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mike olt iowaThere came a point last summer when Mike Olt had no idea what was going on with his eyes.

As if his struggles at the plate weren’t enough to dishearten him, now his body was failing him. While with the Texas Rangers, Olt went to numerous specialists without any conclusive results before finally being shut down towards the end of April.

“It was scary and frustrating,” Olt said of what turned out to be a tear duct issue that caused his eye to dry and impair his vision. “[Texas] did a great job of letting me see as many doctors as I could. I knew something was wrong and they knew something was wrong. They knew it wasn’t me. So they did everything they could. It’s crazy how it works out, it ended up being my allergies.”

Allergies? Could someone who came into the season as a top 25 prospect really have his career nearly derailed by allergies? According to Olt, that was the underlying problem, but it was a little more complicated that just allergies.

While playing in the Dominican Winter League after the 2012 regular season, Olt got hit in the head and experienced concussion-like symptoms.

“[The apparent concussion] may have tampered with my tear ducts and it wasn’t able to flush out my allergies,” Olt recently shared. “I’ve had allergies my whole life. Once we figured that out, it was something I’ll never forget. All that stress went away and it’s been all uphill since then.”

Olt, who was part of a package the Cubs received in return for Matt Garza last July, said he has a prescribed eye drop that’s geared specifically to take care of his allergies and he’s taken them once daily for the last month and a half. Olt added that, when doctors recommended his problems were possibly allergy related, he struggled to see how something seemingly so minor could cause such major problems. However, once he finally bought in and started trusting his doctors, everything changed.

“In the offseason is when we really figured out that the main cause was allergies,” Olt revealed. “Once I figured it out, it’s been smooth sailing. I talked to Theo [Epstein] after the season and he was unbelievable. He said, ‘We’re going to figure this out and by next Spring Training the only concern will be getting out there and playing baseball.’”

Olt said there was a lot of misinformation about his issues thrown around during the summer. He never underwent any surgical procedures, and, while he thought he’d found a solution during the season, he stopped taking the eye drops and the problems resurfaced.

“When I came back, I felt like myself,” Olt said. “When I stopped the eye drops, I noticed it was coming back and I got frustrated. [After being traded], I went to Iowa and it was a tough area for me [allergy-wise] and I just wasn’t keeping my eyes lubricated.”

Olt confirmed that at one point he was using some stronger drops that the doctors recommended he stop using because it was only a temporary solution.

“At the time I’d lost track of applying the eye drops in general,” Olt said. “The thing I have now, it’s really treatable with eye drops. As long as I can keep my eye lubricated, I’ll be just fine. Basically everything that’s happened and trying to figure out what’s caused everything, it’s all irrelevant, as long as I keep my eyes lubricated, I’m back to my old self.”

After posting a .288/.398/.579 line with a 24% strikeout rate at double-A Frisco in 2012, Olt’s numbers dipped dramatically in 2013. Between three leagues and two levels, Olt delivered a .684 OPS with an alarming 30.6% k-rate last season. But Olt was adamant that it wasn’t a deterioration of skills that caused his 2013 woes. It was all the eye issue.

“You don’t just forget how to hit. I’ll be back to my old self,” Olt reiterated. “I’m excited for the challenge and I’m excited to be with the Cubs.”

And the Cubs are no doubt excited to have Olt, especially if he can bounce back to his top prospect form. Someone who was nearly untradeable in previous talks, had suddenly become an afterthought to C.J. Edwards in the Garza trade. At the moment, the front office is taking a cautious approach with Olt, not putting too much pressure on him to instantly perform at his previous level while remaining hopeful that his eye problems are truly a thing of the past and that they were the only reason for his struggles.

Rick Renteria and the front office point to a platoon of Donnie Murphy and Luis Valbuena being perfectly acceptable at third (and it very well may be). But, make no mistake, they’d be overjoyed if Olt came into Spring Training with his 2012 swagger and dominated March, firmly staking his claim to the third base spot for the immediate future.

But Olt isn’t heading into camp with any unrealistic expectations.

“I’m here just to go out there, and if I can help the Cubs and perform at that level, that’s obviously my goal,” Olt said. “Theo and everyone have a plan, and they’re not just going to give jobs to anyone. So it’s going to be a lot of hard work and we’ll see what happens. I have a better shot than if I were with Texas [with Adrian Beltre firmly entrenched at the hot corner]. But it’s still going to be a really hard job to win.”

What could Olt look like at the Major League level if he’s going right? Make no mistake, there will still be a lot of strikeouts from Olt, but think more of a 25% rate, rather than 35% (the Major League average last year was 19.9%, and it’s on an upward trend as strikeouts are at an all-time high in baseball) and an average that hovers in the .250-.260 area. But that’s perfectly acceptable when you consider that he can bring 25-plus homer potential, a respectable on-base percentage and average-to-plus defense at third. Add that all up and it’s a borderline all-star and another valuable asset added to an offense that is so desperate for a jolt. Obviously, the downside is quite different. Think Brett Jackson in 2012 without the benefit of plus base-running and up-the-middle defense.

If Olt can somehow revert to his old form, the Cubs could find themselves in an enviable situation. First of all, it could move the Valbuena-Murphy platoon off third and possibly supplanting Darwin Barney at second (while the defense would likely suffer a bit, the upgrade in offense would be a welcome addition to a team that was second to last in runs per game, OBP and OPS+ in the NL). Secondly, there would be a tremendous amount of depth at third base, with defensive-whiz Christian Villanueva knocking on the door at Iowa and all-world talent Kris Bryant hopefully forcing himself into the conversation come mid-summer. The Cubs would have an abundance of talent at one position.

While it would be a hard decision to make with regards to whom to move, if all are performing well, it’s a decision the Cubs would be happy to make. The point of accumulating a surplus of assets is to eventually have to make these hard decisions, hopefully leading to shoring up other areas of need.

Of course, these things aren’t on Olt’s mind; he’s rightfully fixated on one goal.

“The only thing I’m trying to focus on is baseball,” Olt said. “The trade rumors from the last couple years, it’s all irrelevant. As long as I can just do my job, that’s what helps me sleep at night. Everything else will just fall into place.”

Photo courtesy Dylan Heuer

  • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

    For those that didn’t notice, this article is from Sahadev. And it’s freaking fantastic.

    • DarthHater

      Yea, at first I was thinking, “Brett couldn’t have written this!” ;-)

      • mjhurdle

        ha!

    • Jim

      Great piece, great bit of optimism for his future.

      • snakdad

        How do you “forget” to take your freaking eye drops if you know you need them??

        • JacqueJones

          i forget to take antibiotics all the time

    • Randallm83

      Thanks for keeping the Tanaka distractions coming, Brett. Much needed

    • MoneyBoy

      yeah it is Brett!!

  • Javier Bryant

    I’m hoping he wins the 3B job. At the very least Olt could be a very valuable guy off the bench on a very good team.

    • willis

      As am I. I’m rooting hard for him to bounce back and be able to start this year at 3B. It changes things for the better in many ways, including allowing Villanueva the starting 3B gig in Iowa for a full year.

  • Kyle

    It’s just like when they found that issue in Ian Stewart’s wrist that nobody else had found and suddenly everything was OK and he went on to hit 25 HRs the next year.

    Or not.

    But man, it’s fun to dream on Olt.

    • Jon

      And people call me the debbie downer,..)

      • DarthHater

        To be precise, people called you the “douchebag” debbie downer. ;-)

        • Chef Brian

          Kyle is in a category all on his own. If there was an All Universe Pessimist Squad, Kyle would be the starting Center Fielder. Though it’s nice that he managed to bring one of his favorite subjects, Ian Stewart, back into the conversation.

          • Fishin Phil

            I don’t think his defense would play well in Center. ;)

            • mjhurdle

              i disagree. I think Kyle’s defensive approach would play well at almost any position ;)

          • Kyle

            I’m frequently optimistic when it’s warranted.

            • DarthHater

              I’m not a pessimist. There’s just never anything worth being optimistic about.

              • Kyle

                Everyone who had the Cubs higher than my 78-win projection last year can raise their hands.

                Optimists.

            • Enjoytherebuild

              When have you been optimistic on anything?

              • Kyle

                Well, last offseason I was pretty much one of a very small number of people who said that the Cubs had a fringe chance to get lucky and be a contender.

                Later this summer, I got into a somewhat high-profile Twitter argument with Jason Parks, saying that Baez should be a strong candidate for No. 2 prospect in baseball and that the only reason Parks didn’t see it is because prospect pundits are slow to adjust in-season.

                I was *huge* on Travis Wood when he was traded, calling it a grandmaster-level trade by Epstein.

                Just off the top of my head.

                • JB88

                  Not that I am in the habit of defending Kyle, but he is fairly level-headed and can be optimistic about certain topics relating to the Cubs. By way of very brief example, he was one of the people who I recall whose optimism grew steadily when the Cubs were seen as leading for Tanaka.

                  • DarthHater

                    “Not that I am in the habit of defending Kyle”

                    A lot more fun to tweak him…

                    • Fishin Phil

                      Glad I reread that. At first I thought you said “A lot more fun to twerk him….”

                    • DarthHater

                      Afraid I wouldn’t know…

                • JacqueJones

                  I don’t get why people say you’re pessimistic. You advocate for putting out a team that can compete now because you are optimistic of the teams chances. You’re just less optimisitc about reclamation pick-ups and fringe prospects. People that advocate for rebuilding are pessimistic about the present but they dont catch any flak for it.

                  • DarthHater

                    You are absolutely right. Aside from the hundreds of posts regularly on this board attacking those delusional, front-office shilling kool-aid drinkers, the silence about them is deafening.

                    • JacqueJones

                      Thats not necesarily pessimism though, just douchebaggery.

        • D.G.Lang

          And many other things.

    • jp3

      Don’t say the name Ian Stewart… I had forgotten how much I hated that RE-signing… Damn that was frustrating

      • fortyonenorth

        A “re-signing” is probably the nicest thing I’ve heard Stewart called on this board.

        • jp3

          It took all my willpower to make that happen

    • JB88

      With Stewart, you have to wonder whether his problem was more between his ears than between his elbow and thumb.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        Stewart was also being counted on. Olt is merely being hoped on.

        • JB88

          That was a bad decision by the FO. No ifs, ands, or buts about that one. And I’m talking about counting on him, not the decision to trade for him in the first place.

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

            Yup. I think folks who say that some of us – like me – praise EVERYTHING the front office does ignore, for one example, that whole Stewart situation. I didn’t like picking him up to be THE third baseman (even if I could defend the trade), and I didn’t like re-signing him. Two mistakes.

            But mostly I think they’ve done the right things. :)

            • Kyle

              Sure. I don’t think the Cubs did anything wrong with picking up Olt. He was a throw-in and a hail mary long-shot.

        • aaronb

          Who have we signed as Olt insurance? From my view he is in the exact same situation as Ian Stewart was this time last year. The planned project recon starter at 3rd base.

          • mjhurdle

            I think Olt-insurance is the 2.6 bWAR Valbuena-Murphy combo.

          • baldtaxguy

            Olt is an alternative to the announced Valbuena-Murphy platoon. Olt must win a job and is not someone to insure for.

          • Voice of Reason

            Teams that lose 90+ games don’t have contingency plans for injuries to regulars. when you lose that many games your struggling to find regulars that are worth a damn.

            • aaronb

              I agree,

              I was simply pointing out the fallacy of “Well at least we aren’t counting on this guy like Stewart”

              From my view they are taking the exact same roster and expectation spot. Failed former high profile prospect from someone else’s scrap heap.

    • willis

      Good point. Damn.

    • Spoda17

      Kyle – Stewart was also a head case… which prevented him from actually returning to the field. But, like the getting rent check, I don’t count it until that sucker is in my bank account…

      I do think Olt can/will earn the 3rd base job out of spring.

    • BT

      As we all know, because Stewart sucked, it’s impossible for Olt to come back. Just as obvious is the fact that Baez will never be good because Gary Scott failed. It’s science.

      • Kyle

        As we all know, strawmen make easy opponents for the weak-minded.

        • BT

          How in the world is that a strawman? Call me weak minded again, and I might get a bit testy. I’d hate to have to resort to name calling Kyle. It’s the last resort of….well, something.

          • Kyle

            Nobody made the argument that Olt will suck *because* Stewart sucked. Putting it out there as an argument to be debunked is a strawman.

            Olt seems likely to suck because he recently sucked in a *really* big way. And while we have reports that he feels like his health problems are improved, professional athletes are not objective about their own abilities. Almost all pro athletes have small, nagging health issues at all times, and when they begin to fail to perform, they are quick to blame that performance on those health issues. I have absolutely no doubt that Olt *believes* his eye problems are in the past and that they caused his hitting problems. I have many doubts that it actually is the case.

            Rather than typing all that out, I thought it would be interesting and relevant to point to an extremely recent, very analogous case. Not because it proves or causes Olt’s likely future suckage, but as a shorthand for the alternative explanation: that 99.99999% of the population can’t hit MLB pitching, and even a majority of guys who can hit AA pitching can’t hit MLB pitching, and Olt probably just fits in that category.

  • Voice of Reason

    If Olt hits .255 and clubs 25 to 30 home runs we have our third base problem solved for quite a long time.

    That’s exciting news!

    • abe

      If olt does produce like that. Do we move Bryant to the outfield?

      • JB88

        Damn straight. You move him to RF when they trade Schierholtz in July and don’t think twice.

        • Joshua Edwards

          All of these would be truly wonderful problems to have. I am rooting for it.

        • YourResidentJag

          or LF and let him focus on his offense.

        • BWA

          Yup! and its not like bryant could never move back to third if for some reason they want him to.

        • Cizzle

          I think Lake’s speed and arm suit him better for RF, Put Bryant in LF.

    • brickhouse

      You only had 5 3b hit more than 25 HR’s last year and now your hoping Olt can hit between 25 – 30 after a terrible year in AAA. It is expectations like these that will lead to disappointmeny as many of the prospects fail to reach the hype.

      • Jon

        Stop with the negativity!!!!

      • Cizzle

        They aren’t “expectations”, they are projected ceilings. Yes, if you always expect prospects to reach their ceilings, most will fail to reach that “hype”.

  • Elden14

    Bravo, Sahadev. What a difference a day (and an article) make in getting people spirits back up after the Tanaka/Rooftop debacle.

  • ssckelley

    The neat thing about the Cubs depth at 3rd is if any one of the prospects make it the Cubs will have some attractive trade assets.

    • Voice of Reason

      Or, assets that can be moved around on the field.

      I think Bryant’s destiny is right field. I’d feel better about moving him if third base was covered by someone else.

      • ssckelley

        True, I was thinking guys like Villanueva and Candelario. But if Bryant sticks at 3rd then Olt might be a trade asset.

        • baldtaxguy

          Did Olt play any OF in the Texas system? (cant check atm)

  • Fishin Phil

    I have a dog that was diagnosed with “Dry Eye”. I have a special ointment that I apply to the afflicted eye twice a day right before he gets his kibble.

    For a nominal fee, I would be happy to do the same for Olt.

    • Voice of Reason

      I have a special ointment that I apply to a special part of my body at least twice a day.

      For a nominal fee, would you be happy to apply it for me?

      • DarthHater

        Take this conversation to the message board, ladies. :-P

        • On The Farm

          I was wondering if we need to involve the authorities. Kind of sounds like something illegal is about to go down. HA! :)

          • DarthHater

            Well, Phil’s a puppet, so technically, the laws you are probably thinking about might not apply…

      • Fishin Phil

        VOR, you do not have enough money.

    • DarthHater

      Olt eats kibble?

      • Danny Ballgame

        It’s just the dog in him

      • Fishin Phil

        Maybe he is allergic to kibble.

  • CubFanBob

    Great guy, I was praying we would get him two years ago with the Garza trade fell apart with Texas. I swore I read somewhere he had lasik eye surgery.

    It’s crazy how late 2012 / early 2013 Olt was consider the #4 best 3b prospect below Arenado (1), Sano (2), and Rendon (3) but above Castellanos, Middlebrooks, & Gyorko,

  • CubChymyst

    I know attrition is likely to solve the infield log jam that the Cubs could possible face in the near future. However, if enough of these guys hit the Cubs will have a lot of young talent. The team could improve in a hurry with a few shrewd trades and a couple free agent signings. I just hope back the the future didn’t lie to me and 2015 will be a good year for the Cubs.

  • Jon

    Considering Rizzo’s struggles against LHP, I wonder if they could consider Olt in part of a platoon at 1st as well.

    Assuming he makes the 25 man…

    • CubChymyst

      I highly doubt a platoon, but an occasional off day I think would be beneficial.

      • willis

        Yeah maybe not a straight platoon, but if he proves healthy and decent, could get 10-12 starts at 1B. Would be a great thing.

    • JB88

      If Olt is the defender that he is made out to be and you are going to put him in the lineup, it seems like he’d be better utilized at 3rd than 1st.

      • willis

        Well yeah. But he would also be an ok option to spell Rizzo from time to time to give Rizzo a break against LHs and they could plug Murphy into 3B. IF Olt makes the roster, he’s just the best option to spell Rizzo against LH.

    • jkt

      Jon – Looking at Rizzo’s splits I would possibly agree. However I was just listening to a fangraphs podcast, where Eno Sarris was saying that Rizzo v. LHP was league average. He might have been factoring in for BABIP regression or something of the like. If Rizzo is or will be league average against lefties and above average against righties, then I don’t see him as a platoon guy.

  • UCF

    If Olt emerges as a viable 3rd basemen, this is a wet dream situation in my mind. We would have a solid starter at third with the flexibility to move Bryant to the OF and Baez to second base. Of course there are a lot of assumptions there including Castro turning it around.

    • JB88

      That’s my thought as well. Hitting on the Olt lottery would instantly add layers of depth to our system, would push back any need to bring up Bryant this year, if you didn’t want to, and would add at least two tradeable assets for the Cubs in AA and Villanueva.

      • cubsnivy56

        Not to mention Alcantara to 2b, Castro, Barney and other depth traded for that pitching depth we need.

  • bonger0493

    It is realistic to thing by this summer our starters could include Castillo catching rizzo at first Castro at second Baez at short olt at third Bryant in right alcantara in center? And lake in left with a hell of a lot of depth in the bullpen and a possibly average rotation. There are a lot of ifs, but I think this could be a .500 team this year.

    • UCF

      I don’t think it is realistic at all that Alcantara would be playing center field for us (or anyone for that matter).

      • cubzfan

        Oh, I don’t know. He supposedly doesn’t have great hands in the infield. Just got moved to second base last year, so probably still working on technique. I think there’s a chance he breaks into the majors as a CFer, using his speed and an adequate arm.

        • ced landrum

          I had never heard the bit about his hands. I had heard that he has a hard time with his mechanics. That he rushes and doesn’t set up properly.

          • DarthHater

            I’ve heard that he sometimes rushes when dressing himself:

            [img]http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5515/9725397081_688cb9dcbe_o.jpg[/img]

          • UCF

            I agree, I have never heard anything about his hands. Parks said today that he could see AA sticking at either SS or second, but would be above average at second. I don’t believe the kid has ever sniffed the OF, so talk of him moving there when he can obviously be sufficient at the middle of the infield is, I think, far-fetched.

            • CubFan Paul

              “talk of him moving there when he can obviously be sufficient at the middle of the infield is, I think, far-fetched”

              Center Field is up the middle too…

  • Senor Cub

    Great Article! So whether it’s Olt or anyone in the next year or that take firm control of 3rd and assuming no trades for a 2nd base, who in the minors could take that job in the next year or so? I think Castro would be the logical choice to move to 2nd but then that opens up SS. I guess what I am really asking once you are done with all the internal moves to 3rd, second, ss, you still have an open position. Who is ready to take on that role in 2nd or SS?

  • waffle

    trading for Olt was one of those high reward type moves that I really love and it might just turn out very very well.

    Wishing him luck both as a Cub and as a quality young man

  • Ronniebaseball

    Great article Sahadev.

  • jkoehneke

    yawn….low batting average, tons of strikeouts, bad OBP

    • On The Farm

      No one forced you to read it.

    • ced landrum

      He had an OBP of almost .400 in AA in 2012

    • D-Rock

      Is this Jon under a new name?

    • frank

      Did you actually read the entire article?

    • 26.2CubsFan

      That, and he OBPd .110 pts above his BA. That means the man has good on base skills.

      It also indicates to me a greater likelihood that his eye problems caused him trouble with hitting last year. Someone with a VERY good eye for the ball is going to see a fall in OBP but also in power numbers when they stop seeing the ball as well as they did before, even if it’s a tiny bit.

  • lbjcubfan

    OT I know, but Brett you should do a post/post a few links for the emerging Boycott the Rooftops movements:

    http://aeryssports.com/why-i-wont-buy-rooftop-tickets-anymore-and-you-shouldnt-either/
    http://www.chicagonow.com/cubs-den/2014/01/boycotting-the-rooftops/
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Boycott-Wrigleyville-Rooftops/431500950272989

    It’s about time Cubs fans did something about the rooftops!

    • Jason P

      I liked the page. I know in the past Brett’s been reluctant to bash the rooftops because some of them advertised on this site, but I don’t know if that’s still the case.

      • FFP

        It may be that I am getting forgetful, but I don’t recall this:
        “Brett’s been reluctant to bash the rooftops.”
        I recall balance, insight into legal stuff, information, links,

        And an open forum for everyone here.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        I’ve never altered my coverage because of an advertising relationship.

        Although it isn’t relevant, I do not have an advertising relationship with any rooftops anymore.

  • smackafilieyo

    I’m listening to espn Chicago and they had a great idea for the cubs. So here’s what they said, “speed the renovations up by playing at white sox stadium for one year. That’ll move renovations up 4 years to one and knock it all out. This also screws the rooftop owners and will lose lots of money…and come back when the team is ready to hit it big with a new stadium and maybe the rooftop owners will sell their buildings.” Please poke holes at this….wanted to know feedback…

    • Cizzle

      Scheduling.

      • smackafilieyo

        We play day games…

    • Jason P

      It isn’t unfeasible. 90% of the time the Cubs are home, the White Sox are away (and vice versa) so the scheduling may not be as big of an issue as you’d think.

      It could really hurt the Wrigleyville businesses other than just the rooftops, and the last thing the Cubs want is for some businesses around the park to close down.

      I found this article from Brett a few years back when this was more frequently discussed:

      http://www.bleachernation.com/2012/02/14/the-chicago-cubs-playing-a-season-on-the-south-side-is-unlikely-in-2013-but-what-about-after-that/comment-page-1/#comments

      Or, of course, we could just take the advice die hard gave in the comments of that article:
      “Not necessary because the Cubs can improve Wrigley by working segments at a time throughout season by increasing away games to 100 and limiting 62 home games to June through August….” :)

  • itzscott

    REALLY REALLY pulling for this guy to make it….

    I was ecstatic when he was included in the Garza trade.

  • ame1908

    Say 2015 is here, and Olt and Bryant are performing at very high levels. Which of the two would be a better candidate to move to LF?

    • DarthHater

      Bryant, because Olt is a better defender at 3B.

  • D-Rock

    Is Olt pitching in that pic? Looks like he’s getting his sign…

    • mjhurdle

      i think the same thing every time i see it

  • JrG

    Olt will be a flippable asset by the end of 2015. Baez at 3rd, Castro at short, and Alcantara at 2nd in 2016

    • Voice of Reason

      If we’re looking to flip Olt then we won’t get much for him as he will be sucking it up.

      He will be given every opportunity to be successful with this organization. They will ride him like Secretariat until the end.

    • 26.2CubsFan

      You don’t flip valuable assets who are making essentially the league minimum. If anything, Castro gets flipped in that scenario because he makes $6mil per.

  • JacqueJones

    Great post Olt has been on my mind a lot but there was no substance about him for a long time, in a lot of ways there still isn’t because there still are questions of whether he’ll be in chicago or iowa.

  • Ill see you at Sluggers.

    I think 3rd base is the best problem our team currently has (in a good way of course). The Dirty Murph/Valbuena platoon is passable, Olt could just maybe hopefully play well in ST, then we have Villanueva, Kris Bryant, and dare I say Javier Baez?? Although it applies to fantasy football, I’m currently rosterbating to this group of prospects/hopefuls.

  • JacqueJones

    Has he tried 1-800- CONTACTS for his special eyes?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EW7yZuFaKcY

    My BRAND!!!

  • David

    If Olt and Alcantara turns out awesome and Castro turns it around…. We could potentially see Baez and Bryant in the OF. Who would’ve thought that???

    Are we too far away???? I think not. We have a lot of assets to get us some young pitching. 2015 will be the start of a dynasty.

  • Napercal

    It seems like the Cubs cold be looking at good problems all over the diamond – 2b/ss, Baez, Castro, Alcantara, Barney; 1b, Rizzo, Vogelbach, Shoulders; OF, Almora, Lake, Soler plus some of the players that lose out in the infield position battles. It would be nice if we discussed Villanueva, Murphy, Sweeney, Ruggiero and the like in terms of there ability to, at best, pinch hit.

    • Eternal Pessimist

      Would love it if rock shoulders made it…what a great jersey that will make!

  • OlderStyle

    problems are just opportunities in work clothes.

  • Bilbo161

    Olt being over the eye issues and breaking camp with the big league team would be a great start toward being better than everyone thinks this season. Maybe not a real contender yet but if a few other things go right at the same time, who knows. If Lake, Arietta, Strop, Jackson and maybe a few from our top prospects start to make a positive impact this year it will at least be a lot of fun to watch.

  • Alexander

    When our dynasty starts , it looks like it will be very righthanded. Will it be a problem?

    • Jon

      We’ll worry about it in 2019.

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