The Chicago Cubs…. That’s all I have to say, and you know what I’m talking about. The Cubs, who have not won the World Series in over 100 years. But at the same time, the Cubs seem like lovable losers. Despite their losing ways, I have not met someone who did not like the Cubs, or Wrigley Field. It’s time they won the World Series….. But it won’t be this year…. Or the next.
The Cubs have a weird pitching situation. I go to their depth chart to see their rotation to write this, and two pitchers in their rotation have started less than 7 games. Well, why is that? For one thing, Carlos Silva got hurt. So I’ll talk about him first. Silva was having an OK year, I mean, better than last year. In 21 games started he went 10-6 with a 4.22 ERA and a 1.27 WHIP. Those are pretty respectable numbers. I’m sure you are waiting to hear about Carlos Zambrano now, and he had good numbers, believe it or not. In 36 games, 20 started, he had a 3.33 ERA and went 11-6. Randy Wells, coming off a good rookie year, struggled a little more this season. He posted an ERA of 4.26, and a WHIP of 1.40. Ryan Dempster had a good season, with a3.85 ERA.
Three interesting pitchers on the Cubs staff are Jeff Samardzija, Thomas Diamond, and Andrew Cashner. Samardzija was up for only seven games, and started three. He was successful in those outings, with an ERA of 8.38. Diamond, one of the top prospects of Chicago, Started three games, 17 in the bullpen, with an ERA of 6.83. Cashner had a 4.80 ERA in 53 bullpen appearances.
It has widely been argued if the Cubs handled these pitchers right. Cashner, at 24 years old, was he ready to be called up? And Diamond, is shifting him from starting to the bullpen a good idea? Same with Samardzija. The Cubs handling of these pitchers will impact them long term.
Time to review the rest of the Cubs bullpen. Sean Marshall had a good year, with a 2.85 ERA. James Russel did not have as much success, with a 4.96 in 57 games. Justin Berg had an ERA of 5.18. Carlos Marmol had another solid year at closer, with and ERA of 2.55 in 77 games. So as a whole the bullpen does not look great, but solid individual performances out of Marshall, and Marmol can help this team going forward.
After trading Derek Lee, Chicago had Xavier Nady starting at first base. In 119 games, he hit .256 with 6 home runs. Certainly below average for a first baseman, but I cannot imagine him being in Chicago long term. Blake DeWitt, acquired frok the Dodgers, started at second for Chicago. He hit .261 with five home runs. Aramis Rameriz got his power back, hitting 25 home runs, but hit only .241. The biggest bright spot of the Cubs this year, however, is Starlin Castro. Castro hit exactly .300, with an OBP of .347. He certainly seems to have a raw hitting ability, and will be the Cubcs shortstop going forward.
In the outfield, The Cubs seem pretty solid in center and left. But it’s their right fielder they may have a problem with. Kosuke Fukodome. They have been trying to trade him for a while, and will try again this offseason. However, he may have helped his stock. Fukodome hit .263 with 13 home runs and 42 RBIs. Marlon Byrd, who was signed as a free agent out of Texas, lived up to expectations hitting .293 with 12 home runs and 63 RBIs. But the real story is Tyler Colvin. Colvin and Alfonso Soriano split playing time in left field, and Colvin came out superior, hitting 20 home runs in his rookie season.
So the positions on this Cubs team that seem like locks are Byrd, Colvin, Castro, and Geovany Soto at catcher. Is DeWitt their long term second baseman? How long is Rameriz really going to stay around. When will the Cubs win it all?
I made my before-Spring Training predictions, here are my Opening Day Season predictions. Plus, check out the player to watch feature which gives you a player to watch on each team during the reaguler season.
AL East Player to watch:
Boston Red Sox (Jacoby Ellsbury)
New York Yankees (Marcus Thames)
Tampa Bay Rays (Ben Zobrist)
Baltimore Orioles (Nolan Reimold)
Toronto Blue Jays (Adam Lind)
Minnesota Twins (Orlando Hudson)
Chicago White Sox (Jake Peavy)
Kansas City Royals (Rick Ankeil)
Detroit Tigers (Austin Jackson)
Cleveland Indians (Micheal Brantly)
Seattle Mariners (Chone Figgins)
Anaheim Angels (Kendry Morales)
Texas Rangers (Neftali Feliz)
Oakland Athletics (Brett Anderson)
Philadelphia Phillies (Jayson Werth)
Atlanta Braves (Jason Heyward)
Florida Marlins (Mike Stanton)
Washington Nationals (Nyjer Morgan)
New York Mets (Kiko Calero)
St.Louis Cardinals (Colby Rasmus)
Chicago Cubs (Randy Wells)
Cincinatti Reds (Aroldis Chapman)
Milwakee Brewers (Alcades Escobar)
Houston Astros (Hunter Pence)
Pittsburgh Pirates (Garrett Jones)
Colorado Rockies (Jason Hammel)
Los Angeles Dodgers (Clayton Kershaw)
San Fransisco Giants (Madison Bumgarner)
Arizona D-backs (Justin Upton)
San Diego Padres (Clayton Richard)
1. Evan Longoria
2. Joe Mauer
3. Kendry Morales
1. Albert Pujols
2. Chase Utley
3. Ryan Braun
AL Cy Young
1. Jon Lester
2. Cliff Lee
3. Zack Greinke
NL Cy Young
1. Roy Halladay
2. Chris Carpenter
3. Tim Lincecum
1. Brain Matusz
2. Austin Jackson
3. Desmond Jennings
1. Jason Heyward
2. Mike Stanton
3. Madison Bumgarner
1. Don Wakamtsu
2. Ron Gardenhire
3. Joe Maddon
1. Bobby Cox
2. Tony LaRusa
3. Freddi Gonzalez
AL Comeback Player
NL Comeback Player
Those are my predicitions. My Internationl League predictions will be sometime next week.
New York Yankees
Boston Red Sox
Tampa Bay Rays
Toronto Blue Jays
Chicago White Sox
Kansas City Royals
New York Mets
San Fransisco Giants
San Diego Padres
AL MVP Top 3:
Evan Longoria- Rays
Joe Mauer- Twins
Kendry Morales- Angels
Red Sox MVP:
AL Cy Young Top 3:
Jon Lester- Red Sox
Zack Greinke- Royals
Cliff Lee- Mariners
Red Sox Cy Young:
NL MVP Top 3:
Albert Pujols- Cardinals
Jayson Werth- Phillies
Ryan Braun- Brwers
NL CY Youn Top 3:
Josh Johnson- Marlins
Tim Lincecum- Giants
Carlos Zambrano- Cubs
Desmond Jennings- Rays
Jason Heyward- Braves
The Baltimore Orioles will compete with the Rays for the #3 spot in the AL East
The Royals will have a record around .500
Mike Cameron will hit 25 HRs
The Reds will finish over .500
The Blue Jays will have the second worst record in baseball, ahead of only the Mets
I will be right about at least one thing here(I told you, bold predictions)
Sorry I have not been here in a while, I’ve been too busy trying to find my panic button. What in the world are the Red Sox doing? Jason Bay’s looking for other options, they are trying to trade Mike Lowell, and they want Adrian Beltre? What’s their plan?
On the Lowell front, this still might not happen. The Texas Rangers are really worried about his thumb. I so hope this deal does not get through, it is so dumb. I like Lowell as our third baseman, his defense is good enough. You can always use him as a platoon DH anyways. And, in case you forgot, this is a contract year! Don’t be surprised if his hip becomes magicly better.
Red Sox, and Theo Epstein. Just. Sign. Jason. Bay. Just give him what he wants! A fifth year! Load the contract so it pays him now, and decreases later in the contract. Use him as a DH, he can hit! Just sign him before the Angels or Cubs do. Look out for the Cubs in this. They may end up a player in all this.
Dear Theo, you idiot. You could have ended the revolving door shortstop thing last offseason. But no. You would not pay the money for Micheal Young’s contract, and all year you had to deal with Julio Lugo and Jed Lowrie, who is a bench player. If you just got Micheal Young, we would not be in this mess. Instead, we get Marco Scutaro.
Signed, Total Bases.
As most of you probally know, the Winter Meetings in Indianappolis begin on Monday. Most of the time little to noting happens, but you never know. Here is a list of what you may see happen this week.
- Jason Bay’s destanation: I feel that Jason Bay may sign this week, possibly with Boston, Anaheim, or Seattle. I feel the Red Sox LF problem will be resolved, whether that be from Jason Bay or a possible platoon with Jeremy Hermida and Xavier Nady. I feel Bay’s chance of signing with Seattle has dimmed with their siging of Chone Figgins. Look out for the Cubs as a sleeper here as well.
- Trades? Some players that may be used as a trade chip: Manny Delcarmen, Casey Kotchman, Gary Matthews Jr, Matt Capps, Fransisco Cordero, Heath Bell, Milton Bradley, Pat Burrell, Josh Willingham. The Mets are in on Willingham, the Marlins with Bell and Delcarmen, and you all know the Rays-Bradley rumor by now.
- Spenders Revealed: This week the major free agent spenders may be revealed. I can see Seattle, Boston, Both New York teams, Baltimore, and Chicago Cubs. The Cubs are looking for a closer, and their name has been conected to Mike Gonzlaez, matt Capps, and Matt Lindstrom. Baltimore is belived to be a serious contender for John Lackey, and Jason Marquis is interested in the Mets, though it is unknown if the Mets are interested in him.
- Recent Trades and Signings: Some recent trades and sigings that mey affect other deals: The Rays aquired C Kelly Shoppach, Greg Zaun signed with the Brewers, The Braves signed Billy Wagner and Takashi Saito, The Athletics traded for Jake Fox and Aaron Miles, The Rangers aquired Joe Inglett off waivers, and the Red Sox signed Marco Scutaro.
Here is a list of every MLB free agent signing to this point. You can also see this list at Soxtime.com. I will update this with every signing.
Name: Position Old Team Rumored teams: Signed with: $:
Erik Bedard SP Seattle Boston, Baltimore
Paul Byrd SP Boston None
Aroldis Chapman SP Cuba Boston, NYY
Jose Contreas SP Colorado Colorado
Doug Davis SP Arizona Milwakee
Justin Duchscher SP Oakland Oakland, Boston, CHC
Kelvim Escobar SP Anaheim Boston
Jon Garland SP Los Angeles Baltimore, Anaheim
Mike Hampton SP Houston Atlanta
Rich Harden SP CHC Boston, Seattle
Livan Herndandez SP Washington Washington
Randy Johnson SP San Fransisco None
John Lackey SP Anaheim Boston, Texas, Baltimore, Anaheim
Brandon Looper SP Milwakee Milwakee
Jason Marquis SP Colorado NYM
Pedro Martinez SP Philadelphia Philadelphia
Brett Myers SP Philadelphia NYY, Boston
Vincente Padilla SP Los Angeles Houston
Carl Pavano SP Minnesota Minnesota
Brad Penny SP San Fransisco San Fransisco
Andy Pettitte SP NYY NYY
Joel Pinero SP St. Louis St.Louis, Boston, Seattle
Ben Sheets SP Milwakee Boston, NYY, Texas
John Smoltz SP St.Louis St.Loius, Texas
Jarrod Washburn SP Detroit Seattle
Todd Wellemeyer SP St.Louis None
Randy Wolf SP Los Angeles LA, Texas, Atlanta
Here is all the type A and B players, who can be offered Arbitration today.
Type As: Bengie Molina SFG Billy Wagner BOS Chone Figgins LAA Darren Oliver LAA Jason Bay BOS Jermaine Dye CWS John Lackey LAA Johnny Damon NYY Jose Valverade HOU Kevin Gregg CHC LaTroy Hawkins HOU Marco Scutaro TOR Randy Wolf LAD Matt Holliday STL Miguel Tejada HOU Mike Gonzalez ATL Octavio Dotel CWS Orlando Cabrera MIN Orlando Hudson LAD Placido Polonco DET Rafeal Betancourt COL Rafeal Soriano ATL
Type Bs: Adam LaRouche PIT Adrian Beltre SEA Andy Pettitte NYY Bob Howry SFG Brandon Looper MIL Brandon Lyon DET Brain Giles SDP Brain Shouse TBR Carl Pavano MIN Carlos Delgado NYM Chan Ho Park PHI David Weathers MIL Doug Brocail HOU Doug Davis ARI Erik Bedard SEA Felipe Lopez MIL Fernando Rodney DET Fernando Tatis NYM Garret Anderson ATL Greg Zaun TBR Ivan Rodriguez TEX Jason Kendell MIL Jason Marquis COL Joe Beimial COL Joel Pinero STL Jon Garland LAD Justin Duchester OAK Mark DeRosa STL Marlon Byrd TEX MFelvin Mora BAL Miguel Olivo KCR Mike Cameron SEA Nick Johnson FLA Randy Johnson SFG Randy Winn SFG RIch Harden CHC Rod Barjas TOR Ronnie Belliard LAD Russ Springer TBR Scott Eyre PHI Tory Glaus STL Vincente Padilla LAD Vladimir Gurerro LAA Xavier Nady NYY Yorvit Torrealba COL