MESA, Ariz. (CBS) — Most of the Cubs had arrived in Arizona for Spring Training Tuesday, even though position players don’t technically have to show up until this weekend.
But Tuesday was the official report day for pitchers and catchers, and there were a lot of familiar faces. The big question as spring training started was whether that is a good thing.
Guys like Anthony Rizzo and Jason Heyward were out early getting work in. There just aren’t any big name new additions to talk about because the Cubs, as we all know by now, didn’t add anyone of significance in the offseason.
Cubs President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein tried to calm Cubs fans worries about the current makeup of the roster while also pointing to the new man in charge in the dugout, David Ross.
“We underperformed last year,” Epstein said. “We’ve been open about that. There have been a lot of changes behind the scenes with some of our non-playing personnel and then there have been tweaks on the roster.”
He continued: “I’ll be honest, there hasn’t been as much turnover as we expected. I know it might bring some eye rolls because there wasn’t the significant kind of change to the roster that could have happened under another iteration of this. I’m genuinely optimistic about this group. I feel like the talent is getting overlooked a little bit and that’s our own fault. That’s what this is about. That’s what the changes are about. That’s what Ross is here to do.”
“I’d actually say sometimes success can bring a lack of things of things, focus can just get awry,” added new manager David Ross. “We tend to focus on some other details as our careers evolve. Still a lot of good talent and a lot of good numbers getting put up there. The attention to details and the winning ways that I find important I think are the ones I’m just going to hammer home.”