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Cubs infielder David Bote takes things one day at a time

“To be completely honest, I’m just focused on today,” Bote said. “I really like to be in the moment.”

Cubs infielder David Bote says he hasn’t really taken the time to reflect on how much his life has changed since making his major-league debut last season.
Cubs infielder David Bote says he hasn’t really taken the time to reflect on how much his life has changed since making his major-league debut last season.
Photo by Michael B. Thomas /Getty Images

Infielder David Bote was cordial but firm.

Yes, he knew the Cubs were traveling to Colorado for a three-game series starting Monday. Yes, he grew up a Rockies fan near Denver. Yes, he made his major-league debut last season at Coors Field and this will be his first return trip to the ballpark.

No, he wasn’t going to sit back and reflect on how much his life has changed since his Rocky Mountain debut.

‘‘I’m so not the guy to talk about that,’’ Bote said with a sympathetic grin. ‘‘There’s just nothing there. It’s not like I don’t want to answer. If I had one, I would tell you. That’s just not me.

‘‘To be completely honest, I’m just focused on today. I’ve never really had time to flash back to what has happened or whatever. I really like to be in the moment.’’

It’s still a good story.

When Bote joined the Cubs last April, there was no guarantee he would stick around for long in the big leagues.

He was 25 years old at the time — relatively old in terms of prospects. He had spent four seasons playing in Class A and had amassed nearly 600 games in the minor leagues. He was called up to replace then-injured Ben Zobrist, who had back tightness.

Who knew Bote, who drove in the tiebreakng run with a single in the fifth inning Sunday against the Cardinals, would blossom into a key contributor for the Cubs in the next six months? Who knew the team’s front office would sign him to a five-year, $15 million extension in early April? Or that he quickly would make the deal look like a bargain?

Not even Bote knew how his journey would unfold.

‘‘No,’’ he said. ‘‘You never know. That’s why you’ve got to be so focused on what you’re doing today — because you can’t get caught too far forward or behind. Then you miss what’s going on in front of you to be the best version of yourself that day.

‘‘The old cliché, I guess, is getting 1 percent better each day, over time, is going to add up.’’

Speaking up

Infielder Addison Russell always has been one of the quietest players in the Cubs’ clubhouse.

But manager Joe Maddon said he has noticed a change in Russell this season. He is speaking up more often, starting conversations and asking questions.

‘‘He’s making a great effort at being more open and being more conversant,’’ Maddon said. ‘‘I love it. He’s coming up to me about a whole bunch of different things right now.’’

New order

Maddon switched his batting order in the series finale against the Cardinals, putting starting pitcher Kyle Hendricks eighth and Bote ninth.

The switch allowed Bote to serve as a pseudo-leadoff hitter for Kyle Schwarber and Kris Bryant at the top of the order. It also gave extra protection to Bote with Schwarber batting behind him, Maddon said.

‘‘It’s just one of those things I wanted to try out again and see what it felt like,’’ Maddon said. ‘‘I’ve been talking to the guys upstairs a bit. We’ve been looking at it.’’