Results tagged ‘ Spring Training ’
The Cubs will play a six-inning exhibition game on Wednesday at Cubs Park, a tune-up for the start of Cactus League play. The game, which will start at 1 p.m. Arizona time, will feature Kyle Hendricks and Eric Jokisch as the starters. Gates are expected to open one hour before the game begins.
The Cubs are expected to test Cubs Park on Monday, holding part of the workout there.
“I’m looking forward to seeing how it all shakes out and how we can combine the use of the [practice] fields during the rest of the spring,” manager Rick Renteria said. “The next couple days will give us a little test.”
The Cubs open the Cactus League season on Thursday at their new home stadium against the Diamondbacks.
— Carrie Muskat
The Cubs have lost 197 games the last two seasons combined, and aren’t predicted to finish at the top of the tough National League Central this year. Don’t tell Donnie Murphy that.
“Everything you read out there, we’re one of the worst teams in baseball,” Murphy said Tuesday of the preseason prognosticators. “I think that’s a lot of motivation. Twenty-five of us don’t think we’re the worst team in baseball.
“We all look at [that critique] as a positive and it makes us even more hungry and we want to prove people wrong,” he said. “I think guys will bounce back. Everybody knows [Starlin] Castro isn’t that kind of player, everybody knows [Darwin] Barney isn’t that kind of player, everybody knows [Anthony] Rizzo isn’t a .230 hitter.
“We have guys who can bounce back and put together good years, and you make a decent run and hopefully get close and make the playoffs. We know what type of players we have in this clubhouse. We just have to put it together.”
Murphy, 30, is hoping he’s one of the guys who gets a chance to do that with the Cubs. Promoted to the big league team last Aug. 3, Murphy hit a career-high 11 home runs in 46 games with the Cubs, equaling his total between the 2008, 2010-12 seasons combined.
Despite his short time with the Cubs, he finished third among the third baseman in games played and total at-bats, trailing Luis Valbuena and Cody Ransom. Ransom signed with a Japanese team this year, but Valbuena is back along with Mike Olt, acquired from the Rangers in the Matt Garza deal last July.
Valbuena, who batted .218 and hit 12 home runs in 94 games at third, is considered the leading candidate to start there on Opening Day. Olt, who appears to have overcome vision problems, will contend for the job as well. Murphy hasn’t been mentioned much.
“That’s fine,” he said after a workout with some of the early bird position players at the Cubs’ new spring facility. “It means I’m under the radar. That’s fine with me. I don’t take exception to that. I know there’s Valbuena, I know there’s Olt. There’s going to be competition, but it’s fun competition. We’re all good friends and it’s all good nature.”
— Carrie Muskat
MESA, Ariz. — There’s still some finishing touches to be done at the Cubs’ new Spring Training facility in west Mesa, which will be officially opened on Wednesday with a ribbon cutting ceremony. The front entrance to the team offices is waiting for a new desk and the walls to be finished, and there’s scaffolding under the stairs. Boxes are stacked in various rooms, waiting to be emptied. Some of the early bird players were wandering the halls, trying to find shortcuts from the meal room to the locker room.
Fans who want to watch workouts can enter on Cubs Way off of Rio Salado Parkway on the far west side of the facility. A security guard said fans should be able to park there, watch the workouts, then walk along the west side of the facility and get to the stadium without having to move their cars. That is subject to change, of course.
It was cloudy and cool on Thursday but there were several players in camp, including Travis Wood, Darwin Barney, Logan Watkins, Donnie Murphy, Nate Schierholtz, James Russell, Blake Parker, Edwin Jackson, Josh Vitters, Matt Szczur and Chris Rusin. There also were a few non-roster invitees, including Ryan Kalish.
Pitchers and catchers report in one week, Feb. 13, with the first workout the next day. The first game is Feb. 27 vs. the Diamondbacks.
— Carrie Muskat
Cubs fans who can’t get to Arizona for Spring Training will be able to follow the team on the air. The majority of the Cubs’ Cactus League games will be available via television, radio or Internet radio broadcast. A Cubs game will be available every game day of the spring schedule via one or more broadcast mediums, and 33 of the 36 games are scheduled to be available overall.
The schedule features 10 games televised by Cubs broadcast partners (four by WGN and six by Comcast SportsNet), an increase from the six televised last season. There will be eight on the WGN Cubs radio network and 23 via Internet radio broadcast on Cubs.com. Fans will be able to access the Cubs webcasts on Cubs.com and MLB.com for free by registering for a log-in account with the website.
WGN TV will broadcast the first game from the team’s new spring home, Cubs Park, on Thursday, Feb. 27 against the Diamondbacks. WGN Radio will have its first broadcast the next day, Feb. 28, for the game against the Angels and feature the debut of new analyst Ron Coomer. Comcast SportsNet’s first game will be Sunday, March 16 against the Indians.
Cubs TV play-by-play announcer Len Kasper will again join Mick Gillispie, radio broadcaster for Double-A Tennessee, for most of the Cubs.com Internet radio broadcasts. You can find the Spring Training schedule on Cubs.com.
Another photo from Cubs prospect Dustin Geiger, who is already in Mesa, Ariz., prepping for Spring Training. I asked if he could send some pictures of sunshine since it’s so cold here in Chicago, and he obliged. Tickets for spring games go on sale Saturday and there will be an open house on Jan. 25 at the new Cubs Park in Mesa. Pitchers and catchers report on Feb. 13.