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  • Wait til' next year!

    Things to look forward to in 2010:

    A healthy Aramis Ramirez
    Derrek Lee fully recovered and hitting all year long
    Jeff Baker showing whether he is for real or not.
    Jake Fox
    Pitching depth like you wouldn't believe.
    Geo Soto hopefully healed up and ready to go.
    Fukudome fully prepared for the long season.
    Alfonso Soriano finally healthy to start the season.


    Even if Harden doesn't come back it looks like the Cubs have pitching coming out of their ears. Who knows maybe you package one or two of them with Bradley to open up resources to get something. Granted FA is pretty slim this offseason.

  • #2
    I just don't see pitching coming out of any ears. sorry.

    Comment


    • #3
      I wouldn't say we are SET pitching wise, but there is reason for optimisim on this front.

      Assuming we don't trade Z, we have a rotation of Z, Demp, Lilly, Wells, and a fifth starter; pick one of Marshall, Gorz, Shark. Bullpen candidates are 2 of those guys, plus Marmol, Guzman, probably Grabow (he wants to come back, we want him), and a host of candidates to rummage through for the last couple spots (Caridad, Blake Parker, Stevens, Patton to name a few).

      We have some promising pitching prospects in the system who had nice years, including Cashner, Carpenter, Jackson, Gaub.

      I would like to add a good arm in the bullpen, but organizational pitching depth is not a problem at the moment.

      Safe to say that Hendry WILL make some pitching moves though, and moves in general, so hard to say what the final landscape is, but the cupboard is definitely not bare.

      Comment


      • #4
        As far as the lineup, we are probably set or stuck with what we have mostly, depending on your perspective. Soriano and Fukudome are filling 2 OF spots, A-Ram, D-Lee and Soto are filling those spots at 1B,3B,C. That basically leaves RF-CF, and SS/2B.

        Fukudome to me played a pretty decent CF this year. Is that right? Any idea anyone what the consensus is? As a RF, he has kind of a weak bat, but as a CF, not bad......ideally, I like Fuku in the 2-hole, where his ability to get on base is maximized (since this is the only real plus offensive skill he has).

        Theriot......a player debated here ad nauseum it seems. Starlin Castro is looming in a couple years, and there aren't compelling SS FA choices, so I'm OK with Theriot here, provided we get a good backup, and spend some money on an OF or 2B.

        We need a bat somewhere; left or right-handed, I don't care. Just hit please. If Fuku can play CF, I would sign or trade for a RF. That is an offensive position, we should be able to get a bat there. If not, CF, though that is harder to fill. If we have to go CF, Mike Cameron might be a good option.

        2B is harder to get a bat for. I would bring DeRo back. I don't want Baker to start the season; he is a replacement-level hitter. He's fine for our bench I think, but I don't want to see him there as a starter. As for Fontenot........if he isn't hitting he isn't helping, since he only plays one position. And we probably need to eat Miles's contract. Too bad Blanco can't hit. Either way, i think we need IF help in the offseason. All those 2Bs, and not one who can play every day!

        I am not sure what to do with Fox. If he could play a good RF that would be an option, but apparently he's Adam Dunn v2. The man can hit. I think he has more value to an AL team, and maybe we can trade him for IF depth. I don't think he has huge trade value, but a bullpen arm or good IF-er would seem to be a reasonable return for Fox.

        Comment


        • #5
          This team could not find its stroke in the 2007 and 2008 playoffs and the 2009 squad is a completely different team. A lot really needs to change, but there are some positives.

          1) 2010 is Derrek Lee's final year in a Cubs uniform. If 2009 is any indication, he's not declining. The Cubs need him to produce.
          2) Aramis Ramirez still has it. An uninjured season could be what the doctor ordered.
          3) Alfonso Soriano's knee should be better, but moving him back to the leadoff spot is not a good idea. Soriano should be hitting fifth in the lineup.
          4) Without Milton Bradley to muck up Lou Piniella's ideas of L-R-L-R, Kosuke Fukudome should be able to hit leadoff followed by your obligatory number two hitter. This could be Ryan Theriot.
          5) Reconstructed bullpen is a hope. Carlos Marmol seems to have found himself at closer. Kevin Gregg and Aaron Heilman won't be back.
          6) Rich Harden is going to be gone unless the Cubs decide to give him another deal.
          RIP Ronnie James Dio (July 10, 1942 - May 16, 2010).

          Comment


          • #6
            Ace and Ubi, I think you're on the right track in that some of the improvement can be organic:

            A-Ram healthy all year
            Soto more consistent. Last year, his BABIP was .330 or so, this year 90 points lower. The truth is somewhere in between.
            Soriano: Get healthy (we hope that's the issue)

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Jeff Pico View Post
              Soriano: Get healthy (we hope that's the issue)
              His knee issue really messed with the mechanics of his swing.
              RIP Ronnie James Dio (July 10, 1942 - May 16, 2010).

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Jeff Pico View Post
                I wouldn't say we are SET pitching wise, but there is reason for optimisim on this front.

                Assuming we don't trade Z, we have a rotation of Z, Demp, Lilly, Wells, and a fifth starter; pick one of Marshall, Gorz, Shark. Bullpen candidates are 2 of those guys, plus Marmol, Guzman, probably Grabow (he wants to come back, we want him)
                Gorz has the inside track going into the offseason. Shark has a long long way to go to gain serious consideration for a spot in the rotation coming out of spring training. Lou has never given Marshall an extended opportunity to be a permanent starter. I just don't think he likes him as a starter.
                The thing that bothers me, Since the beginning of Sept. Cubs have not promoted any good young kids that warrant a serious shot at the staff nor any quality positional players. This speaks volumes for the lack of prospects in the high minors. I feel 09 was the last shot for Cub contention for the next several years.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by LBiittner View Post
                  I feel 09 was the last shot for Cub contention for the next several years.
                  You may be right. Jim Hendry tried to throw money at the problem (no World Series titles) and it hasn't worked out. What it has done is given us winning baseball. A World Series title is bound to come, but it's years away. Windows for winning are short when you use the strategy Jim Hendry used. Maybe if Manny Ramirez hadn't been a juicer, the Cubs might have gone deeper into the playoffs last season. That's not even important anymore. The key is to stay competitive and good things will happen. You can't do much about your title drought if you're constantly in the cellar, so they're on the right track.
                  RIP Ronnie James Dio (July 10, 1942 - May 16, 2010).

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I think we can contend in 2010, but I think the window is closing. We have alot of expiring contracts after next year, and many of them are players we would probably miss. D-Lee, Lilly....and A-Ram can opt out. Most of our top players are also aging, not Thome-old, but not getting any younger either.

                    Our minor league talent has been pitiful in recent years. This year though we have had a good year, with several talented players emerging. We have more minor league depth than we did at this time last year. Vitters and Castro are both legit prospects, and a couple other position players show promise (Burke, Jackson). We also have some good pitching prospects. We're not there yet, but it's getting better.

                    I will say this about Hendry, the only prospect he traded away that came back to bite us was Nolasco, and even he has holes (well OK Dontrelle Willis, but that seems like a long time ago). Alot of other "prospects" he traded turned out to be sell-highs:

                    Bobby Hill
                    Hee Seop Choi
                    Justin Jones, Beltran, Harris (Nomar trade)
                    Jose Ceda (so far; blew his arm out)

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I'd like to see them trade away at least Soriano (eat however much of his contract you have to) and Bradley (eat some of his as well if you have to), neither of these guys made the team better last year and I don't think ever really will again.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I expect the Cubs will continue to decline. I believe Soriano's career is in deep trouble and the Cubs are committed to running off Bradley. Lee and Ramirez aren't getting any younger. Piniella seems to be just mailing in the games.

                        Also it is a thin free agent year and even then I don't know how much money the Ricketts' will have to spend when you consider the debt load they took on to acquire the team.
                        Buck O'Neil: The Monarch of Baseball

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I wouldn't be so quick to write off the Cubs in 2010. Geovany Soto is going to be training with Ryan Dempster in the offseason to get back in shape. If he was anywhere near his 2008 levels in 2009, it would have significantly helped the club. Soriano may be in decline, but I think he could still be a productive hitter in 2010 if his knees stay healthy. Derrek Lee showed he still has something left in the tank. Then there's Aramis Ramirez, who is far from done.

                          The Cubs are committed to moving Milton Bradley. They still could get a decent free agent to replace him simply because the economy is going to impact the contracts free agents will receive. I honestly think this season came unraveled after Ramirez hurt his shoulder. If you play 2009 over again five times, I think the Cubs take the division 3 out of those 5. They had the horses, but couldn't get going because of injuries and possibly the bad clubhouse chemistry provided by Bradley.
                          RIP Ronnie James Dio (July 10, 1942 - May 16, 2010).

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            How was Lou mailing in games?

                            Comment

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