Saturday, February 28, 2009

Some Good Notes!

Here is some good notes today regarding your Chicago Cubs-

- The Cubs are 4-0 in Spring Training and Micah Hoffpauir is stealing the show.

- The Cubs have lost out another former free agent. The Royals signed Juan Cruz today.

- The Cubs did add some more competition for the backup third base position. They signed Corey Koskie to a minor league contract. He will join the Cubs after the WBC, if he can pass a physical. Corey Koskie has been out the past two years and I hope he can return to form. He is a lifetime .275 hitter with a .367 OBP in over 3300 career ABs. If healthy he can give the Cubs a great backup at 3rd base. I still do not know how they are going to keep Gathright, Hoffpauir, and a backup for 3rd base on the 25 man roster without cutting the pitchers down to 11.

- Curt Schilling said that he would like to pitch for the Cubs or Rays this season and money is not an issue. He said he broke the curse with the Red Sox and he want to do the same with the Cubs or Rays. I would welcome Schilling with open arms. He is a great veteran presence, a gamer, big game pitcher, and firey guy. I would love Schilling on this team! Bruce Miles said the Cubs have not received a call from Schilling but are willing to sign him to a deal.

- Marmol changed his mind and will pitch in the WBC.

- Milton Bradley is still day to day with his quad injury. He also has some flu like symptoms. Do not worry the Cubs still have 35 Spring games left.

- I want to say the Cubs should start the year with 11 pitchers and 14 position players.
Vizcaino or Guzman

Position Players
K. Hill

More to Come, GOOO CUBS!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Micah Hoffpauir In, Derrek Lee Out?

The recent play of Micah Hoffpauir has the Cubs and their fans debating whether Hoffpauir deserves to start everyday. The bad thing is Lee mans first and Hoffpauir's defense in the outfield is below average.

So now the Chicago based radio shows along with Cub fans are debating whether the Cubs should trade the declining older Derrek Lee for the younger, cheaper, less proven Hoffpauir. I first want to say there is no doubt in my mind Derrek Lee is the Cubs Opening Day first baseman and I also think Hoffpauir will be on the ML roster as well. But lets take some looks at some categories that compare each player.

Age- Hoffpauir gets the nod because he is only 29 years old and Lee is 34.
Cost- Derrek Lee will cost the Cubs 26 million over the next two years. Hoffpauir will only cost them about a million.
Power- Hoffpauir provides the Cubs with the power they need from the left side of the plate. Lee has been on the decline for the past 3 years.
Leadership- Derrek Lee is the Cubs captain and a great vocal leader in the clubhouse.
Proven- Lee has proved time and time again he will put up good numbers. While Hoffpauir has only had 73 ABs at the ML level.
Average- Lee will provide the Cubs with a .285 or better hitter. Hoffpauir over the course of the season would not post a good average in my opinion.
OBP- Lee will strive here again. He is such a patient hitter and I see Hoffpauir getting in trouble with swinging wild during the long season.
RBI- It seems that Hoffpauir has a the edge in RBI situations. Lee has hit in too many double plays. I can see Hoffpauir driving in 100+ RBI in a full season.
SB- Lee will still steal some bags for you, Hoffpauir really won't.
Defense- Lee hands down.
Baseball Smarts- I can see Hoffpauir make some bone head mistakes that cost the Cubs some runs and maybe even some games. You will not have that with Lee.

Overall it just makes sense to keep Derrek Lee at 1st unless you know some team is interested in him and/or he will waive his no trade clause. Lee is the leader of this team and a proven baseball player. The Cubs cannot afford to go into the season with a guy that only has had 73 ML ABs over a guy who will play great defense and give you solid consistent numbers at the plate. I pick Derrek Lee.

Feel free to debate this!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Cubs Outfield Player Projections.

Here are my Chicago Cubs Outfielder Player Projections-

Alfonso Soriano- I think Soriano will have a near career year in all his stats and I also think sometime through out the year he will be dropped in the lineup giving him more RBI than we are use to seeing Soriano get. Soriano is said to be in the best shape of his life and working on his fielding and stealing a lot more. He is due for a great season.

Projection- .289 Avg./.330 OBP/39 Homeruns/90 RBI/29 SB

Milton Bradley- The Cubs key addition this off-season and he will prove that he can stay healthy and put up great numbers. I pick Bradley to start about 130 games next season and prove that he is the hitter the Cubs have been needing in their lineup.

Projection- .310 Avg./.408 OBP/20 Homeruns/80 RBI/6 SB

Kosuke Fukudome- He will have a solid year and play great defense in CF for the Cubs. He will not have a year like he did in Japan but he will have a good year for a CF in a platoon role. He may lead off some this year as well.

Projection- .285 Avg./.392 OBP/12 Homeruns/51 RBI/15 SB

Reed Johnson- He will have a similar year to last year but more stolen bases. He lost more weight and has gained some foot speed according to Cubs staff. He will be another great platoon partner for CF next season, getting about 300-350 ABs.

Projection- .299 Avg./.365 OBP/4 Homeruns/49 RBI/12 SB

Joey Gathright- He will get some starts for in place of the other outfielders but will be used a lot on the base paths. He will emerge as a fan favorite as well a key to this years team.

Projection- .259 Avg./.339 OBP/1 Homerun/24 RBI/21 SB

The Cubs will have one of the most productive outfields in the Majors according to my stats. Not only will they play really good defense they will provide power from the corners and a combination of speed, great defense, and some pop in CF. Their CF platoon this season will post about a .291 Avg/.374 OBP/16 Homers/100 RBI/27 SB together. That is perfect for a everyday guy in CF. This will be a very exciting outfield to watch this season both in the field and at the plate.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Cubs Talk At 2 PM CT

Nomar Not Coming To Cubs.

It looks like Nomar will pick between the A's, Phillies, or retire from baseball very soon. He will not be coming to the Cubs according to several sources. It looks like the Cubs will see what they have in camp before adding a middle infielder via trade or if a player is released.

We will have a chat today around 2 pm ct. See you then!

Monday, February 23, 2009

This and That...

- Harden is a week to 10 days behind other starters.

- Marmol has decided to skip the WBC. A very good decision.

- Ryan Dempster has not been throwing to hitters due to a stiff neck.

- Jeff Samardzija is working on his change-up. He will need that pitch to become a quality starter.

- Z will have his eye looked at next week. He told Bruce Levine his shoulder is good to go.

- Lee is in great shape and hitting the ball well according to Mike Huang.

- Cubs will be on at WGN radio tomorrow at 2 PM CT Wednesday.

More to Come!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Cubs Notes as First Game Nears.

Here are some notes for today-

- Z and Dempster will sit out the first week because Lou does not want to rush them.

- The Cubs will not make any early cuts or decisions on players with a lot of games ahead.

- Starters will get 27-28 innings during ST, just like last year.

- Fukudome is batting well for Japan. He hit a Grand Slam in a exhibition game.

- Nomar is getting in heated talks with the A's. If he goes off the board then the Cubs will have to go the trade route or wait for a player to be released to fill as a backup to 3rd and 1st.

- Marshall will start the second game of the season while Lilly will start the third according to Lou.

- It is said that the Cubs are looking at a player( who is a righty) that can backup 3b, 1st, and maybe middle infield either in house or on other teams. Here are my players I think the Cubs should watch in Spring Training because they could be released, sent down, or traded before the season starts. Much like what happened to Reed Johnson.

Robb Quinlan- This guy could provide a right handed bat off the bench that would fill in well defensively and offensively. A career .285 hitter and have had played OF as well as 1st and 3rd through out his soon to be 6 season make him a good target for the Cubs. Not to mention he is only 32 years old. He is currently 4th on the 3rd base depth chart of the Angels and the primary backup to 1st, but with the Angels crowded outfield he may be released or traded.

Morgan Ensberg- Signed a minor league contract with the Rays but may not make the team since he is an invite and be released. Ensberg use to have tremendous power and could be a nice pick up. He can play both corner spot pretty well. Not my one of my top choices but definitely one to look at.

Ronnie Belliard- One of my top picks. He can play all over the infield, some positions better than other but makes up for it with his bat. He is a lifetime .275 hitter with a .340 OBP. He will hit about 5-12 homeruns in part time duty and only cost 1.9 million for this season. The Nats might not find a spot on the team for him this year with all the infielders and outfielders they have.

One guy that they could consider even if he is a lefty is Doug Mientkiewicz. He a career .271 hitter with a .360 OBP, all while playing great defense at 1st base and decent defense at 3b. He could be given a minor league contract and invite him to Spring Training.

I just think that the Cubs need another backup infielder. They cannot go into the season with Miles and Fonty backing up third while Hoffpauir backs up first and the corner spots in the outfield. They just need to send Hoffpauir to AAA, get a guy that can play 1st and 3b, and keep the outfield to 5 players( Soriano, Fukudome, Johnson, Bradley, and Gathright). Logically how can you go into the season with only one backup infielder and a guy that basically just backs up 1st. You just can't!

That is it for now, more to come!