Cubs manager sees Gold Glove days ahead for Russell

                                                                                                                                                                                                   
  • Associated Press/2015 fileCubs shortstop Addison Russell opened last season playing second base but Joe Maddon expect him to stay put at shortstop this season.

    Associated Press/2015 fileCubs shortstop Addison Russell opened last season playing second base but Joe Maddon expect him to stay put at shortstop this season.

 
 
Updated 2/23/2016 6:54 PM

MESA, Ariz. -- Addison Russell is a natural shortstop who made his major-league debut with the Cubs last April playing second base.

He moved to shortstop late in the season and has the starting job entering this season. Russell is a smooth fielder, and the possibility of him winning the Gold Glove came up Tuesday, when position players reported for spring training.

 

"That would be pretty nice," Russell said. "I just want to make the plays. I do the best I can to help out my pitchers."

Russell suffered a hamstring injury running the bases in Game 3 of the National League division series against the Cardinals. He did not play again during the postseason but says he is fully healthy again after rehabbing and working out during the winter.

"I feel comfortable with my hamstring this year," he said. "I've been working out really, really hard."

Manager Joe Maddon did not hesitate when asked if Russell could win a Gold Glove as early as this season.

"No question," the always-positive Maddon said. "A big part of that would be the fact that he makes the routine play so routinely well. A lot of times, guys who might have a little bit of a flair for the dramatic get a lot of publicity, and he has that. But I just really like the chrome-less kind of infielder that's very basic and boring in the sense that he knows how to pick up a groundball and throw it to first base without any fanfare."

Russell would like to take some groundballs at second base to keep the rust away, but Maddon said not to look for him at second in games.

"No," Maddon said. "He doesn't need to. I don't anticipate putting him into a game (at second). If he thought that he needed to do that for some kind of routine he likes, I would listen to that. But there's really no reason to."

Fresh sophs:

One of the big questions this year will be whether the Cubs' young players can avoid the dreaded "sophomore jinx."

"For me the sophomore jinx or bump is basically when a guy's been good and the group that he's playing against adjusts to him, and he doesn't adjust back," Joe Maddon said. "That's my definition of it. I thought last year some of our guys had the opportunity to experience the sophomore bump in their freshman year because they had some difficult moments that I thought they really worked through well. Perfect examples are Addison (Russell) and KB (Kris Bryant) regarding the adjustments they made with their swings, in their mechanics, during the course of the year. It's not easy to do."

0 Comments
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Get articles sent to your inbox.

Article Comments
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.