Next wave: Top prospect Russell joins Cubs

Next wave: Top prospect Russell joins Cubs

PITTSBURGH -- First it was Kris Bryant. Now Addison Russell, the Cubs' No. 2 prospect, is joining the big league team.

Russell, called up before Chicago's Tuesday night game in Pittsburgh, will play second base and hit ninth against the Pirates in his big league debut. The 21-year-old moved from shortstop to second base at Triple-A Iowa, which put the infielder on the fast track to the big leagues.

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Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Alcantara optioned as Russell called up

Olt transferred to 60-day DL to make room on 40-man roster

Alcantara optioned as Russell called up

PITTSBURGH -- Infielder Arismendy Alcantara was optioned to Triple-A Iowa to make room on the Cubs' roster for Addison Russell on Tuesday. Manager Joe Maddon was excited about Alcantara when he first saw video of the versatile player this winter, predicting he could be another Ben Zobrist.

Alcantara, 23, who made the Opening Day roster this year for the first time in his young career, was 2-for-26 in 11 games with the Cubs. What does Alcantara need to work on? Confidence, Maddon said.

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Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bryant scores on wild romp around bases

Two-run double turns into Little League home run for Cubs' top prospect

Bryant scores on wild romp around bases

PITTSBURGH -- In his fourth big league game, the Cubs' Kris Bryant logged his first Little League home run.

With two on and two outs in the seventh Monday night and the Cubs tied at 1 with the Pirates, Bryant lofted a double to the base of the outfield wall in left-center. Both runs scored and Bryant advanced to third on the throw home. But he rounded third, and as the Pirates tried to track him down, the rookie kept going, scampering home and scoring on an error by Pirates catcher Francisco Cervelli.

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Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bryant plates three to lead Cubs past Pirates

Bryant plates three to lead Cubs past Pirates

PITTSBURGH -- Rookie Kris Bryant drove in three runs and hustled to score another on an error, leading the Cubs to a 5-2 win over the Pirates on Monday night at PNC Park.

Once Jake Arrieta escaped a first-inning jam thanks to some sharp fielding, including his own, he didn't allow another baserunner until a two-out double in the sixth inning by Andrew McCutchen -- who also hit an RBI single in the first. Arrieta struck out seven without issuing a walk.

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Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. Follow him on Twitter @Tom_Singer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Fan OK after being struck by foul into net

Fan OK after being struck by foul into net

PITTSBURGH -- A fan injured on a foul ball into the protective net behind home plate during the second inning of Monday night's 5-2 Cubs win over the Pirates was alert and gave a "thumbs up" to nearby fans as she was taken for medical care.

Play was halted for about 20 minutes after Chicago's Starlin Castro fouled back a pitch from A.J. Burnett into the netting during the second inning while the fan was being escorted to her seat. The net flexed with the impact of the ball, which then struck the fan in the head area as she stood with her back to the field. She fell and immediately was tended to by ballpark and medical crews.

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Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. Follow him on Twitter @Tom_Singer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Jim Callis

What to expect: Russell gets callup to Cubs

Shortstop prospect joins Chicago just days after fellow stud Bryant

What to expect: Russell gets callup to Cubs

Another day, another elite prospect called up in Chicago.

The Cubs promoted third baseman Kris Bryant on Friday, and the White Sox followed by summoning left-hander Carlos Rodon on Monday. Now it's Addison Russell's turn, as he'll join the Cubs on Tuesday and is expected to start at second base against the Pirates.

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This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Arrieta notches 500th K in 100th start

Cubs righty holds Pirates to one run over seven innings

Arrieta notches 500th K in 100th start

PITTSBURGH -- Cubs pitcher Jake Arrieta struck out seven Monday night to raise his career K total to 500 in a 5-2 win over the Pirates.

"I've got a couple thousand more to go," Arrieta said.

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Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Confident Starlin playing aggressive shortstop

Infielder impresses Cubs manager Maddon, pitcher Arrieta

Confident Starlin playing aggressive shortstop

PITTSBURGH -- There's a reason the Cubs' Starlin Castro is playing better shortstop. He doesn't want to be a "joke" anymore.

Both manager Joe Maddon and pitcher Jake Arrieta complimented Castro on his play Monday night in the Cubs' 5-2 victory over the Pirates. The reason?

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Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Star prospect Bryant stars in commercial

Star prospect Bryant stars in commercial

PITTSBURGH -- Kris Bryant wasn't quite sure what to do when the goat he was paired with for a commercial wanted to run around, and he also needed some guidance on how to milk a cow.

"I had no clue what I was doing," Bryant said Monday. "They had an umbrella over [the goat] because it was raining. The goat wanted to run around. It was hard to keep him by my side. I've never been around them -- I'm not a farm boy, I'm a city boy."

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Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cubs Charities Diamond Project launched for 2015

PITTSBURGH -- Monday marked the launch of the 2015 Cubs Charities Diamond Project, aimed at improving the quality, safety and accessibility of local baseball fields or indoor training facilities.

Last year, Cubs Charities introduced the Diamond Project and awarded more than $330,000 to seven projects across Chicago.

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Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Lester gets out at first -- by throwing entire glove

Happy to make 'weird' play, lefty feels he's improving on mound

Lester gets out at first -- by throwing entire glove

CHICAGO -- Jon Lester called the play one of those "weird" occurrences in baseball.

After he fielded a Clint Barmes grounder to the mound in the second inning, Lester tried to grab the baseball as he looked to second base for a potential double play. But the ball became stuck in the Cubs pitcher's glove. So, Lester heaved the entire glove -- with ball still inside -- at first baseman Anthony Rizzo to get the out. Rizzo dropped his own glove to catch Lester's.

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Sarah Trotto is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cubs fall short, drop series to Padres

Cubs fall short, drop series to Padres

CHICAGO -- Yangervis Solarte's two-run home run in the seventh inning gave the Padres some breathing room on Sunday in their 5-2 victory over the Cubs before a crowd of 29,113 at Wrigley Field.

San Diego pitcher Andrew Cashner allowed two runs, both unearned, on five hits with two walks and five strikeouts in six innings. Cashner hasn't allowed an earned run in his last 12 innings.

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Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter. Sarah Trotto is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bryant celebrates first Majors hit, looks forward to other milestones

Third baseman proud of how he bounced back, hopes to continue contributing

Bryant celebrates first Majors hit, looks forward to other milestones

CHICAGO -- Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant celebrated his first Major League hit and RBI by eating dinner with his family on Saturday night.

He was able to enjoy both personal milestones and a Cubs' 7-6 victory over the Padres.

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Sarah Trotto is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cubs walk off on Starlin's single in 11th

Cubs walk off on Starlin's single in 11th

Starlin Castro knocked in the game-winning run in the 11th inning with a bases-loaded single on Saturday as the Cubs edged the Padres, 7-6, before a crowd of 33,958 at Wrigley Field.

"Last year and the year before, we lost a lot of games like that," Castro said. "We played a lot of extra-inning games and lost. We play more than nine and we keep fighting and try to win."

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Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter. Sarah Trotto is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bryant drives in run on first career hit

Top prospect singles to center off Ross to tie ballgame

Bryant drives in run on first career hit

CHICAGO -- After a whirlwind Major League debut, Kris Bryant looked more comfortable in his second game with the Cubs.

He didn't strike out either.

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Sarah Trotto is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Montero clubs pair of homers to help lead Cubs

Montero clubs pair of homers to help lead Cubs

CHICAGO -- The Cubs have several young, talented players who garner significant attention.

The veterans help keep them in line. At the not-so-old age of 31, catcher Miguel Montero is one of those older players who guides the youngsters.

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Sarah Trotto is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Castro, Olt impressed by Bryant's debut

Rookie's early displays on defense have teammates talking

Castro, Olt impressed by Bryant's debut

CHICAGO -- Count Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro and third baseman Mike Olt among those impressed with Kris Bryant's Major League debut.

Now that most of the hoopla has subsided, they expect the 23-year-old third baseman to be able to relax a little and succeed.

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Sarah Trotto is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Phil Rogers

Bryant's versatility presents Cubs with many options

Bryant's versatility presents Cubs with many options

CHICAGO -- Kris Bryant begins his career as a third baseman. He's likely to end it as an outfielder.

But what is really fascinating to consider is this: Could he spend much of it as an almost one-of-a-kind weapon -- a cleanup hitter who is strong enough in the field to move with ease between third base and the corner-outfield spots, allowing manager Joe Maddon tremendous flexibility?

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Phil Rogers is a columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Saturday's hero catches foul ball in her beer

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Saturday's hero catches foul ball in her beer

There are some who bring baseball gloves to the ballgame, hoping that the addition of some leather and padding will help them make a great play on a foul ball or home run.

Others are a little more ingenious. Like this Cubs fan at Saturday's game against the Padres. Armed simply with a cup of beer, she managed to both snag the lucky souvenir, and as befits such a prize, she ritualistically chugged the sudsy beverage in celebration. 

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Olt may be in cast for up to four weeks

Olt may be in cast for up to four weeks

CHICAGO -- Cubs third baseman Mike Olt wore a blue cast on his right arm that extended from his hand over his elbow while he was in the clubhouse Saturday morning.

Olt said the long cast prevents him from twisting his arm. He expects to wear the cast for about 3-4 weeks for the hairline fracture in his right wrist. The Cubs placed him on the 15-day disabled list on Friday, retroactive to Wednesday, and promoted their top prospect Kris Bryant from Triple-A Iowa.

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Sarah Trotto is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bryant stars defensively in hitless MLB debut

Cubs phenom goes down swinging in first three at-bats, finishes 0-for-4 in loss

Bryant stars defensively in hitless MLB debut

CHICAGO -- If Friday's debut proved anything, it's that Kris Bryant can handle third base but wasn't quite ready for James Shields' changeup.

Promoted from Triple-A Iowa, Bryant didn't hit a home run in every at-bat, going 0-for-4 with three strikeouts. The No. 2 prospect in baseball, according to MLB.com, admitted he was anxious in his first big league game, which Chicago lost, 5-4, to the Padres.

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Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bryant sharp on D in debut, but 'pen can't contain Padres

Bryant sharp on D in debut, but 'pen can't contain Padres

CHICAGO -- In a game that featured the highly anticipated Major League debut of Cubs rookie Kris Bryant, San Diego's Wil Myers stole the show with a go-ahead three-run home run in the seventh inning as the Padres topped the Cubs, 5-4, on Friday afternoon before a crowd of 32,138 at Wrigley Field.

Bryant, promoted Friday from Triple-A Iowa, went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts. The third baseman started a double play and possibly saved a run by snagging a line drive with a runner on first base in the fifth inning. Bryant also grounded out to end the seventh with two on. More >

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Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter. Sarah Trotto is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Anthony Castrovince

Bryant's debut in line with superstars past, present

Bryant's debut in line with superstars past, present

We waited 12 long and lonely days for Kris Bryant to make an offensive impact at the Major League level and, well, the wait continues. Though he made some nice plays in the field, Bryant took an 0-for-4 at the plate in his big league debut on Friday vs. the Padres, striking out three times and leaving five on base.

But Bryant need not feel bad about himself at the moment. For one, there's his own personal history to remember. In 2013, he went 0-for-3 with three errors in his pro debut in the Arizona Rookie League, and 0-for-5 with five strikeouts in his Class A debut mere days later.

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Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his columns and follow him on Twitter at @Castrovince. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Phil Rogers

For Bryant, momentous day bigger than results

For Bryant, momentous day bigger than results

CHICAGO -- Forget the small stuff. The details were minutia, the final result a footnote on Friday at Wrigley Field.

Records will show that the Padres beat the Cubs, 5-4, with Kris Bryant having such an inauspicious debut that Padres manager Bud Black intentionally walked Anthony Rizzo to pitch to him with a seventh-inning lead on the line, but this was Bryant's day from the time he woke up in New Orleans until the minute he went to bed in Chicago.

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Phil Rogers is a columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Maddon's first Cubs ejection comes after key homer

Myers gives Padres lead after controversial ball call could have ended inning

Maddon's first Cubs ejection comes after key homer

CHICAGO -- Joe Maddon received his first ejection as the Cubs' manager on Friday afternoon. He was in no mood to continue complaining after the game.

Maddon and the club believed home-plate umpire Sam Holbrook should have called a third strike on Wil Myers in the seventh inning. On the next pitch from reliever Brian Schlitter, Myers hit a three-run home run to give the Padres the lead in their 5-4 victory over the Cubs.

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Sarah Trotto is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bryant's former team believes in his success

Bryant's former team believes in his success

DES MOINES -- Triple-A Iowa played its home opener Friday night, and the hot topic was the one player who wasn't there. 

Kris Bryant began the season in Iowa, but Friday he made his big league debut for the Cubs at Wrigley Field.

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James Hilchen is a contributor to MLB.com This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.