Cubs notes: Jason Hammel focuses on fastballs

SHARE Cubs notes: Jason Hammel focuses on fastballs

Cubs pitcher Jason Hammel was pleased with his fastball control Tuesday. (AP)

Three catchers?

It’s still unlikely, but manager Joe Maddon said Tuesday he was entertaining the notion of keeping three catchers for Opening Day. The Cubs traded for Miguel Montero and signed David Ross to a two-year deal this offseason, so their jobs seem secure. Welington Castillo — who Maddon said “has had a great camp” —  is out of options and can’t be sent down.

“So as you continue to move forward, how does it all fit?” Maddon said. “It’s a jigsaw puzzle, obviously.”


Jason Hammel threw 42 pitches — all fastballs — in his last bullpen session, hoping to regain command of the pitch. Tuesday, it paid off — he gave up two hits, no walks and struck out three in four scoreless innings against the Royals. He estimated he threw 35 fastballs out of 50 pitches fastballs in the Cubs’ 4-3 victory.

“Everything comes off the fastball,” he said.

La Stella

Third baseman Tommy La Stella’s defense has improved as he has grown more confident with the bat , Maddon said. The manager said his throwing is becoming more accurate with better footwork, too.

Who’s No. 2?

While Maddon said he won’t worry about playing his probably Opening Day lineup together for another week or so, he’s beginning to ponder who will bat second, calling it “like a mystery.”


Kyle Hendricks will start a ‘B’ game Thursday at 3:05 p.m. on the Cubs’ back fields. The game is free and open to the public.

On deck

Cubs at Dodgers, 3:05 p.m., Jake Arrieta vs. Brandon McCarthy

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