January 4, 2016
Cubs.com, Cubs embrace high expectations for 2016
Cubs.com, Candelario soaks up wisdom on way to bigs
Cubs.com, Arrieta, fresh faces carry Cubs in 2015
Cubs.com, Ramirez makes life-changing trip to Haitian orphanage
Cubs.com, Cubs great Dawson embodies Scout's Dream Award
Cubs.com, Cubs claim lefty Olmos, release Ryan
ESPNChicago.com, The case for Joe Maddon as 'Person of the Year' for 2015
ESPNChicago.com, The case for Jake Arrieta as 'Person of the Year' for 2015
CSNChicago.com, Cubs believe Jason Heyward still has room to grow as a power hitter
CSNChicago.com, Cubs stay active on the waiver wire, claim Edgar Olmos again
Chicago Tribune, Cubs, White Sox hoping to make 2016 a special season
Chicago Tribune, Cubs release new acquisition Brendan Ryan
Chicago Sun-Times, Cubs claim pitcher Edgar Olmos; release infielder Brendan Ryan
Chicago Sun-Times, It's more than OK if Jason Heyward doesn't want to be "The One'' for the Cubs
Daily Herald, Imrem: Cardinals sure seem to have Chicago Cubs in their heads
Cubs embrace high expectations for 2016
By Carrie Muskat
CHICAGO -- The Cubs looked at the 2015 season as one more step in the rebuilding process, knowing the young
players would get lots of at-bats and there could be some growing pains. Who could've predicted a 97-win season
and a trip to the postseason? Well, maybe manager Joe Maddon. But at the time, he was still learning his way
What can fans expect in 2016? The Cubs don't want to just earn a trip to the postseason, they want to win the
National League Central. The offseason was spent finding players like John Lackey, who brings an edge to the
rotation, and Ben Zobrist, who can provide veteran leadership to the position players. Then the Cubs made a
statement with the addition of outfielder Jason Heyward, who will make the switch from the rival Cardinals to the
top of Chicago's lineup.
After the success in 2015, Maddon knows it will be different in '16.
"The target's going to be bigger, and I want us to embrace the target," Maddon said. "The pressure is going to be
possibly greater, and I want us to embrace the pressure. The bigger target, the greater pressure, I think, equals a
grander chance for success. So I'm all about that, and I definitely will bring that to our guys' attention."
Here are five questions the Cubs will have to answer.
1. Can Heyward play center field?
The Cubs signed Heyward to an eight-year, $184 million contract and want him to start in center field. Of his 781
starts in the outfield, all but 30 have been in right, and those were in center. The transition should not be tough:
Wrigley Field has the fourth-smallest center field of any Major League park in terms of square footage (33,500
The Cubs may need to insert someone else in center in the bigger ballparks, and they do plan on having Javier Baez
get playing time there in winter ball. One of the team's goals this offseason was to improve the outfield defense.
Scouts say Heyward, a three-time Gold Glove Award winner, should have no trouble moving to center.
2. Where do Schwarber and Baez play?
Speaking of Baez and Kyle Schwarber, where do they fit in the Cubs' plans? Zobrist is projected as the starting
second baseman, which would seem to leave Baez on the bench. Schwarber would like to be catching, but he will
likely spend more time in left field. The Cubs want his bat in the lineup as much as possible. Baez could become a
young Zobrist, learning to play several positions, which would fit nicely into Maddon's style.
3. What will Arrieta do for an encore?
After throwing a no-hitter at Dodger Stadium, leading the Major Leagues with 22 wins and winning the NL Cy
Young Award, what's next for Jake Arrieta? He's certainly sticking to his Pilates/kale offseason workout/diet
regimen, which should have resulted in pitchers flocking to his Austin, Texas, home to learn. Arrieta should be the
Cubs' Opening Day starter in Anaheim.
4. How do the Cubs avoid a sophomore jinx?
How do the Cubs' talented corps of rookies avoid a sophomore jinx? Maddon will deliver his formula early in Spring
Training. He wants to make sure the young players don't take things for granted and simply believe that they'll
have the same success. There's still work to do. Teams will be making adjustments, and the Cubs need to be
prepared to adjust back, he said.
5. What's next?
Cubs players were treated to a magic show in the clubhouse in New York, penguins, snow leopards and a flamingo
on the field at Wrigley, plus a pajama party. What will Maddon do in Year 2? Zobrist told a story about how Carlos
Pena had arranged for a mariachi band to perform in the clubhouse after a game at Tropicana Field, but the Rays
lost that day. It didn't matter to Maddon, who invited the group in. Maddon has made one request for his office in
the new 30,000-square foot home clubhouse at Wrigley Field: He wants a cockatoo.
Candelario soaks up wisdom on way to bigs
By Carrie Muskat
Catcher Miguel Montero doesn't just help the Cubs pitchers. He deserves credit for inspiring prospect Jeimer
Candelario, 22, was one of the most talked-about prospects during the Arizona Fall League and did so well last
season that he earned a spot on the Cubs' 40-man roster. He began the year at Class A Myrtle Beach, where he
batted .270 in 82 games. He was bumped up to Double-A Tennessee and didn't miss a beat, hitting .291 with five
home runs, 10 doubles, one triple and 25 RBIs in 46 games. His on-base percentage at Myrtle Beach was .318, and
it improved to .379 at Tennessee.
What was the difference?
"In Double-A, I saw more pitches to hit," Candelario said matter-of-factly.
He also got a boost from Montero, who was with the Minor League team for a few days in August as part of his
"We had a good time with him," Candelario said of the veteran. "He told us a couple things about baseball and we
learned a lot, too."
Sometimes the message can mean more coming from a player than a coach or manager.
"We talked about everything -- the world, baseball, everything," Candelario said of the conversations. "He told us
some little details, and we took advantage of it, and it worked. He's a good person. We worked hard together."
Candelario extended those lessons to the Arizona Fall League, where he batted .329 with five home runs, eight
doubles and 15 RBIs in 21 games. He was named to the AFL top prospects team.
"I'm taking advantage of this," Candelario said before a game in Mesa, Ariz. "There's good talent here. I