MESA, Ariz. -- The Chicago Cubs' Opening Day starter is a mystery but only because manager Joe Maddon hasn’t made it official yet. He still needs to talk with Jake Arrieta, Jon Lester and the rest of the pitchers, but you can bet that Arrieta, the National League Cy Young Award winner, will be tapped for Game 1 in Anaheim soon enough.
In the meantime Maddon did commit to lefty Travis Wood as the Game 1 starter in the Cactus League next Thursday when the Cubs take on the Milwaukee Brewers. He’ll be followed in that game by Kyle Hendricks before giving way to the bullpen. The team will allow long relievers like Wood to start games in the spring in case they’re needed in the early portion of the season.
The team will map out the rest of next weekend for Cactus League games as pitchers complete bullpen sessions in the coming days. No word on when the Cubs' top starters will make their spring debuts. The Cubs have already stated they’ll back off some veterans after a nearly seven-month 2015 season.
Domestic violence seminar: Cubs players attended a domestic violence seminar before workouts on Saturday as the league has implemented new penalties for those who get into trouble.
“It’s just not the way to solve problems,” pitcher Jason Hammel said, echoing the league’s message. “If you know someone or it's directly affecting you, don’t be afraid to speak up.”
All teams will hear the same message as the commissioner’s office faces several cases of domestic assaults involving players right now.
“Life is tough. Sometimes, better you deal with the stress by talking it out than doing something else,” Hammel said.