Lester set for first live batting practice session

Manager Maddon still evaluating roster as Cubs get first experience with new lefty

Lester set for first live batting practice session

MESA, Ariz. -- Javier Baez, Mike Olt and Jorge Soler will be the first to take some swings against new Cubs pitcher Jon Lester, who is scheduled to throw his first live batting practice session on Friday.

Lester, Hector Rondon, Zac Rosscup, Brian Schlitter, Pedro Strop, Drake Britton, Corey Black and Pierce Johnson are scheduled for live batting practice.

Cubs manager Joe Maddon is still in the early phases of evaluating the roster this spring.

"I don't really read into too many things," he said. "I'm just watching."

• Former Cubs outfielder Dave Martinez was the only coach Maddon was able to add to his staff, and having the familiarity has helped. Martinez was Maddon's bench coach with the Rays for seven seasons.

"It's very fortunate that we did [add Martinez], and it's even more obvious to me now," Maddon said. "People talked about it, and you need to bring somebody with you. Davey is the perfect fit, and it really helps me daily because he brings a lot of the message to the guys."

Of course, when Martinez played for the Cubs, they held Spring Training at Fitch Park. Still, the uniform hasn't changed much or the fans.

"He feels like he's home a little bit, too," Maddon said.

• Maddon was pleased with the energy and execution during bunt drills Thursday.

"I told the boys afterward, 'That's pro, and if we can do that 99 percent of the time, we'll be OK,'" he said.

Maddon likes the energy at camp

• How does Maddon relax at the end of the day? He's been catching up on some television shows, such as "The Office" and "Curb Your Enthusiasm."

"I'd rather go to sleep watching something funny than something way too serious," he said. "I prefer a comedy to go to sleep with, and ['The Office'] is my favorite."

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.