Chicago Cubs News

Chicago Cubs: Five questions that need answering in Spring Training

jfrancis
May 14, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Cubs left fielder Kris Bryant (left) and center fielder Dexter Fowler (right) and right fielder Jason Heyward (right) celebrate the final out of the ninth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Wrigley Field. Chicago won 8-2. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
May 14, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Cubs left fielder Kris Bryant (left) and center fielder Dexter Fowler (right) and right fielder Jason Heyward (right) celebrate the final out of the ninth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Wrigley Field. Chicago won 8-2. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports /
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Oct 18, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Chicago Cubs relief pitcher Travis Wood (37) talks with catcher Miguel Montero (47) during the sixth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers in game three of the 2016 NLCS playoff baseball series at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports /

#4: Can Montero replace Ross?

Let’s be honest.

Replacing the glue between two items after the adhesiveness has worn is difficult – almost impossible. No matter what you do, the hold never seems as strong.

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The Chicago Cubs are facing a comparable situation in the retirement of David Ross. He was the man that led the team, teaching the young stars like Anthony Rizzo and setting the tone on the field.

With his departure, the door is now open for someone else to step up. Rizzo will be the likely candidate for the role, with Zobrist and Jon Lester to help. But it is behind the plate the loss of Ross will be most evident.

Lester no longer has his longtime personal catcher and must build relationship and communication with either Miguel Montero or Willson Contreras.

Passing the torch

One may think Montero is the likely candidate for the role. The former All-Star knows National League hitters better than the young Contreras. And, in any season in which he played 128 games or more, Montero averaged double-digit doubles and home runs.

However, based on comments made by Joe Maddon, it will be Contreras who gets the nod to open the year. The addition of his arm behind the plate and ability to cut down runners will help pitchers hold runners to their bases. He must eliminate passed balls and block wild pitches with greater accuracy, but his time is coming.

Additionally, Schwarber will get time behind the plate, which Maddon hinted at earlier this week.

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