Cubs

Cubs 2017 MLB Draft Tracker Day 3: Pitching, pitching and more pitching

Cubs 2017 MLB Draft Tracker Day 3: Pitching, pitching and more pitching

After emphasizing pitching in the first 10 rounds of the 2017 MLB Draft, the Cubs continued that trend Wednesday.

Cubs Day 1 recap

Theo Epstein's front office took two more pitchers with their first two Day 3 picks, adding to the eight pitchers they took in the Top 11 picks. 

Cubs Day 2 recap

Here is the complete Day 3 recap:

Round 11, No. 345: Rollie Lacy, RHP, Creighton - Went 5-2 with a 2.54 ERA, 1.17 WHIP and 83 Ks against only 18 walks in 88.2 IP as a junior.

Round 12, No. 375: Ben Hecht, RHP, Wichita State - The 22-year-old is a Champaign, Ill., native who also played at Illinois State (2014). He was 2-2 as a reliever in 2017 with a 4.75 ERA, eight saves and 41 Ks in 30.1 IP.

Round 13, No. 405: Austin Upshaw, IF, Kennesaw State - The 20-year-old Georgian slashed .333/.383/.518 (.901 OPS) at Kennesaw State with 17 doubles, eight homers and 41 RBI in 56 games.

Round 14, No. 435: Luis Vazquez, SS, Alberto Melendez Torres School - Scouts tout his leather. 

Round 15, No. 465: Jared Young, 2B, Old Dominion University - Led ODU with a .367 average to go with a .441 on-base percentage and .580 slugging percentage. He stole nine bases, hit seven homers and drew 33 free passes (15 walks, 18 hit-by-pitches) against only 19 strikeouts.

Round 16, No. 495: Brandon Hughes, CF, Michigan State - Actually pitched some his freshman year for the Spartans. His ERA was 7.11. Much better hitter as he stroked a .330 batting average his junior year. 

Round 17, No. 525: Peyton Remy, RHP, Central Arizona College - Freshman was 6-1 with a 4.25 ERA this season. 

Round 18, No. 555: Casey Ryan, RHP, University of Hawaii - Successful four-year career at Hawaii. Also, how sick would it be to pitch at Hawaii? 

Round 19, No. 585: Chris Singleton, CF, Charleston Southern University - You must read his story. 

Round 20, No. 615: Brendan King, RHP, College of the Holy Cross - From the Boston Globe, a very talented mathematician. 

Round 21, No. 645: Sean Barry, RHP, University of San Diego - Reliever had a five-game scoreless streak that lasted 9.1 innings. 

Round 22, No. 675: Skyler Messinger, SS, Niwot High School - Hit above .400 his junior and senior season. Of course, that was high school. 

Round 23, No. 705: Brady Miller, RHP, Western Oregon University - Three-time All-GNAC pitcher at Western Oregon. 

Round 24, No. 735: Braxton Light, RHP, Wallace State Community College - Scouts are calling him a lights out pitcher. Pun. 

Round 25, No. 765: Mitch Stophel, RHP, King University - Strong relief pitcher for the King Tornadoes, which is actually located in Tennessee. 

Round 26, No. 795: Bryce Bonnin, RHP, Barbers Hill High School - Ranked by MLB.com as the No. 74 prospect in the 2017 draft, but is committed to Arkansas for next year.

Round 27, No. 825: Darius Vines, RHP, Oxnard College - "Vines" is a perfect name for a team with Ivy on its wall, eh?

Round 28, No. 855: Kier Meredith, CF, Robert B. Glenn High School - Clemson signee has a decision to make. 

Round 29, No. 885: Jake Steffens, RHP, Santa Clara University - Had a 5.05 K/BB ratio in the competitive WCC last season. 

Round 30, No. 915: Cam Balego, IF, Mercyhurst College​ - Posted a ridiculous .367/.500/.698 slash line at Mercyhurst. 

Round 31, No. 945: Ramsey Romano, IF, Cal State Long Beach - Pretty funny that his team name was the "Dirtbags." He also hit .313 last season. 

Round 32, No. 975: Hunter Ruth, RHP, Bucholz High School - We can't prove it, but he may be Babe's great-great-grandson. 

Round 33, No. 1005: Joe Donovan, C, Westmont High School - Local kid from Westmont absolutely RAKED against fellow Chicagoland competition. 

Round 34, No. 1035: Andrew Karp, RHP, Florida State - Florida-native has live arm, but was roughed up as a Seminole. 

Round 35, No. 1065, Ben Ramirez, SS, Eastlake High School - His Twitter is all about retweeting #JavyTags. 

Round 36: No. 1095, Tanner Allen, CF, UMS Wright Prep High School - Longtime LSU recruit had a change of heart and will likely attend Mississippi State next season. 

Round 37, No. 1125, Alex Cornwell, LHP, Maranatha High School - High school bats didn't hit too well off him, recording just an .093 batting average. 

Round 38, No. 1155, Russell Smith, LHP, Midlothian High School - Dude is just one inch shorter (6'9) than the mammoth Randy Johnson (6'10). 

Round 39, No. 1185, Cooper Coldiron, IF, University of Houston - Before transferring to Houston, Coldiron earned a spot on the Texas-New Mexico All-Star Team at Grayson College.

Round 40, No. 1215, Jeffrey Passantino, Lipscomb University - The MLB Draft's Mr. Irrelevant

Source: Cubs set to hire David Ross as new manager

Source: Cubs set to hire David Ross as new manager

According to David Kaplan, the Cubs have made their decision on a new manager. And to no surprise, they've landed on David Ross.

Ross was widely speculated as the heir apparent to Joe Maddon and that's exactly how the situation has played out. The team also interviewed current bench coach Mark Loretta, first-base coach Will Venable and former Cubs player and Yankees manager Joe Girardi.

Ross retired after the 2016 season and has spent the last three seasons working in a special assistant role in Theo Epstein's front office while also serving as an MLB analyst/broadcaster for ESPN. He has not coached or managed at any level. 

During his two years as a player with the Cubs, Ross was an integral part of changing the culture inside the clubhouse and is revered as a legendary leader to all the young players that came up and helped end the 108-year championship drought. Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant affectionately dubbed him "Grandpa Rossy" and he rode that popularity on the shoulders of his teammates in a Rudy-esque celebration after Game 7 and then a stint on "Dancing with the Stars." Every time he is shown on the video board at Wrigley Field, it elicits a deafening cheer from Cubs fans.

Even three years since he last donned the uniform, Ross' impact remains and the Cubs have been searching for the type of clubhouse leadership he provided. Earlier this season, Javy Baez brought up Ross unprompted, mentioning advice from his former teammate that he still thinks about on a daily basis.

The question was never really if and more about when Ross was going to get a chance to manage the Cubs in the future. Just last fall, he was brought up as a potential option to replace Brandon Hyde as Maddon's bench coach, but Ross still wanted to spend time with family in retirement and wasn't yet ready to commit to the grind of a long season. 

Still, Epstein mentioned at the GM Meetings last November that he and the front office were pushing Ross to be around the team more in 2019. GM Jed Hoyer followed that up at the Winter Meetings in December talking about how much of an impact Ross has on these players and the level of trust that's already inherent within this group.

Apparently, Ross is now willing and able to put in the 7-to-8 month time commitment to step in as the Cubs' new manager. When it was officially announced Maddon would not be returning, Ross was on ESPN's Baseball Tonight and expressed interest in the job and Epstein confirmed the next day Ross was on the team's list of managerial candidates.

Epstein mentioned he would prefer hiring a manager with big-league experience and the main theme of his end-of-season press conference was all about change, not hanging their hats on 2016 and climbing out of the "winner's trap." But they still opted for Ross as the organization's new field general.

"I always have greater comfort level hiring for roles in which the person has done the role before, especially with manager," Epstein said on the final day of September. "I think there are ways for that to be overcome. There’s a lot of different ways to get experience in this game. Beliefs, skills, personal attributes, those can outweigh a lack of experience, but experience certainly helps.

“David Ross has a lot of great things going for him, I would say. His connection to the players on this team, and especially his connection to the 2016 team, are not necessarily assets that distinguish him. Those are not necessarily things that are gonna be important to us.

“I think Rossy is a really attractive candidate, and he’s gonna be evaluated on the merits, what he can bring to the table as a major league manager given his skills, given his experiences, given his world-view, given what he knows about winning, all those things.”

We now know how that evaluation process has played out.

The question now becomes — how would the Cubs players handle Ross as a manager, moving from friend and teammate to boss? 

We'll find out in the coming months.

Cubs Talk Podcast: Mailbag edition

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USA TODAY

Cubs Talk Podcast: Mailbag edition

3:00 - Listener question: Espada or Ross? Kelly Crull shares some inside info on Joe Espada

7:30 - Kelly talks about David Ross' second interview for the Cubs managerial job.

11:30 - Listener question: Say it is Espada, do you see any way David Ross comes on as a coach behind Espada?

13:30 - Listener question: Could the team regress further due to a lack of familiarity with a new manager?

20:10 - Listener question: How hard will Theo and Jed go after Gerrit Cole? And if he's not available who else is?

23:30 - Listener question: Are you trying to extend Castellanos?

26:00 - Listener question: If you sign Castellanos are you also trading Kyle Schwarber?

28:45 - Listener question: Should the Cubs trade Kris Bryant? What would they get back in return?

33:00 - Lighting round: Will Nico Hoerner be the opening day second baseman and keep the job in 2020?

33:10 - Lightning round: Will the Cubs bring back Cole Hamels?

33:45 - Can we and should we clone Javy Baez so we have a fresh Javy when he retires, or is that unethical?

Listen to the full podcast here or via the embedded player below:

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