Cubs

Cubs promoting Addison Russell in another aggressive move

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Cubs promoting Addison Russell in another aggressive move

PITTSBURGH — Addison Russell will be the latest Cubs prospect to come off the assembly line.

The Cubs are promoting Russell from Triple-A Iowa, two sources confirmed after a 5-2 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Monday night at PNC Park. It’s an aggressive move that reflects the growing confidence within the clubhouse and inside the organization.

“We’re just playing the game with a lot of verve right now,” manager Joe Maddon said. “I really enjoy watching us play.”

A natural shortstop, Russell had just started working out at second base, preparing to play alongside Starlin Castro and add another dimension to what could become a monster lineup.

[MORE CUBS: Kris Bryant flashes star potential in win vs. Pirates]

At a time when offense is down across the game, Theo Epstein’s front office has repeatedly bet big on hitters. When everyone assumed the Cubs would need to get pitching back in the deal, Russell became the headliner in last summer’s blockbuster Jeff Samardzija trade with the Oakland A’s.

The A’s had selected Russell with the No. 11 overall pick in the 2012 draft out of Pace High School in Florida. He entered this season as Baseball America’s No. 3 prospect.

Russell is just 21 years old and has played only 14 career games above the Double-A level. But the Cubs accelerated the timeline after seeing his offensive game at Iowa — 14-for-44 (.318) with nine RBIs in 11 games — and the lack of production from their second basemen.

[SHOP CUBS: Get your Cubs gear right here]

So much for getting into a rhythm and those deliberate player-development plans. It’s only April, but the Cubs are 7-5 and want to ride this wave of momentum.

The Cubs already dropped Baseball America’s No. 1 prospect (Kris Bryant) into the middle of their lineup over the weekend. Jorge Soler, Anthony Rizzo, Bryant and Castro combined for 11 hits in Monday’s victory over the Pirates (6-7).

“Our offense is going to win us a ton of games this year,” Jake Arrieta said after limiting the Pirates to one run across seven innings. “Because we’ve got a special lineup. It’s a lot of young players, but with the addition of Bryant now, it takes a little pressure off (everyone). Overall, we’re moving in an incredibly solid direction. It’s just fun to be a part of this.”

Cubs 2020 schedule: Season starts vs. Brewers at Wrigley, ends at White Sox

Cubs 2020 schedule: Season starts vs. Brewers at Wrigley, ends at White Sox

Ahead of Major League Baseball's schedule announcement show (5 p.m. CT, Monday) NBC Sports Chicago obtained a copy of the Cubs' 60-game sprint.

Chicago will kick things off at home against the Brewers on July 24, three weeks from Friday. The Cubs will end the season on the South Side against the White Sox.

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Take a look:

July 24 – Brewers
July 25 – Brewers
July 26 – Brewers
July 27 – at Reds
July 28 – at Reds
July 29 – at Reds
July 30 – at Reds
July 31 – Pirates
Aug. 1 – Pirates
Aug. 2 – Pirates
Aug. 3 – Royals
Aug. 4 – Royals
Aug. 5 – at Royals
Aug. 6 – at Royals
Aug. 7 – at Cardinals
Aug. 8 – at Cardinals
Aug. 9 – at Cardinals
Aug. 10 – Off
Aug. 11 – at Indians
Aug. 12 – at Indians
Aug. 13 – Brewers
Aug. 14 – Brewers
Aug. 15 – Brewers
Aug. 16 – Brewers
Aug. 17 – Cardinals
Aug. 18 – Cardinals
Aug. 19 – Cardinals
Aug 20 – Off
Aug. 21 – White Sox
Aug. 22 – White Sox
Aug. 23 – White Sox
Aug. 24 – at Tigers
Aug. 25 – at Tigers
Aug. 26 – at Tigers
Aug, 27 – Off
Aug. 28 – at Reds
Aug. 29 – at Reds
Aug. 30 – at Reds
Aug. 31 – Off
Sept. 1 – at Pirates
Sept. 2 – at Pirates
Sept. 3 – at Pirates
Sept. 4 – Cardinals
Sept. 5 – Cardinals
Sept. 6 – Cardinals
Sept. 7 – Cardinals
Sept. 8 – Reds
Sept. 9 – Reds
Sept. 10 – Reds
Sept. 11 – at Brewers
Sept. 12 – at Brewers
Sept. 13 – at Brewers
Sept. 14 – Off
Sept. 15 – Indians 
Sept. 16 – Indians 
Sept. 17 – Off
Sept. 18 – Twins
Sept. 19 – Twins
Sept. 20 – Twins
Sept. 21 – at Pirates
Sept. 22 – at Pirates
Sept. 23 – at Pirates
Sept. 24 – at Pirates
Sept. 25 – at White Sox
Sept. 26 – at White Sox
Sept. 27 – at White Sox

More to come at NBC Sports Chicago.

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Cubs reliever Kyle Ryan not at Summer Camp due to protocol 'technicalities'

Cubs reliever Kyle Ryan not at Summer Camp due to protocol 'technicalities'

Cubs reliever Kyle Ryan hasn’t arrived at Summer Camp yet due to a “process-based delay” that manager David Ross referred to as protocol "technicalities.”

Ryan has been working out on his own and throwing remotely. He threw a live batting practice session on Saturday and is scheduled to throw a bullpen on Tuesday. The Cubs said they hope he can join the team at camp by the end of the week.

Last week, Ross indicated no Cubs have tested positive for COVID-19. They're believed to be the only team, at least in the National League, with no positive tests.

Ryan is the Cubs bullpen's top lefty. Last season, he posted a 3.54 ERA and 1.38 WHIP in 73 outings.

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