Cubs notes: Addison Russell next on the clock after Kris Bryant’s arrival

SHARE Cubs notes: Addison Russell next on the clock after Kris Bryant’s arrival
SHARE Cubs notes: Addison Russell next on the clock after Kris Bryant’s arrival

Now that Kris Bryant Watch is officially over, the clock has started on Addison Russell Watch.

A prospect touted at least as much as Bryant in the Cubs organization, Russell has started the season on a tear at Triple-A Iowa.

He’s hitting .355 in 31 at-bats with three extra-base hits and seven RBIs.

“Certainly the No. 1 thing we like to see from our players before they move up is dominating a level,” Cubs president Theo Epstein said, “and he’s off to a good start.”

Epstein didn’t offer a specific timeframe on when to expect Russell’s arrival, but he likes what he’s seeing.

Russell, a natural shortstop, has been getting in some work at second base this week. Epstein said the Cubs will continue to work him at second base to accommodate organizational needs.

“He’s playing really well,” Epstein said. “He hasn’t been at Triple-A all that long, but he’s playing great. He’s been having really good at-bats and using the whole field. He played outstanding at shortstop the first week of the season and made, like, four highlight plays.”

Before the start of the 2015 season, Russell was a consensus top-five prospect in baseball. Baseball America ranked him No. 3, MLB.com put him fifth, and Baseball Prospectus had him highest at No. 2.

Maddon ejected: Cubs manager Joe Maddon was ejected in the seventh inning Friday for arguing balls and strikes with home-plate umpire Sam Holbrook.

With runners on first and second base, Cubs reliever Brian Schlitter threw a pitch to Wil Myers that he, catcher Welington Castillo and Maddon thought was good for strike three. Castillo and Schlitter even began walking back to the dugout before realizing the pitch was called a ball.

Myers sent the next pitch over the center-field wall for a three-run home run that gave the Padres a 5-4 lead.

Maddon came out to talk to Schlitter and ended up arguing with Holbrook before being ejected for the first time in a Cubs uniform.

Baez getting closer: Cubs prospect Javy Baez, who didn’t break camp with the big-league club, has yet to return from a bereavement leave.

Baez was placed on the bereavement list before the start of the season after the death of his 21-year-old sister, Noely Baez.

“Hes getting closer,” Epstein said of Baez’s return. “He’s still with his family and there’s still some things for him to do with his family before he comes back.”

Ramirez, Olt to the DL: The Cubs made a pair of roster moves Friday as part of the transactions that brought up Kris Bryant.

Infielder Mike Olt and reliever Neil Ramirez were both placed on the 15-day disabled list. Olt suffered a hairline fracture in his right wrist, and Ramirez has been experiencing right shoulder inflammation.

The Cubs purchased the contract of Bryant from Triple-A Iowa and activated outfielder Chris Denorfia from the disabled list.

Denorfia, 34, suffered a mild left hamstring strain and started the season on the DL. He split the 2014 season between San Diego and Seattle, batting .230 with 12 doubles and three homers in 121 games. He’s a career .272 hitter.

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