Chicago Cubs 2016 NL Central Championship Gear

Well, I’m finishing up my prep and heading to my colonoscopy this morning. I will have limited ability to post for the rest of the morning, so, to the extent any big news or rumors break, please let folks know in the comments, and I’ll be sure to write anything up once I’m back to lucidity.

  • Baseball Prospectus came out with its first PECOTA projections of the offseason (basically they use super-advanced math to project stats for each player on a team’s roster, and then project how the team will perform in the upcoming season – it’s all premium content stuff, so if you the juicy bits, you’ll have to get a BP subscription). Overall, the projection has the Cubs with a .460 winning percentage, which is about 74.5 wins. That sounds about right, and might even be … encouraging.
  • For the individual players, most of the numbers look about as you’d suspect. PECOTA sees a big bounce-back for Carlos Marmol and Geovany Soto, but sees a pretty significant regression in store for Matt Garza. Indeed, PECOTA doesn’t really like many of the Cubs’ pitchers, projecting bad years for Travis Wood and Randy Wells, and awful years for Chris Volstad and Jeff Samardzija. Oddly, at this point, I see the Cubs’ pitching staff as a strength.

  • Keith Law ranked MLB’s farm systems (another premium article, so, once again, you want all the good stuff, you gotta pay) and the Cubs came in at number 20. Obviously that seems a tad low, but Law explains: “An unfairly maligned system, in my opinion – not a great system, but not a disastrous one. And I say that as someone who’s relatively bearish on some of the Cubs’ more famous prospects.” The theme this year for the minor league system remains: with so much high upside talent at the low levels, the Cubs’ system could really break out. Or, it could continue to hover around “aspirational.”
  • Law isn’t alone, by the way – John Sickels, who likes the Cubs’ system for what it is, also ranked it 20th in baseball.
  • New Cub Adrian Cardenas, in addition to playing ball, is also a writer, studying his craft at NYU. He sounds like a smart, very hard working dude. The Cubs are making a habit of adding guys who are very easy to root for. (h/t CSN)

  • Fluff on new Cubs manager Dale Sveum. In short, Sveum works very hard, and he expects his players to do the same.

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