Around the Minors
South Bend—South Bend is in the midst of naming their new Cubs mascot. The Final Four names were Ben D. Bear, Colfax, Harry Beary, and Stu. Voting for the first round ended on Friday with Colfax (35%) and tSu (32%) claiming the top two spots and will now battle it out.. Here’s more info on the voting............At the team’s hot stove banquet, it was announced that Wayne Messmer will sing the national anthem on opening night and Cubs owner Tom Rickets will throw out the first pitch..........Single game tickets go on sale March 11 and the home opener at Four Winds Field is April 9 against Bowling Green.
Cubs runner-up on Shields
James Shields said on 1090-AM in San Diego on Thursday morning that his decision came down to the Padres and the Cubs. According to reports, the Cubs offered the right-hander $60 million for three years but the 33-year-old signed a four-year deal with the Padres for $75 million. Cubs were at a disadvantage as Shields made it known he wanted to stay on the West coast, so the extra year made the decision an easy one. It has also been reported that Shields’ deal comes with a player option after the 2016 season.
Lester gets ace
Jon Lester now has more hole-in-ones that he does major league base hits. On Wednesday, the Cubs new left-hander was playing golf at Estonia Golf Course in Scottsdale with Cubs coach Eric Hinske, teammate Travis Wood and Rays third baseman Evan Longoria (insert trade rumor and also tampering charges jokes). Lester aced the 174-yard, par-3, seventh hole and tweeted a picture of the scorecard along with the Titliest golf ball he used. The rest of the foursome all took “5s” and Lester double bogied the 6th and 8th holes, so a pro golfing career is unlikely. As far as his career batting totals, he’s 0-for-36.
College season begins
Here’s some news on a few of the Cubs recent draft picks now in college....Baseball America has tabbed Cubs 30th round pick (’14) Michael Cantu as the Big 12 Freshman of the Year. Cantu will play 1B/C for Texas, ranked 10th in the nation......Cubs 23rd round pick (’14) Isiah Gilliam is off to a good start for Chipola Junior College in Florida, hitting .400/.471/.567 with a homer and 11 RBI in nine games. He’s played first and the outfield as Chipola has won four straight (5-4)........Jeremy Martinez, the Cubs 37th round pick in ’13, is ranked by BA as the 7th best prospect in the Pac-12 for the ’16 draft after hitting .297/.380/.368 as a freshman.