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Back-to-back-to-back has Cubs dreaming

3/11/2015

MESA, Ariz. -- A day after making headlines around baseball with their mammoth back-to-back-to-back home runs, Chicago Cubs prospects Jorge Soler, Javier Baez and Kris Bryant were back at work like normal on Wednesday morning. Bryant took some early batting practice and all three had moved on from their Tuesday exploits.

It left their teammates -- and even the Cleveland Indians pitcher they hit the home runs off of in the fourth inning of a 10-6 loss -- to speak for them.

As for their teammates, some saw the home runs in person, some had the day off. But they all were aware when it happened.

Addison Russell: “It was awesome. It’s not something you see every day. I’m so glad I was there. The whole dugout was pretty pumped.”

Like many, Russell predicted the third home run after Soler and Baez went deep.

“Everybody kind of knew in the dugout, ‘Hey watch this ball go,’” he said. “Maybe I can do that if I develop my man strength.”

Kyle Hendricks: “That was cool when it popped up on my Twitter feed. Seeing them dominate like that was great. If you hit them that far you don’t need to pimp those.

“I think back-to-back-to-back might be the (pitcher’s) best friend, not the double play.”

Jake Arrieta: “It’s impressive. It’s kind of hard to believe we have so many young guys like that with the potential to impact the club the way they can. I would love to see them progress on a daily basis.”

“I analyzed Soler’s game a lot last year and tried to pick out flaws and things he could get better at and give him my opinion. But you watch him in the outfield and in the box he’s doing everything the right way. He just needs experience but the polish he already has is pretty special.”

Joe Maddon: “It’s beautiful. It’s sexy.”

Albert Almora: “It was unbelievable. I was messing around with Kris before the game telling him, ‘I want you to hit one today.’ It just happened to be the third one. It was great to be there and see it.”

“Once the first two happened, he went to bat with a purpose. Of course he always does. I don’t know what its like to have that power.”

Almora saw that kind of power in the minors often.

“It was a show every night.”

GM Jed Hoyer: “That was fun to watch. Our goal -- and obviously those were the first three swings of the inning -- is to make those solo home runs multiple-run homers this year. But that was impressive.”

Pedro Strop: “I was like three? In a row? C’mon, man.”

Who would win a home-run hitting contest?

“I’m going to say Baez. The smallest one. When he crushes it, it’s crushed.”

Anthony Rizzo: “I saw a headline on ESPN. They were impressive swings. Nothing amazes me in this camp with the talent we have.

“Everyone is excited about it. So are we.”

Jason Hammel: “That’s the promise they have. With time and experience that’s what they can do.

“They can be a game changer. You’re going to have to pick your poison. That’s what you see in the American League a lot. Top and bottom of the lineups that can hurt you. Not many -- if any -- in the NL have it. We could have that.”

Dexter Fowler also had some fun with the blasts.