Cubs News and Notes: Cubs fall to Sox, Camp cuts, Zo's future, KB on arbitration ruling


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Lester had an impressive performance on Friday (Rick Scuteri - USA Today Sports)
Lester had an impressive performance on Friday (Rick Scuteri - USA Today Sports)

Next Game: Today: Split Squad – 2:05 PM Cubs at Indians from Goodyear Ballpark; 3:05 PM: Reds @ Cubs from Las Vegas Ballpark, Las Vegas, Nevada.

Opening Day: 19 days- Thursday, March 26, 2020: Cubs vs. Brewers (Miller Park).

Game Recap: Yesterday, Jon Lester made his third start of the spring as the Cubs hosted the White Sox at Sloan Park. Lester allowed a run but struck out five while walking two in 2-2/3 innings of work.

There weren't many high spots in yesterday's game, as the South Siders beat the Cubs by a final of 6-3.

First cuts: David Ross made his first cuts of the spring on Friday, shaving the Cubs' roster from 62 to 51. Robel Garcia and Tyson Miller have been optioned to Triple-A Iowa, while pitchers Justin Steele and Manuel Rodriguez were optioned to Double-A Tennessee.

In addition to those four, seven of the non-roster invites also met their fate, being sent back to the minors. Included in the group was catcher Jhonny Pereda, right-handers Jason Adam, Oscar De La Cruz, Caleb Simpson, and Brock Stewart, and left-handers Tyler Olson and CD Pelham.

With the next week to 10 days, you should expect to see another group cut, as Ross attempts to shape what will become the Cubs 26-man roster.

Zobrist's future: Ben Zobrist hasn't fully decided what his future will hold, but yesterday he reiterated to Bruce Levine (670 The Score) that he would not play this season, choosing instead to spend more time concentrating on his family. Zobrist has not officially announced his retirement as a player, but that certainly looks to be the case.

The funny part is that Jordan Bastian was also in that group of reporters but didn't apparently receive the message the same way.

I'd personally trust Bastian more, but on the other hand, I really think Ben is a done as a player. In the interim, David Ross said, "He's here just observing, hanging out with the boys. He's just taking it in here, being around family. It's nice to have a World Series MVP in the room floating around. That never hurts anybody."

Zo did say that he hopes to work with the Cubs in some capacity in the future. He is currently in Mesa, serving as a guest instructor.

KB’s case: The Associated Press obtained a copy of the arbitrator’s (Mark Irvings) decision in Kris Brant’s service time grievance. In part, Irvings wrote, "the [MLBPA] could not satisfy its burden of proving that the Cubs' assignments of Bryant were done in bad faith to mask service time manipulation."

"The association was not able to produce memos, emails, or texts from Epstein to show he had a nefarious motive at variance with his public comments," Irvings wrote, adding that "unforeseen events had forced Epstein's hand."

Irvings went on to add that "this decision does not address the global issue of whether clubs have the right to manage service time to delay a player's achievement of the service benchmarks for salary arbitration and free-agent eligibility."

Bryant told Bob Nightengale (USA Today), "I think we need to look at how early in your career you provide so much value to a team, and you're a significantly huge bargain. And then when it's your turn to fight for your value, people only want to see what you've done recently. I just feel like we should definitely change that structure where you're paid earlier on, and are quicker to arbitration and free agency, stuff like that. Certain things we should totally fight for."

Cubs' Birthdays: Celebrating yesterday, were ex-Cubs Leonys Martin (32), Jake Arrieta (34), Terry Adams (47), and posthumously, Ted Abernathy (87), Bill Sweeney (134), and Alfred "Hal" Mauck (151).

Baseball Quotes: A-Rod believes that the Astros deserve what's coming to them after showing no remorse for cheating: "I served the longest suspension in MLB history. It cost me well over $35 million, and you know what? I deserved that."

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