July ``a great month'' for Cubs: Theo Epstein

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No wonder Theo Epstein happily points to July having been a winning month for his Cubs.

Not only did the team sign its No. 2 overall draft pick and top collegiate hitter in Kris Bryant, stockpile more young pitching arms in its farm system through trades and see its major league club post a winning record, the long-sought Wrigley Field renovations won City Hall’s approval.

“It’s been a great month for the Cubs,’’ he said Friday. “Right now it’s a good time for people who are wanting things to go well and looking for progress to seize onto it.’’

But there is always a “but’’—the one he says the organization as much as fans must remember.

“It’s an important time to remind everyone and ourselves that the progress won’t be linear,’’ he said.

“There are going to be other really bad months. There are going to be prospects who go through difficult months, half seasons and seasons. And you think `hey, you thought these guys were going to be impact guys, and now they’re scuffling. What’s going on?’ There are going to be times we have really difficult times in the big leagues.

“Unfortunately, just like a player’s development, the progress of an organization isn’t always linear.’’

The organization’s philosophy remains focused on building a volume of young pitching prospects, and staying on a development timeline at the minor league level.

But he still doesn’t put a timeline on when the team will turn potential into contention at the major league level.

“I think it’s easier when you look at our prospects’ development to pinpoint when they might get here than when we might have a winning young team,’’ he said. “Those are two different things.

“When you look at teams historically that have had five or six impact young prospects come up at the same time, they don’t automatically start winning right away. We’re trying to get ahead of that and thinking about ways to create a winning environment,’’ he said.

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