Cubs

Daniel Descalso's ankle is healthy again, back in the lineup

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USA TODAY

Daniel Descalso's ankle is healthy again, back in the lineup

Cubs manager Joe Maddon was able to put second baseman Daniel Descalso back in his lineup Sunday now that his left ankle is healthy again. Descalso had to leave the game May 4 against the Cardinals and has only pinch hit since. Thanks to regular looks as a pinch hitter, he should return to normal productivity quickly.

"I think I had a couple good at-bats off the bench," Descalso said Sunday. "Lined out a couple of times, so I think I’m right where I need to be."

Descalso was very productive through the first five weeks of the season before his injury. He had a .757 OPS in March and April with 5 doubles and 2 home runs. Descalso has hit the ball hard this year, averaging a tick over 90 mph off of the bat so far. He pinch hit six times in the last week, something that Joe Maddon said was important for keeping his timing as he returns to the lineup.

Maddon had Descalso batting seventh in the lineup Sunday, a spot he said he felt would help Descalso ease back toward the top of the batting order, where he has spent a lot of time this season.

"I didn’t put him right to the top," Maddon said of Descalso's lineup spot Sunday. "It’s just that he’s been off pretty much the whole week. Give him a couple of at-bats to get back in the swing of things."

Descalso said that he spent the week working daily to keep his ankle from tightening up and getting worse, even through cold weather and rain. He agreed that getting to pinch hit regularly helped.

"It didn’t help, but I don't think it hurt too bad," Descalso said of last week's cold. "But it’s been ok when I pinch hit and have to run around a little bit."

Having Descalso back in the lineup helps to give Maddon flexibility with his infield while Ben Zobrist is still away from the team for personal reasons. In the meantime, Descalso should have opportunity to be productive in the bottom third of the order.

"I do like him there," Maddon said of his spot in the lineup. "That 7 hole has a tendency to get people on base."

This season, Descalso has 28 at-bats in the seventh spot, where he has hit .393 with one of his home runs and three of his doubles.

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Cubs Talk Podcast: David Ross set to be named manager; Bryant service time dispute

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AP

Cubs Talk Podcast: David Ross set to be named manager; Bryant service time dispute

On the latest Cubs Talk Podcast, David Kaplan, Kelly Crull and Tony Andracki react to the news of David Ross becoming the new manager of the Cubs and the upcoming hearing with Kris Bryant regarding his delayed callup back in 2015.

01:30 - Was it always David Ross' job?

04:00 - Ross having to do a mock press conference as part of his interview process

10:00 - Theo and Jed's interview process

13:00 - How will Ross hold his former teammates accountable

17:00 - How active will the team be in free agency this offseason

21:00 - Kris Bryant's grievance over his service time

28:00 - Chances Kris Bryant (or a core player) gets traded this offseason

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

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David Ross' mock speech and press conference helped him land Cubs' manager job

David Ross' mock speech and press conference helped him land Cubs' manager job

After much speculation, former Cubs catcher David Ross is set to become the team's next manager, replacing Joe Maddon.

While we'll know more soon about what went into the Cubs' decision to hire Ross, minor details are coming out regarding the interview process. According to two reports, the team was impressed with Ross' delivery of a mock speech and how he handled a mock press conference.

This isn't the first time the Cubs have asked managerial candidates to partake in such activities. After interviewing for the Cubs' vacancy In November 2011, former manager Dale Sveum partook in an actual press conference featuring questions from the media. He wasn't hired at that point, but the presser was part of the Cubs' interview process. 

No, Ross wasn't named the Cubs' next manager solely on the mock speech and press conference. His clubhouse leadership and familiarity with the organization are two big factors. But the speech points to Ross' strength in the latter category; his ability to represent the organization positively through media relations — one of Maddon's strengths — is important, too.

Whether these strengths lead to wins is to be determined, but Ross clearly impresed the Cubs for a multitude of reasons.

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