Cubs

Cubs 2015 MLB Draft Tracker: Day 3

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Cubs 2015 MLB Draft Tracker: Day 3

The Cubs opted for a position player in the first round for the fourth time in a row during the Theo Epstein regime and used Day 2 to load up on arms.

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Check out the complete list of players the Cubs drafted in Day 3, spanning rounds 11 through 40:

Round 11, No. 323: Matt Rose, 3B, Georgia State

Round 12, No. 353: P.J. Higgins, 2B, Old Dominion

Round 13, No. 383: Kyle Twomey, LHP, USC - (Note: Was drafted in the third round by the Oakland A's in 2012 out of high school, but didn't sign.)

Round 14, No. 413: Jake Kelzer, RHP, Indiana

Round 15, No. 443: Scott Effross, RHP, Indiana - (Note: Cubs opted to go for Kyle Schwarber's former battery mates at IU with back-to-back picks.)

Round 16, No. 473: Michael Foster, CF, Northeastern

Round 17, No. 503: Casey Bloomquist, RHP, Cal Poly - San Luis Obispo

Round 18, No. 533: John Cresto, 3B, Cathedral Catholic High School

Round 19, No. 563: Kyle Miller, RHP, Florida Atlantic University

Round 20, No. 593: Blake Headley, 3B, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Round 21, No. 623: Jared Cheek, RHP, University of Georgia

Round 22, No. 653: Alex Bautista, OF, Lindsey Wilson College

Round 23, No. 683: John Williamson, LHP, Rice University

Round 24, No. 713: Sutton Whiting, SS, University of Louisville

Round 25, No. 743: Marcus Mastrobuoni, C, California State University-Stanislaus

Round 26, No. 773: Jared Padgett, LHP, Graceville High School

Round 27, No. 803: Angelo Amendolare, 2B, Jacksonville University

Round 28, No. 833: Delvin Zinn, SS, Pontotoc High School 

Round 29, No. 863: Ian Rice, C, Houston

Round 30, No. 893: Tyler Payne, C, West Virginia St. University

Round 31, No. 923: Daniel Spingola, OF, Georgia Tech

Round 32, No. 953: Fitz Stadler, RHP, Glenbrook South High School - (Note: Chicagoland product is 6-foot-8 and has been tabbed a potential first-round pick if he goes to college for more seasoning.)

Round 33, No. 983: M.T. Minacci, RHP - (Note: Was drafted in 20th round by the Colorado Rockies in 2013; did not attend school this spring.)

Round 34, No. 1013: Cody Hawken, OF, Union High School

Round 35, No. 1043: Taylor Jones, 1B, Gonzaga

Round 36, No. 1073: Al Jones, SS, Columbus High School - (Note: Attended the same high school as Frank Thomas and has drawn comparisons to Reds speedster Billy Hamilton.)

Round 37, No. 1103: Donnie Cimino, OF, Wesleyan University

Round 38, No. 1133: Rayne Supple, RHP, Champlain Valley High School

Round 39, No. 1163: John Kilichowski, LHP, Vanderbilt

Round 40, No. 1193: Domenic DeRenzo, Central Catholic HS

Cubs Talk Podcast: Sitting down with new Cubs coaches Chili Davis and Jim Hickey

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KELLY CRULL

Cubs Talk Podcast: Sitting down with new Cubs coaches Chili Davis and Jim Hickey

Spring training baseball games are up around the bend, but before the boys of summer get into organized action, two of the team’s new coaches Chili Davis and Jim Hickey sit down with Kelly Crull.

Plus, Vinnie Duber joins Kelly to discuss these baseball conversations including the memorable first words of Kyle Schwarber to Chili Davis, “I don’t suck!"

Listen to the full episode at this link (iOS users can go here) or in the embedded player below. Subscribe to the podcast on Apple Podcasts.

Changes aren't exactly popular, but Cubs and Sox — except maybe Willson Contreras — will adapt to baseball's new pace-of-play rules

Changes aren't exactly popular, but Cubs and Sox — except maybe Willson Contreras — will adapt to baseball's new pace-of-play rules

MESA, Ariz. — We know Willson Contreras doesn’t like baseball’s new pace-of-play rules.

He isn’t the only one.

“I think it’s a terrible idea. I think it’s all terrible,” Jon Lester said last week at spring training, before the specifics of the new rules were even announced. “The beautiful thing about our sport is there’s no time.”

Big surprise coming from the Cubs’ resident old-schooler.

The new rules limit teams to six mound visits per every nine-inning game, with exceptions for pitching changes, between batters, injuries and after the announcement of a pinch hitter. Teams get an extra mound visit for every extra inning in extra-inning games. Also, commercial breaks between innings have been cut by 20 seconds.

That’s it. But it’s caused a bit of an uproar.

Contreras made headlines Tuesday when he told reporters that he’ll willingly break those rules if he needs to in order to put his team in a better position to win.

“I’ve been reading a lot about this rule, and I don’t really care. If I have to pay the price for my team, I will,” Contreras said. “There’s six mound visits, but what if you have a tight game? … You have to go out there. They cannot say anything about that. It’s my team, and we just care about winning. And if they’re going to fine me about the No. 7 mound visit, I’ll pay the price.”

Talking about pace-of-play rule changes last week, Cubs manager Joe Maddon said his team would adapt to any new rules. In Chicago baseball’s other Arizona camp, a similar tune of adaptation was being sung.

“Obviously as players we’ve got to make adjustments to whatever rules they want to implement,” White Sox pitcher James Shields said. “This is a game of adjustments, we’re going to have to make adjustments as we go. We’re going to have to figure out logistics of the thing, and I would imagine in spring training we’re going to be talking about it more and more as we go so we don’t mess it up.”

There was general consensus that mound visits are a valuable thing. So what happens if a pitcher and catcher need to communicate but are forced to do it from 60 feet, six inches away?

“Sign language,” White Sox catching prospect Zack Collins joked. “I guess you have to just get on the same page in the dugout and hope that nothing goes wrong if you’re out of visits.”

In the end, here’s the question that needs answering: Are baseball games really too long?

On one hand, as Lester argued, you know what you’re signing up for when you watch a baseball game, be it in the stands at a ballpark or on TV. No one should be shocked when a game rolls on for more than three hours.

But shock and fans' levels of commitment or just pure apathy are two different things. And sometimes it’s a tough ask for fans to dedicate four hours of their day 162 times a year. So there’s a very good reason baseball is trying to make the game go faster, to keep people from leaving the stands or flipping the TV to another channel.

Unsurprisingly, Lester would rather keep things the way they are.

“To be honest with you, the fans know what they’re getting themselves into when they go to a game,” Lester said. “It’s going to be a three-hour game. You may have a game that’s two hours, two hours and 15 minutes. Great, awesome. You may have a game that’s four hours. That’s the beautiful part of it.

“I get the mound visit thing. But what people that aren’t in the game don’t understand is that there’s so much technology in the game, there’s so many cameras on the field, that every stadium now has a camera on the catcher’s crotch. So they know signs before you even get there. Now we’ve got Apple Watches, now we’ve got people being accused of sitting in a tunnel (stealing signs). So there’s reasons behind the mound visit. He’s not just coming out there asking what time I’m going to dinner or, ‘Hey, how you feeling?’ There’s reasons behind everything, and I think if you take those away, it takes away the beauty of the baseball game.

“Every game has a flow, and I feel like that’s what makes it special. If you want to go to a timed event, go to a timed event. I’m sorry I’m old-school about it, but baseball’s been played the same way for a long time. And now we’re trying to add time to it. We’re missing something somewhere.”

Whether limiting the number of mound visits creates a significant dent in this problem remains to be seen. But excuse the players if they’re skeptical.

“We’ve got instant replay, we’ve got all kinds of different stuff going on. I don’t think (limiting) the mound visits are going to be the key factor to speeding this game up,” Shields said. “Some pitchers take too long, and some hitters take too long. It’s combination of a bunch of stuff.

“I know they’re trying to speed the game up a little bit. I think overall, the game’s going as fast as it possibly could. You’ve got commercials and things like that. TV has a lot to do with it. There’s a bunch of different combinations of things. But as a player, we’ve got to make an adjustment.”