Theo thinks the kids are all right
CHICAGO -- The Cubs have three rookies in the lineup -- Addison Russell, Kris Bryant and Jorge Soler -- and Theo Epstein, president of baseball operations, likes how the kids are doing so far.
"These guys are handling themselves on and off the field in a manner well beyond their years," Epstein said on Wednesday. "When you see the quality at-bats they're having, the great plays they're making, and they're participating in some winning baseball, it's easy to forget how hard it is for young position players to have any kind of success in 2015 Major League Baseball.
"Pitching is so good and opposing teams can exploit weaknesses so quickly now that just for these guys to hold their own and contribute to really big wins is an accomplishment, and we're proud of them."
Right now the key is to help the youngsters relax. Epstein said that Russell's swing didn't have the normal bat speed or look as loose as it does now. Russell, 21, is the second-youngest player in the National League.
"There comes a point where every player takes a deep breath and relaxes and lets their natural ability come out, and you've seen that more and more in the last week," Epstein said.
• Epstein has narrowed his list of potential first-round selections in the June 8 First-Year Player Draft to nine players. That's a perfect number.
"My list is nine, which is convenient, because we pick ninth [overall]," he said.
All of the Minor League coordinators will be in Chicago for a progress report on the organization. Meanwhile, scouts are still doing background checks on potential picks.
"You can't dig deep enough," Epstein said.
• The start time for the Cubs' game in St. Louis on June 28 has been changed to 7:05 p.m. CT to accommodate ESPN. The game was originally scheduled to be played at 1:15 p.m.
• Dan Vogelbach, 22, the Cubs' 14th-ranked prospect per MLB.com, was placed on Double-A Tennessee's disabled list with a hamstring injury. Vogelbach was batting .320 with 12 doubles, a triple, four home runs, 24 RBIs and 32 walks. He was second in the Southern League in on-base percentage (.436) and walks, as well as sixth in batting average.