Ryne Sandberg joins Marquee Sports Network

The Cubs Hall of Famer will have several roles with the channel.

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Cubs Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg has joined Marquee Sports Network.

Cubs Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg has joined Marquee Sports Network.

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

MESA, Ariz. — Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg will join Marquee Sports Network as a multiplatform analyst, the Cubs’ flagship station announced Tuesday. 

Sandberg, 61, will be part of game broadcasts as well as pregame and postgame shows, podcasts and interview shows.

“I am absolutely thrilled to be joining the incredible team at Marquee Sports Network,” Sandberg said in a statement. “I look forward to offering insight and sharing my stories to further connect with Cubs fans across the country and pass along knowledge to the next generation of athletes and fans.”

“We are excited to welcome ‘Ryno’ to the Marquee Sports Network family,” Marquee general manager Mike McCarthy said. “Ryne defined a generation of Cubs baseball, and we look forward to having him contribute to all facets of our network.”

Over his 16-year major-league career — 15 years with the Cubs — Sandberg was a 10-time All-Star, a nine-time Gold Glove winner, a seven-time Silver Slugger winner and the 1984 National League MVP. The team retired his No. 23 in 2005.

Wick continuing to build arm strength 

Righty Rowan Wick is slowly increasing baseball activities after his slow start to camp. He threw 12 pitches near maximum effort Monday as he continues to rehab after an intercostal (rib muscle) injury. 

Wick appeared to be headed for the 60-day injured list when spring training started, but with the steady improvements, he might not miss too much time after the season begins next week. 

“It’s definitely exciting,” manager David Ross said. “He feels good, which is nice. He feels like he can let it rip. . . . It’s really just about his flat-ground [throwing], but still, that he’s off the bump and been able to let it rip is encouraging. It’s exciting for him. It’s exciting for us, the trainers.

“When you have the unknown, they’re trying to check everything out and can’t find out exactly what’s bothering him, and then you pinpoint it.

‘‘Everybody’s just relieved to know that he’s on the right path and we’re able to build him up and make sure he feels good in order to help us out.

‘‘He’s a big piece of our bullpen when he’s healthy.”

He said it

“He’s not fazed by anything, and he’s extremely deserving of Opening Day. I’ve always been a huge fan of his, and I look forward to working alongside him again this year. He’s just an extremely good example for everybody who aspires to be a major-league baseball player. I’m fortunate to call him a really good friend of mine. . . . He’s extremely funny in a certain setting. He’s a pretty quiet guy, but when he lets his guard down, he’ll get you going.” — Jake Arrieta, on Cubs Opening Day starter Kyle Hendricks


Arrieta rounding into form

Things have gone pretty well for Jake Arrieta, and after slowly building to start camp, the 35-year-old right-hander has gotten into a nice rhythm as spring training comes to a close.

Arrieta had his longest outing of the Cactus League against the White Sox on Tuesday, allowing one run and five hits in 5⅔ innings. He struck out three in the 87-pitch effort without allowing a walk. He hasn’t allowed a walk in his last 9⅔ innings and has struck out eight in that span.

“Walk totals have been down, which for me is crucial,” Arrieta said. “I’ve been getting a lot of good swings and misses on all my stuff. The combinations of pitches are looking really good right now with the cutter, the sinker and the curveball. I really haven’t thrown a lot of changeups yet. But it’s actually a pretty good sign when I can mix in those three without really going to that pitch and saving it for specific times in the game.

“I feel great. I’m sure I’ll be pretty sore tomorrow, but going into my last spring start, we’re going to taper back a little bit. I believe anywhere from 65 to 75 pitches. Just a little tune-up going into the first start of the season. Spring has been really good. I’ve progressed a lot and made some great adjustments mechanically and delivery-wise, and my timing is good. So that’s really all you can ask for.”

While the Cubs haven’t officially set their rotation, Arrieta likely will head into the season as the No. 2 starter behind Kyle Hendricks, who was named the Cubs’ Opening Day starter on Tuesday.

On deck

Cubs at Mariners, 8:05 p.m. Wednesday, Peoria, Zach Davies vs. Justin Dunn.

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