Maddon gets help from The Boss to fire up Cubs camp

Maddon gets help from The Boss to fire up Cubs camp

MESA, Ariz. -- The music was loud Wednesday for the Cubs' first full-squad workout, and included "Born to Run" by Bruce Springsteen. It was time to get to work under new manager Joe Maddon.

"I've always liked music during batting practice," Maddon said. "When you go to complex baseball and you're out in the middle of nowhere and it gets really quiet, crickets and all that kind of stuff, I like when it's really loud."

Maddon picked the tunes for Wednesday. He hinted that others might get a chance.

"I think the first thing out of the chute in the morning, get the blood flow going, and it seems to have helped," Maddon said. "I was told the speaker system was really good in the complex, and they're right."

Maddon noted a good energy on the first day, which included Jake Arrieta, Jason Motte, Edwin Jackson, Justin Grimm, Felix Doubront and Jacob Turner throwing live batting practice.

What did Maddon want the players to remember from his speech?

"The one thing, more than anything, is that I want them to be themselves," he said. "I don't want them to feel inhibited when they play. I don't want them to feel as though they're out there to please. Don't worry about making mistakes -- you're going to make mistakes, physical mistakes. We want to cut down on the mental mistakes."

Tommy La Stella took grounders at third base along with Mike Olt. La Stella has never played third in professional baseball but was told when he signed with the Cubs that he may get a chance there. Arismendy Alcantara and Javier Baez took grounders at second.

• Maddon said players can expect some different drills this spring. He likes to have hitters use heavier bats, say 35-36 ounces and 34-35 inches long to help promote the utilization of their hands. Maddon also complimented outfield coach Doug Dascenzo on his drills, saying they reminded him of what he saw with former coach Sam Suplizio, who passed away in 2006.

C.J. Edwards, Blake Parker, Anthony Carter, Donn Roach, Neil Ramirez, Joseph Ortiz, Francisley Bueno and Germen Gonzalez were scheduled to throw live batting practice on Thursday.

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.