#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


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wow that slide was well off the bag. Hope Baez is okay. What kind of play is that for spring training?

Aloha Folks- This is where I really respect a manager like Maddon. He showed respect to EJax in speaking with him in private not having it “out” in front of others. If this is it for EJax he cannot say he was not shown both grace and respect. Today was a little hard because the team did get 10 hits but the RISP stat was 1-13. I know this will change. Have to give props to Olt a 3bagger and an HR! We need him hitting consistently as his defense will be needed at the corner. I have to say I feel very comfortable with an Olt and Rizzo on the corners for the infield. Anyhow, great that the team is working through all of the kinks now and better luck tomorrow. Mahalo!

Just stop in on An Open Track Day, it is the opportunity for you to
drive your car or bike on the racetrack. Patrick killing druids to
go by even in this allegorical sense. And that’s the
way it still is, many decades later.

LMAO, yo.

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