the next batter to ground into an inning ending double play. The game will be broadcast on with first pitch scheduled for 1:05 p.m. MT/3:05 p.m. CT.

— Carrie Muskat

3/10 Back to back to back blasts: Wow

Jorge Soler, Javier Baez and Kris Bryant put on a home run derby in the fourth inning Tuesday that Cubs fans are hoping to see a lot in the regular season. Soler led off the power show against the Indians’ Trevor Bauer with a mammoth shot to left that landed on the concourse behind the grassy berm. Two pitches later, Baez followed with his first home run and the ball landed in the same area as Soler’s. Bryant, who led the Minor Leagues with 43 homers last season, then connected on a monster opposite field shot to right field off a 1-1 pitch from Bauer to pull the Cubs within 4-3.

“You’ve got to let the hitters have some fun in Spring Training, too, right?” Bauer said.

The homers were the first for Soler and Baez, while Bryant hit his second this spring. Baez’s blast was his first hit this spring, ending an 0-for-9 start. It was an improvement after Sunday when the infielder said he felt “lost” after striking out three times.

“I feel great today, by the way,” Baez said, smiling.

After Bryant’s homer, Baez said the Cubs were able to smile in the dugout.

“I was just laughing, like, no way this is happening,” Baez said.

“I don’t know any other way to say it than just ‘Wow,’ especially those three guys,” Cubs starter Travis Wood said. “That’s what they’re here to do and they’ve made a name for themselves doing it coming up. To see it start happening is amazing.”

Bryant wasn’t trying to copy Soler and Baez after watching the first two homers.

“[I wanted to] get a good pitch to hit and hit it, and I did,” Bryant said. “That’s all I can really do in that situation. It was kind of cool seeing their homers and mine kind of just scraped over the wall but it gets the job done.”

Bryant’s homer was no cheap shot as it sailed to right.

“I got a good pitch, middle away,” he said. “I thought [Bauer] was going to throw me some sliders — he was throwing a lot of them. I saw Javy hit one off the slider, so I didn’t know if he had enough confidence in it to go with it again. He stuck with the fastball and I got a good one to hit.”

Bryant also gave Soler and Baez points because their homers traveled so far.

“They had the distance,” Bryant said. “I can’t hang with them in terms of distance but I’ll go right center. It was cool to watch them two hit some homers and me get in the action. It was fun.”

There was some good-natured razzing as Welington Castillo followed Bryant with a single in the fourth. He made up for it with a home run with one out in the top of the sixth.

“He might have been a little bit late, but we got the fourth one,” Wood said.

— Carrie Muskat

3/10 Back to back to back

Jorge Soler, Javier Baez and Kris Bryant put on a home run derby in the Cubs fourth inning Tuesday.

Soler led off against the Indians’ Trevor Bauer with a mammoth shot to left that landed on the concourse behind the grassy berm. Two pitches later, Baez followed with his first home run and the ball landed in the same area as Soler’s.

Bryant, who led the Minor Leagues with 43 homers last season, then connected on a monster opposite field shot to right field off a 1-1 pitch from Bauer to pull the Cubs within 4-3.

The blasts were the first for Soler and Baez, and Bryant’s second this spring. Baez’s homer was his first hit this spring, ending an 0-for-9 start.

— Carrie Muskat

3/8 Bryant vs. Gallo

On Sunday, Kris Bryant will get to watch Joey Gallo on the Rangers. Last season, Bryant led the Minor Leagues with 43 home runs for Double-A Tennessee and Triple-A Iowa; Gallo finished with 42 for Class A Myrtle Beach and Double-A Frisco.

“I love to watch him play,” Bryant said of Gallo, who also is a Las Vegas native but trained at a different facility than the Cubs top prospect. “He’ll probably hit another home run. He’s pretty good.”

Although the two know each other, they never exchanged texts about their home run pursuits.

“We never really talked about it, but I knew he was right behind me or he was right ahead of me,” Bryant said. “It’s fun to compete with someone you know and care about and care about their success. It was cool to see him have his success.”

Gallo did belt a two-run homer in the sixth of the All-Star Futures Game to give the U.S. team a 3-2 victory last July. At that point in the season, the two were tied for the Minor League home run lead at 31. What if Bryant and Gallo did have a home run hitting contest?

“He’d probably win,” Bryant said.

In batting practice during the Futures Game, Gallo broke the windshield of a truck parked on the concourse beyond the right field fence at Target Field.

“You get in those type of environments, people try to put on a show,” Bryant said. “I can’t hang with him. He’s a freak of nature, kind of like Javy [Baez], too.”

— Carrie Muskat

3/7 Rockies 7, Cubs 5

Kris Bryant hit a two-run homer in the second inning but it wasn’t enough as the Cubs lost 7-5 to the Rockies on Saturday in Scottsdale in front of a sellout crowd of 12,149. Matt Szczur added a home run leading off the ninth. Jason Hammel started, and walked leadoff batter Brandon Barnes, then served up a single and a three-run homer to Nolan Arenado before settling down. The Cubs right-hander gave up three runs on four hits and one walk in two innings. Bryant connected in the second inning, driving in Jorge Soler, who had singled. Albert Almora hustled to stretch his hit into a double in the eighth and eventually scored on a sacrifice fly. Felix Doubront followed Hammel and gave up one run on four hits over two innings in his outing. The Cubs now are 0-3-1 this spring.

* Up next: Jake Arrieta makes his first Cactus League start on Sunday when the Cubs play host to the Rangers at Sloan Park. Arrieta is coming off a stellar season with the Cubs in which he went 10-5 with a 2.53 ERA. He was limited last spring because of tightness in his right shoulder but has had no problems this year. Tsuyoshi Wada was scheduled to follow Arrieta. The game will be broadcast on WBBM radio with Pat Hughes and Ron Coomer at the mike.