The Hot Corner: Baez, Contreras take BP, Russell speaks out, injury updates, more


by - Columnist -
Benny Sieu - USA Today Sports
Benny Sieu - USA Today Sports

Cubs’ news and notes

Cubs’ Opening Day: 39 days. (March 28 vs. Rangers)

First Spring Training game: 6 Days. (Saturday, February 23, Brewers vs. Cubs at Sloan Park)

Kyle Hendricks: Control, control, control… 6,374 tosses since Hendricks last threw a wild pitch.

Joe Maddon: The Cubs skipper says he doesn’t foresee any late additions to spring training making the Opening Day roster. Joe says who you see tomorrow will likely make up the roster.

Mike Montgomery:Monty is being limited to playing long-toss catch, due to a stiff shoulder. Pitching coach, Tommy Hottovy, says he’ll be able to start throwing again in two to three days.

Junichi Tazawa: Due to visa problems in his home country of Japan, Tazawa is not yet with the team but is expected to arrive by Monday.

Tony Barnette: One of the Cubs’ new editions had this to say about his rehab: “Everything is rebounding great. All the scans show a full heal, and I’ve been rocking and haven’t held anything back. The progress has been phenomenal.”

Barnette posted a 2.39 ERA in 22 appearances with the Rangers last season.

Brandon Kintzler: According to ESPN’s Jesse Rogers, “Light day at Cubs camp. Spoke with Bandon Kintzler. Don't sleep on him. Not long removed from being an all-star. Maddon wants him to be a ground ball machine. Knows he'll get in there for some double-play opportunities.”

Addison Russell: During a press conference Friday, Addison Russell spoke to the press for the first time since his suspension. When asked about backlash from the fans over Russell’s suspension and the reason behind it, Russell replied, “"I'm learning how to cope with my feelings and emotions, to handle adversity when I face them. Through my process and through my treatment I feel really confident that this issue should not come up again."

Russell went on to say, “I know that there’s been a lot that’s been said and reported these past few months. I don’t want to get into any specifics. But what I do want to say is I am accountable for my past actions. I’m not proud of the person I was. I do want to own this issue and take responsibility for the hurt and the pain that I’ve caused Melisa. And for that, I am sorry."

Former Cubs legends: Fergie Jenkins and Rick Sutcliffe are in camp to help out this Spring Training:



Cubs players taking BP: Javier Baez and Willson Contreras taking batting practice in the following videos:




Other news and rumors from around the league

Bryce Harper: According to MLB Network’s Jon Heyman, “Harper talks with Phillies appear to be intensifying, but no word anything’s done, and to this point, it seems other interested teams haven’t been told they are out. That includes Padres, Nats, Giants, Chisox, multiple mystery teams.”

Angels: Los Angles has signed pitcher, Dan Jennings, and is reportedly also showing interest in third-baseman, Mike Moustakas.

Brewers: The Brewers have re-signed third-baseman, Mike Moustakas. With the uncertainty of the free-agent market, rumors say that Travis Shaw is now also seeking an extension from Milwaukee.

Mets: NY has signed shortstop, Adeiny Hechavarria.

Padres: SD will be signing RHP Aaron Loup to a one-year deal worth $1.2M.

Rangers: Texas has signed free-agent outfielder, Ben Revere, to a minor league deal. Revere will be at spring training vying for a spot as a backup outfielder on the major league team.

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