#Cubs extra bases: Almora, Baez, Jackson
* Manager Joe Maddon is still tinkering with what he wants to do with the batting order. He’s experimented with the pitcher in the No. 8 spot twice (Jason Hammel and Travis Wood), and said he likes having Arismendy Alcantara follow in the No. 9 spot because it’s like having another leadoff batter.
* Javier Baez led off Thursday, the second time he’s done that this spring.
“Part of it is to try to increase his confidence and let him know we support him,” Maddon said.
They’re hoping Baez can focus on hitting the ball up the middle and getting on base.
* Junior Lake moved to the infield Wednesday, and that’s also part of Maddon’s machinations. He doesn’t expect to start Lake at third, but could move him there if needed.
“I like to be able to try to present all the options in advance so they’re not surprised when the actual moment shows up,” Maddon said. “Players like that little bit of heads up.”
* Albert Almora, 20, the Cubs’ first-round pick in 2012, was assigned to Minor League camp Thursday.
“He’s kind of a complete baseball player and really young,” Maddon said. “He’s the kind of kid who you know will be a great teammate. Ego does not get in the way at all. I see him as a fine Major League baseball player.”
* Maddon was not happy that Edwin Jackson arrived late to his game in Mesa on Tuesday and spoke to the pitcher about it in private.
— Carrie Muskat