Cubs commit five errors in loss to Reds

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Cubs commit five errors in loss to Reds

In a game that saw 28 combined hits and fielders scrambling to track down fly balls whipped around by a fierce wind at Wrigley Field, offenses didnt need any help. But the Cubs defense supplied it anyway.
Five different Cubs committed errors, leading to two unearned runs in a 10-8 loss to Cincinnati in front of 36,891 at Wrigley Field.
The Reds scored twice by themselves in the second inning off Cubs starter Justin Germano, and three more (two gifted by the Cubs) in the third, when three Cubs infielders committed an error. It started with sure-handed first baseman Anthony Rizzo, who muffed an easy grounder for just his second error of the season. Ryan Ludwick followed by hitting a two-run homer through the 24-mph wind.
With two outs, third baseman Josh Vitters, making his Wrigley Field debut, received a hard-luck error when a smash by Wilson Valdez ricocheted off his body. Devin Mesoraco then hit a soft grounder to short, but Castro pulled up his glove too soon, allowing another run to score, drawing boos from the crowd. On the next play, Castro cleanly handled a grounder to finally end the inning to a chorus of sarcastic cheers.
Alfonso Sorianos two-run double in the bottom half made it 5-3, but the Reds blew the game open with a three-run sixth, again with help from the Cubs. With one run already in, Drew Stubbs singled and stole second. Catcher Wellington Castillos throw sailed way right of the bag and continued into center field for the Cubs fourth error. Then center fielder Brett Jackson missed the ball, allowing Stubbs to come all the way around to score for an 8-3 Reds lead.
The Cubs made it interesting late, getting RBI-doubles from David DeJesus, Castro and Castillo (who had two of them). After cutting the lead to 9-8, DeJesus reached third as Rizzo came to the plate with two outs. Reds manager Dusty Baker called on lefty reliever Aroldis Chapman, who took care of Rizzo with three fastballs to squash the Cubs comeback. Chapman stayed in for a perfect ninth, earning his 26th save in 30 chances.
Despite all the offense, the Cubs needed fewer mistakes, especially from Castro. In addition to his error, Castro, who has made his share of mental mistakes over his first three seasons, ran himself into an out in the sixth. Vitters lined a single to right, but Castro, who was running on the pitch and was unaware of the hit, slowed down before second base and looked around confusedly. After realizing the ball was put in play, Castro unwisely decided to head for third, and the Reds threw him out easily. Castro then heard boos for the second time in one game.
Germano went 5 23 innings and gave up six runs (four earned) on seven hits in his third start for the Cubs.

Tyson Ross could be one of the final pieces for Cubs’ offseason puzzle

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AP

Tyson Ross could be one of the final pieces for Cubs’ offseason puzzle

Tyson Ross could be one of the final pieces of the offseason puzzle as the Cubs try to defend their World Series title while still planning for the future.

The Cubs left this week’s winter meetings in Maryland still involved in the Ross talks, sources said, monitoring an intriguing pitcher they had targeted before the 2015 trade deadline.

The San Diego Padres didn’t really buy or sell during that pennant race and made another curious decision last week when they didn’t offer Ross a contract for 2017. MLB Trade Rumors projected Ross would have made $9.6 million during his final year in the arbitration system.

After issues involving his right shoulder wiped out almost his entire season, Ross underwent surgery in October to address thoracic outlet syndrome.

Ross was San Diego’s Opening Day starter during a 15-0 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers, but didn’t pitch again, clouding a future that once had him looking like a trade-deadline chip and one of the best pitchers in the free-agent class after the 2017 season.

That’s when Jake Arrieta will be looking for his megadeal and John Lackey might be in retirement and Jon Lester will be turning 34. That’s why the Cubs are so focused on pitching this winter and trying to balance out an organization tilted toward hitters.

[SHOP CUBS: Get your World Series champions gear right here]

Kyle Hendricks proved he will be a pitcher to build around – and the Cubs believe Mike Montgomery can evolve from a swingman into a fifth starter and maybe something far more valuable – but depth is a real issue.

Ross made 30-plus starts in 2014 and 2015, when he earned an All-Star selection and accounted for almost 400 innings combined. He will turn 30 in April and is seen as a positive force within the clubhouse. He has a 6-foot-6 frame, a second-round-pick pedigree and a Cal-Berkeley education.

Reports have already linked the Texas Rangers and Pittsburgh Pirates to Ross and not completely ruled out a return to San Diego. During an offseason where the free-agent market is essentially devoid of reliable frontline starters, there could be sticker shock, even with a rehabbing pitcher.

Trading for Wade Davis meant the Cubs were out of the bidding for Greg Holland, another All-Star closer who helped turn the Kansas City Royals into World Series champions. Holland spent this year recovering from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow, but he will still be in position to capitalize after Mark Melancon, Aroldis Chapman and eventually Kenley Jansen reset the market for closers.

With Ross, the Cubs will have to get a better sense of the medical picture and the price for all that upside.

Beyond a winning culture, the Cubs can sell the pitching infrastructure that helped turn Arrieta into a Cy Young Award winner and transform Hendricks into an ERA leader and keep the rotation remarkably healthy.

“Those really talented pitchers are going to be in demand, even those that are coming off an injury,” Cubs president Theo Epstein said this week at National Harbor. “We’ll stay engaged on some of those guys, but they’ll have to be just the right talent.

“We’ll have to feel good about the medical and the return to play. And the fit on the club would have to be right, too. But the true elite guys have a real market, even if they’re coming off down seasons.”

Cubs' MVP Kris Bryant signs multi-year extension with Adidas

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USA TODAY

Cubs' MVP Kris Bryant signs multi-year extension with Adidas

Kris Bryant just keeps on winning in 2016.

Two months after leading the Cubs to their first World Series title in 108 years, Bryant signed a multi-year extension with Adidas.

"It's a phenomenal time to be partnered with Adidas with all the energy and momentum that the brand has right now," Bryant said via a press release. "Adidas embraced me as part of the family from the start."

Bryant was named National League MVP after hitting .292 with 39 homers and 102 RBIs. He hit .308 with three homers and 8 RBIs in the postseason.

Bryant first signed with Adidas in 2014 after the Cubs made him the No. 2 pick in the 2013 MLB Draft.