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Chicago Cubs

Stadium: Wrigley Field | Manager: Rick Renteria
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Tue, March 31
Chi. Cubs
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St. Louis8-712-11
Cubs' Maddon: Injured Chris Denorfia down to last day
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com

Cubs outfielder Chris Denorfia took batting practice on Tuesday, but he still hasn't been cleared to play. 

Denorfia has not played since March 17, due to a hamstring injury, and time is running out. 

"Opening Day is still in jeopardy," manager Joe Maddon said, per MLB.com. "You have to figure that out when you fill out the roster, too."

"We have to get some real clarity by [Wednesday]," Maddon said.

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Cubs 3B Mike Olt feeling rejuvenated heading into 2015 season
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com

Mike Olt is expected to be the Cubs' starting third baseman on Opening Day for a second straight year with the demotion of Kris Bryant to the minors. Even with the potential for Chicago to bring Bryant to the majors quickly, Olt is feeling confident heading into the 2015 season.

"It feels a lot different," Olt said of this season versus last year, per MLB.com. "I was able to go up there last year and learned a lot of things. I feel I'm back to the player who can really compete instead of the player who you hope is ready and you hope the swing is there. It's a lot different feeling, a lot less stressful."

Olt is having a decent spring at the plate, batting .279 with a .392 on-base percentage, .558 slugging percentage and .950 OPS in 19 games. It's a nice turnaround after batting .160 in 89 games in the majors last season.

"I had two crazy years and a lot of things happened to me," said Olt of some injury issues. "Now I feel it's in the past, and I have a new outlook on baseball and a new outlook on my career. I used to be one of those [top prospects like Bryant] -- and you forget about that. I feel myself becoming that guy again, and it makes baseball fun again."

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Cubs pitcher Jon Lester throws 84 pitches in minor league game
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com

Cubs pitcher Jon Lester tossed 84 pitches in a minor league game in Arizona Tuesday, striking out four in the outing.

"I wasn't the sharpest today but got to where we needed to," Lester said. "Once we get into a game with some fans and some adrenaline, I think things will sharpen up a little bit."

Lester, who is dealing with a tired arm, was scratched from his last Cactus League start. He is still on track to start Sunday's season opener against the Cardinals.

"We'll figure it out," Lester said. "In this game, there's always things you have to overcome, and this is part of it. Come Sunday, everything will be fine. We'll go out there and have a game plan."

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Phil Coke: My reworked mechanics helped me earn a roster spot
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com

Phil Coke told reporters his reworked mechanics helped him earn a roster spot as a reliever with the Cubs, according to MLB.com.

"They took their time, they made the decisions they wanted to make, and I'm still here, and I'm happy about it," Coke said. "There was a moment of wondering. I don't know what's going on upstairs, that's not my concern."

Coke went 5-2 with a 3.88 ERA and one save in 62 relief appearances for Detroit in 2014. He signed a minor-league deal on March 5, and has yet to surrender a run in 7 2/3 innings of work this spring.

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Cubs will wait until the time is right to call up Kris Bryant
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com

Cubs manager Joe Maddon and president of baseball operations Theo Epstein both know Kris Bryant has the talent to make it in the major leagues. But both expressed concern about having him for the long haul over his entire career Tuesday, reports MLB.com.

"I'm not going to sit here and tell you that you wouldn't want him in your lineup -- there's no question you want him in your lineup," Maddon said. "He's also 23. I'm looking forward to working with this guy for the next 15 years. That'll make me 76. If I'm the next Jack McKeon, I'll be working with this guy when I'm 76 years of age."

Bryant hit a spring training high nine home runs in 40 at-bats while posting a .425 average.

"I'm not saying we're right all the time or right on this issue," Epstein said, "but we have a pretty good track record of bringing along young talent and helping them get off to a good start in their Major League careers, and the way we've done it is to wait for just the right moment."

Maddon thinks he's handled the difficult situation extremely well.

"I put myself in the guy's shoes," Maddon said. "What was my brain like at that age? What was I capable of handling at that age? He's got me beat like so much right now as to what I would've done or been able to handle this at that moment. It's not easy. There's so many things coming at you from so many different directions, and he's done a wonderful job."

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2014 Team Leaders
AVGStarlin Castro , SS.292
HRAnthony Rizzo , 1B32
RBIAnthony Rizzo , 1B78
OBPAnthony Rizzo , 1B.386
SLGAnthony Rizzo , 1B.527
RAnthony Rizzo , 1B89
SBArismendy Alcantara , CF8
WJake Arrieta , SP10
ERATravis Wood , SP5.03
WHIPTravis Wood , SP1.53
KJake Arrieta , SP167
SVHector Rondon , RP29
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