• The Cubs got encouraging reports about right-hander Arodys Vizcaino, who is coming back after undergoing Tommy John surgery in March 2012. Vizcaino made about six appearances in the Dominican instructional league, his fastball hit 98 mph and he showed good command, Epstein said.
The pitcher, acquired from the Braves in July 2012, could be in the Cubs' bullpen mix in 2014.
• New Cubs manager Rick Renteria is known for his even-keel demeanor. He was asked if he had a temper.
"I can get hot," Renteria said Thursday. "I think any competitor can get hot. I think you've got to pick your spots. I don't think players appreciate people just losing it for the sake of losing it.
"Will I do it for the sake of people watching me do it? No. You probably won't see me doing it at all, but I can't guarantee that. When it happens, it's got to be the right time, and I think those things have to take care of themselves.
"If you're a guy who is even-keeled and you end up losing it, I think [the players] understand you mean business and it means a little bit more. For the most part, I think conversations need to be had behind closed doors."
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.