Cubs go entire series without batting practice

April 23rd, 2016
Manager Joe Maddon said batting practice is optional and overrated. (Jeff Roberson/AP)Jeff Roberson/AP

CINCINNATI -- The Cubs have not taken batting practice for the first three games of their four-game series against the Reds, and they won't do so in Sunday's finale. As far as manager Joe Maddon is concerned, BP is overrated.

"If you think you need it, go ahead and do it," Maddon said Saturday. "I like BP for ground balls primarily."

It's not that the Cubs aren't hitting at all pregame. Hitting coach John Mallee and assistant Eric Hinske schedule the players for sessions in the batting cages. So if somebody wants to hit on the field, what should he do?

"I'd say, 'Go talk to Johnny,'" Maddon said. "'Go talk to your teammates.' We still have our time [on the field]. If a couple guys wanted to come out, they could. It's not like they can't come out."

Maddon does like the pregame time for refresher courses on bunt defenses or pitcher's fielding practice. If a batter is trying to work on hitting the ball to the opposite field, it might be better to do that outside.

"I don't think they get more or less [out of using the cages] -- they get loose," Maddon said. "I don't think [batting practice on the field] is necessary every day."