The start of spring training is more than two months away, with the Cubs still looking for late-inning relief help, a middle infielder with leadership skills and perhaps a backup catcher. Team President Theo Epstein and Hoyer each have expressed the bitterness of the Cubs' season starting to erode in August and abruptly ending with a loss to the Rockies in the National League wild-card game. Hoyer seems to feel as if only a tweak, such as the addition of an assertive reserve such as David Ross in 2015-16 and Jon Jay in 2017, could resurrect the Cubs' presence in the NL. “That's something we felt we missed last year,” said Hoyer, adding that Ross, a special assistant, will spend more time around the team this season.
Jesse Rogers ESPN Staff Writer Jesse joined ESPN Chicago in September 2009 and covers the Chicago Cubs for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN Radio 1000. Follow on Twitter LAS VEGAS -- With the lack of leadership in the clubhouse in 2018 dubbed a "miscalculation," the Chicago Cubs are searching for their next David Ross. The former catcher turned Cubs executive/ESPN broadcaster famously won over Chicago and the Cubs locker room in 2015 and 2016, helping the team to a World Series championship. But the Cubs haven't replaced that kind of leadership since Ross retired, and now it is one goal of the offseason. "We didn't have anyone like that on the roster last year," Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer said from
When Mark Cole moved with his family to Las Vegas in 1995, he immediately sought out a quality baseball program for his 6-year-old son, Taylor. “It was regressive,” Mark Cole said. For the next quarter-century, the list of major-leaguers from Las Vegas consisted of little more than a handful of mostly undistinguished players, a group highlighted by the likes of Marty Cordova, Doug Mirabelli and Ryan Ludwick.
Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that the Cubs won't deal Kyle Schwarber this winter, despite multiple inquires from teams around the league. Schwarber is approaching his first year of arbitration and will remain under team control for another three seasons before reaching free agency in 2022. Over 137 games and 510 PA for the Cubs, he proved a passable defender in left field and batted .238/.356/.467 with 26 home runs, an .823 OPS, and 3.2 fWAR in 2018. Despite his marked improvements from previous years, Schwarber's performance still left something to be desired — specifically against left-handed pitchers, who held the slugger to a paltry .224/.352/.303 with four extra-base hits across 91 PA.
Tommy Hottovy rarely sits still in a clubhouse, whether he's pinpointing a potential flaw on video, reviewing a preferred pitching sequence in front of a player's locker or opening a thick binder of scouting reports to review with his fellow coaches around a table covered with computers. In making the adjustment from advance scouting coordinator to pitching coach, Hottovy will focus on putting the Cubs staff in position to succeed. “I look at this (promotion) as just as much as showing the confidence and validation of the current infrastructure we have,” Hottovy said Friday, a day after the Cubs named him as Jim Hickey's replacement. With Hickey's departure after only one season, Mike Borzello added the title of associate pitching coach to his catching/strategy duties with assistance from bullpen coach Lester Strode.
A wildly popular Cubs-centric look at baseball's past. Here's a handy Cubs timeline, to help you follow along as we review select scenes from the rich tapestry of Chicago Cubs and Major League Baseball history. Today in baseball history: 1919 - The National League, spearheaded by the leadership of Pirates owner Barney Dreyfuss, approves the banning of the spitball, allowing just the current spitballers presently throwing the pitch to use it under a “grandfather” clause. A year later the American League will adopt the same rule. (1) Bio of Barney Dreyfuss. 1972 - The American League votes unanimously to adopt the designated hitter rule on a trial basis for three years. The concept that permits
Victor Caratini spent most of the last two seasons as the backup to Cubs catcher Willson Contreras. At 25, Caratini may be at a point where he doesn't want to be labeled as a career reserve, so he is playing for Caguas this winter in the Puerto Rican League. “This must be the year,” Caratini told Elnuevodia.com. “Playing here will help get me ready for spring training, demonstrating what I've always shown.” Last season Caratini earned the backup role on opening day but was optioned to Triple-A Iowa on May 28 to make room for veteran Chris Gimenez, who lasted only one month. Caratini finished with a .232 batting average, two home runs and 21 RBIs in 76 games. He gained more playing time in September.
Associated Press LAS VEGAS -- Chili Davis has been hired as hitting coach of the New York Mets after spending last season in that role with the Chicago Cubs. Davis was hitting coach for Oakland manager Bob Melvin (2012-14) and Boston manager John Farrell (2015-17) before moving to the Cubs under manager Joe Maddon. Davis was fired in October. The Cubs were 22nd among the 30 teams, with 167 home runs and finishing 13th with a .410 slugging percentage despite a .258 batting average that was third behind Boston and Cleveland. A three-time All-Star during a 19-year career that ended in 1999, Davis replaces Pat Roessler, who was fired after Mickey Callaway's first season as Mets manager. New York
ESPN ESPN will move up the starting time of the nationally televised Sunday Night Baseball game by one hour, with the first pitch planned for shortly after 7 p.m. ET. Philadelphia hosts Atlanta in the first Sunday night game next season, on March 31, the second game of a television doubleheader that begins with Texas playing the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. Among other Sunday night games next year will be a World Series rematch between the Dodgers and Red Sox at Fenway Park on July 14, three games between the Red Sox and Yankees (June 2 and Aug. 4 in the Bronx, July 28 in Boston) and the Little League Classic with Pittsburgh and the Cubs playing Aug. 18 in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. ESPN started
The departure of three coaches, the uncertainty of manager Joe Maddon's future beyond 2019 and two months without significant roster changes have created consternation among Cubs fans. The Cubs hope to ease those concerns soon. Team executives will travel to Las Vegas for the winter meetings, which begin Sunday, with some key questions looming. 1. Heading for a breakup? The atmosphere could be different in the Cubs' suite with Maddon evaluating potential trades and free-agent signings with his bosses who won't discuss an extension this winter with one season left on his contract. The uncertain status hasn't been lost on Joseph Maddon, the manager's son, who recently expressed disbelief on social
Adding free-agent superstar Bryce Harper wouldn't be enough to shore up all of the holes on the young White Sox roster. And even a successful trade for left-hander Cole Hamels on July 27 didn't vault the Cubs any further than the National League wild-card game. So both teams have plenty of boxes to check as the winter meetings began Sunday at the spacious Mandalay Bay resort. The Cubs may need to trade one or more of their top young major-league players to achieve the payroll flexibility needed to address their needs after they failed to reach the NL Championship Series for the first time since 2014. “Things change if you don't perform,” Cubs President Theo Epstein said. “That's the nature of
After six consecutive fourth and fifth-place finishes, are the White Sox ready to stand up in the American League Central? With a deep farm system and a low financial overhead, the Sox are in a position to accelerate their rebuilding — if they so desire. The Sox will arrive in Las Vegas for the winter meetings starting Sunday with plenty to offer free agents and several holes to fill as they embark on their long-awaited ascent. Here are some key questions facing the team. 1. Is the price on Bryce right? The prevailing thought is that the Sox, because they likely are not yet contenders, will need to make the ultimate sales pitch to entice free agent Bryce Harper, whose Nationals teams failed to