The Cubs’ transformation corresponded with improvements in their infrastructure, Brian Costa of the Wall Street Journal writes. When owner Tom Ricketts arrived in 2009, the Cubs were keeping up with trade rumors by having a staffer find articles on the Internet and then print them out for executives. Much of the staff worked in trailers in the parking lot at Wrigley Field. They’ve since developed their own computer database and moved their staff to a building near the ballpark. As Costa notes, many of the Cubs’ improvements were far from revolutionary compared to what other teams were doing, but they were great leaps forward from where the Cubs had been. Here’s more out of Chicago.
- The Cubs have announced their NLCS roster, which includes outfielder Quintin Berry in place of infielder Addison Russell (who has a hamstring strain). Berry had been on their Wild Card roster, but he hasn’t on their roster for the NLDS. The 30-year-old Berry has become something of a postseason specialist. He only has 342 career regular-season plate appearances, 330 of those coming with the Tigers in 2012, but once he appears in a game with the Cubs, he’ll have played in the postseason with three different teams, also including the 2012 Tigers and 2013 Red Sox. The reason, of course, is his speed: Berry has 27 stolen bases and has been caught just once in his big-league career, and he swiped 35 bases in the minors this year. The Cubs signed Berry to a minor-league deal in August.
- Cubs special assistant Tim Wilken is leaving the team for a new job with the Diamondbacks, Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune reports. Before being promoted, Wilken had served as the Cubs’ amateur and professional scouting director, and Gonzales notes he played roles in the signings of Josh Donaldson, Jeff Samardzija, Andrew Cashner, Josh Harrison, DJ LeMahieu, Javier Baez and Darwin Barney. Before joining the Cubs, Wilken had worked with the Blue Jays and Rays.