Gimenez says he had noth­ing to do with Yu

Chicago Sun-Times - - CUBS BEAT - BY GOR­DON WITTENMYER Staff Re­porter Email: gwit­ten­myer@ sun­times. com

MESA, Ariz. — Is Chris Gimenez the Cubs’ new David Ross?

Sure, if that’s mea­sured in hours of me­dia cover­age, based on the crowd at his locker Wed­nes­day for the first round of club­house ac­cess this spring.

But Yu Darvish’s one- time per­sonal catcher, who was signed just ahead of the right- han­der, is no Darvish se­cu­rity blan­ket, as Ross was for Jon Lester.

“I like [ Will­son] Con­tr­eras better,” Darvish said, smil­ing, when asked about Gimenez on Tues­day. That’s OK, Gimenez said. “I like [ Jon] Lester better,” he said with a laugh.

De­spite a so­cial- me­dia storm of Darvish spec­u­la­tion when Gimenez signed a mi­nor­league deal last month, Cubs of­fi­cials made it clear that bring­ing in the fa­vorite to win the backup catch­ing job was more about Gimenez’s ex­pe­ri­ence and the Cubs’ catch­ing needs than the part of one sea­son he spent with Darvish with the Rangers.

That said, Gimenez did talk to Darvish about the Cubs after sign­ing, his opin­ions based largely on his ex­pe­ri­ence with man­ager Joe Mad­don with the Rays.

New Cubs pitch­ing coach Jim Hickey was the Rays’ pitch­ing coach at the time.

“I just tried to por­tray what I thought of the or­ga­ni­za­tion, know­ing what Joe brings to the ta­ble,” Gimenez said. “I can’t take credit for [ Darvish sign­ing]. He’s got 126 mil­lion rea­sons to come here. I’m not one of them.

“And, like he said, he likes Con­tr­eras better.”

Fol­low me on Twit­ter @ GDubCub.

Chris Gimenez

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