Cleat Geeks

Wrigley Weekly Wrap-up

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No worries for Jake Arrieta. His bullpen session Sunday morning eliminated any concerns the Cubs had about his status for the start of the season. Arrieta suffered a blister on his pitching thumb in his last spring outing Thursday and left the game early. He threw 46 pitches in the bullpen session and was declared ready to go. “He was fine,” Joe Maddon said. “No restriction whatsoever. He felt great. It was like it never happened. I anticipate no problems.” Arrieta was hit hard in 1/3 of inning Thursday against the San Francisco Giants, giving up five runs before being pulled. “Went great,” Arrieta said of his bullpen session. “I’m fine.” He will make his final spring start on Tuesday against the Oakland Athletics, where his pitch count may increase to make up for his short outing against the Giants. With their reigning National League Cy Young winner healthy, the Cubs’ rotation is set. After Arrieta starts next Monday against the Angels, Jon Lester will start Game 2, followed by John Lackey, Jason Hammel, and Kyle Hendricks. Reliever Trevor Cahill will stay stretched out as the emergency starter. Travis Wood, Adam Warren, and Clayton Richard will return to the bullpen.

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The Cubs will open Wrigley Field to the fans 2 ½ hours before game time for the home opener on April 11th because of new security measures. For the first time, Wrigley will have metal detectors at every gate, which is likely to cause delays for fans entering the park. The detectors were mandated by Major League Baseball. The Cubs announced that on April 11th, gates will open at 4:35 p.m., 30 minutes earlier than usual. That game against the Reds is scheduled to start at 7:05 p.m. A Cubs spokesman said the team will evaluate fan traffic and average screening times before deciding if gates will continue to open earlier than usual.

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Jake Arrieta, Kris Bryant, Jason Heyward, and Anthony Rizzo were placed on the regional cover of Sports Illustrated’s annual baseball preview issue. It’s the second time in the last seven months the Cubs have graced the cover of Sports Illustrated. After a big run in August, Kris Bryant and the team were placed on a regional cover. The magazine picked the Cubs to reach the World Series this year, but they have them losing to the Houston Astros.

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