CHICAGO — Wrigley Field will have a brand new bullpen by the home opener on April 10.
The Cubs’ relief pitchers will be warming up in a new area under the bleachers, according to the Chicago Tribune, so the fans can no longer watch unless someone shows footage on the video boards.
Though they aren’t enthusiastic about the change, pitching coach Chris Bosio and manager Joe Maddon understand that it’s part of the renovation plan.
“It’ll be different,” Bosio said. “In Houston you can’t see (the pitchers), and Atlanta. … There are some parts we’re going to have to figure out. Wrigley is so unique, a lot like San Francisco, because you’re right there with the crowd, and we think that’s a huge home-field advantage for us. We’ve got to turn it into a home-field advantage no matter where the bullpens are.”
Since the original plan to double the outfield doors fell through due to the ivy on the walls being protected by the city’s landmark ordinance, a smaller opening was made. Communication with bullpen coach Lester Strode will be even more important now that Bosio cannot see players warming up.
However, the Cubs are ever hopeful and will adjust.
“We will sit down and talk about every detail we possibly can,” Bosio said. “We’ll look at the other ballparks, talk to their coaches, players, and try to come up with all the pluses and minuses and be as prepared as we can be. That’s all you can do.”