“You have to look at what’s going on around the league, for sure,” said Kyle Hendricks, who along with Javy Baez would be a top extension target.
Believe it or not, the most even-tempered man in the Cubs’ clubhouse this side of Kyle Hendricks said he plans to be a more vocal leader this season.
“He’s going to have a great year,” Maddon said, “but it’s not about that. …On certain days you’re still gonna see a left-hander playing center field.”
He altered his swing to play through injury in ’18, but “I’m not going to change anything [in ’19] just because I had an injury. I’m over the injury.”
“The craziest part about when you win young is that I don’t think you understand what you just accomplished,” Hamels said.
“Our leadoff numbers were actually very good throughout the league,” Maddon said of a 10-man leadoff mix that led the National League in leadoff OBP.
“I think my slider’s actually better than Cole Hamels’,” Cubs right-hander Yu Darvish said of his ability to throw left-handed.
‘‘That means some lower win totals are probably going to win some divisions or be in the wild card,’’ GM Jed Hoyer said.
As others try new concepts such as the ‘‘opener’’ and 200-inning pitchers near extinction, the Cubs lean on an increasingly veteran group of starters.
Commissioner Rob Manfred said Joe Ricketts’ lack of involvement in day-to-day control of the team made it a “reach” to consider action.
“I don’t see these things changing us in any way,” chairman Tom Ricketts said when asked about rebuilding the family’s damaged image.
“It just seems like a storm brewing right now,” Cubs union rep Kris Bryant said.
Yadi Molina’s angry reaction was “too strong” and missed the context, said Bryant, who laughed at John Brebbia’s “Cry me a river, loser” response.
The Cub reliever, who struggled after a trade to the Cubs last summer, puts team analytics aside to focus on pounding his “power sinker” this year.