Tag: Chicago Cubs

Cubs Spring Training 2017 Preview: Predictions, Players to Watch and More

The Chicago Cubs will enter the 2017 season as marked men, looking to undertake the uphill battle that is repeating as World Series champions. Just three times in the last 30 years has a team managed to win consecutive titles, as the New York Yankees won three in a row from 1998 to 2000 and the Toronto Blue Jays won it all in 1992 and 1993. The Cubs have the talent to join that exclusive club. Even with the departures of Dexter Fowler, Aroldis Chapman, Jason Hammel, Jorge Soler, Travis Wood and a handful of others, it's hard to find a hole in the roster without nitpicking. Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo will once again anchor a dynamic young offense, while the trio of Jon Lester, Jake Arrieta and Kyle Hendricks atop the rotation stacks up to any staff in baseball. The bullpen lost one of the game's best closers in Chapman and replaced him ...




World Series Champion Chicago Cubs Visit President Obama at the White House

For the first time since 1888, the Chicago Cubs visited the White House on Monday to meet President Barack Obama and celebrate the team's first World Series title since 1908. "They said this day would never come," Obama said to open his remarks, per the ESPN broadcast, amid laughter and applause in the White House. "Here is something my predecessors never got to say: Welcome to the White House the World Series champion Cubs." He added: I will say, it took you long enough. I've got four days left. Eight years ago, I made a lot of promises, some of which we've accomplished. But not even I was crazy enough to promise that the Cubs would win the World Series. But I did say there's nothing false about hope. The audacity of hope. The president spoke more about hope and how it brought together fans of the Cubs throughout the years, per CBS News: He ...




Cubs in Prime Position to Use Checkbook to Magnify Future Dominance

The rich get richer. The good get better. It doesn't always work that way, but sometimes it does. Just ask the Chicago Cubs. One year after winning their first World Series since the debut of the Model T Ford, the Cubs are positioned for another deep postseason run. Their potent lineup remains intact. They expect a full, healthy season from Kyle Schwarber. They plugged the hole in the back of their bullpen by acquiring closer Wade Davis and signing veteran setup man Koji Uehara. FanGraphs projects a 95-67 record for Chicago in 2017, but that feels more like the Cubs' floor than their ceiling. That's this year. But here's a blood-curdling thought for MLB's other 29 franchises: The Cubs are positioned to get even better in the near future. I'm not just talking about the growth of the club's young core, though that's part of it. Kris Bryant (age 25), Javier Baez (age 24), Schwarber (age ...




World Series Champion Cubs Reveal Date for White House Visit

The Chicago Cubs will be the last team to visit President Barack Obama in the White House before he leaves office on Jan. 20.  According to NBC 5 Chicago's Mary Ann Ahern, the Cubs—who hail from Obama's hometown—will meet with the 44th president on Monday, Jan. 16.  Although Obama is a noted Chicago White Sox fan, he publicly supported the Cubs during their come-from-behind World Series run as they took down the Cleveland Indians in seven thrilling games: First Lady Michelle Obama also tweeted her support of the Cubs in the midst of their historic championship run: In December 2016, the Chicago Tribune's Paul Sullivan reported the Cubs were working to try to arrange a meeting with Obama before President-elect Donald Trump takes office.  "Because of the respect the organization has for the White House and for the president, it's something you'd like to see if we can make it happen," Cubs spokesman Julian Green said, per Sullivan.  And ...




Predicting Chicago Cubs Depth Charts a Month Ahead of Spring Training

For the first time since the 1909 season, the Chicago Cubs will carry the enormous target that comes with being the defending World Series champions. There's no shortage of talent returning for the upcoming season, and they will undoubtedly be among the favorites to win it all once again in 2017. However, there are still some roster questions that need to be answered. Dexter Fowler, Aroldis Chapman, Jason Hammel, Travis Wood, Chris Coghlan and Trevor Cahill are all key free agents from last year's squad, while David Ross rode off into the sunset in retirement and Jorge Soler was shipped to the Kansas City Royals in a winter meetings trade. That leaves the club with some important depth-chart decisions to make this spring as they prepare for the upcoming season. Ahead is an early look at how said depth chart might unfold, including projected starters at each position, the "next man up" should injury strike, further ...




Chicago Cubs’ Top Free-Agent, Trade Targets Post New Year

Fresh off a long-awaited World Series title and with a young core that rivals any in baseball, the Chicago Cubs entered the offseason with a fairly short to-do list. Wade Davis and Koji Uehara have been added to the back of the bullpen, and veteran outfielder Jon Jay was signed to pair with Albert Almora Jr. in replacing Dexter Fowler in center field. With those moves made, there appear to be two major areas the team may still look to address before the starting of spring training: Starting pitching depth: The departure of Jason Hammel will likely push Mike Montgomery into the starting rotation as the No. 5 starter behind the returning staff of Jon Lester, Jake Arrieta, Kyle Hendricks and John Lackey. Also, losing Travis Wood and Trevor Cahill leaves the team without much in the way of depth, so at the very least a capable arm or two that can be stashed in ...




How Good Can Cubs Offense Be If Jason Heyward Returns from Dead in 2017?

Last winter, the Chicago Cubs signed Jason Heyward to an eight-year, $184 million contract. Less than 11 months later, they won their first World Series since the Teddy Roosevelt administration. Here's the rub: They did it as much in spite of Heyward as because of him. Heyward played 142 games in his first season on the North Side and won a Gold Glove for his work in right field. His exploits in the batter's box, however, defined abysmal. He hit .230 and set career lows in on-base percentage (.306) and slugging percentage (.325). It's not as if his stat line was undone by one cold stretch, either. Heyward spread his mediocrity across the season, hitting above .250 in only one calendar month (June, when he hit .257) and posting an especially anemic .213/.270/.308 slash line after the All-Star break. He did little to redeem himself in the postseason, going 5-for-48 with 13 strikeouts and starting ...




Kris Bryant Monster Extension Should Be Next Move for Champion Cubs

The Chicago Cubs finally won the World Series in 2016. And by looking at their roster, it sure looks like they can turn right around and win another in 2017. So, they might as well set their sights on the more distant future—specifically on how long they can keep Kris Bryant around with a contract extension worthy of his talents. The Cubs don't need their star third baseman to prove anything else. All he's done in the last four years is make everyone else look bad. Bryant was Baseball America's College Player of the Year and the No. 2 pick in the draft in 2013. He was the Minor League Player of the Year in 2014. He was the National League Rookie of the Year in 2015. This year, he was the NL MVP and a World Series champion. Bryant already owns a .900 career OPS with 65 home runs and 21 stolen ...




Joe Maddon Responds to Aroldis Chapman’s Comments on World Series Usage

Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon defended himself Saturday after Aroldis Chapman criticized his usage in the World Series. "Would I do it differently? No," Maddon said in an interview with the New York Post's Kevin Kernan. "There is no Game 7 without winning Game 6. And there is no Game 8 if you don’t win Game 7. That’s why you do what you have to do." Chapman appeared in Games 6 and 7 of the Fall Classic. His inclusion in Game 6 was surprising considering the Cubs were up 7-2 at the time. The four-time All-Star had also thrown a season-high 42 pitches two days earlier. By the time Chapman took the mound in the eighth inning of Game 7, he looked gassed. He allowed an RBI double to Brandon Guyer and then a game-tying home run to Rajai Davis. "The important game was going to be Game 7," Chapman said of appearing in ...




Koji Uehara to Cubs: Latest Contract Details, Comments, Reaction

After four years with the Boston Red Sox, veteran reliever Koji Uehara has found a new home with the Chicago Cubs.  ESPN.com's Jesse Rogers reported Wednesday that Uehara inked a one-year, $6 million deal with the defending World Series champs, and the Cubs later announced the news.  Uehara is one of the most interesting relievers in Major League Baseball. He has performed at a high level for nearly a decade despite having a fastball that FanGraphs' stats show has never averaged more than 89.2 mph and dipped to a career-low 86.7 mph in 2016.  The key to Uehara's success is his split-finger fastball that drops off the table when he's at his best, as Tim Britton of the Providence Journal wrote in 2014: "It was also the most effective his splitter has ever been, as opponents hit a beggarly .096 off the pitch in 2013. It induced a career-high whiff rate of 28 percent." Turning 41 last ...




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