wrigley-field-from-announcerOne. More. Day. The ants have descended upon my pants.

  • Dave Kaplan interviewed Anthony Rizzo about a few things, and Rizzo was actually fairly candid in his answers, noting that he’s honored to be one of the faces of the team, and that if he performs to the best of his ability, some day he and the Cubs will “rip up this contract” and “sign the really big bucks.” Hey, man, nothing would make the Cubs and the fans more happy than Rizzo performing so well that, with a couple years left on his deal, everyone agrees that another, bigger money extension is in order.
  • I’m not crazy about how long Justin Ruggiano’s minor ankle issue has lingered, and he tells the Tribune that it will feel fine for a while, but after running on it over the course of several innings, it’ll start to hurt. The MRIs look clean, and he doesn’t think there’s a serious problem, but you had to hear about any kind of lingering issue that won’t seem to go away. We’ll know more when the regular season starts – the Cubs face a lefty tomorrow, so you’ve gotta figure Ruggiano will be in there if he can go.
  • In that same Tribune piece, James Russell says he feels like his changeup is working for him again, which would be very good news, given that a good lefty changeup can be a very effective pitch against righties (the side of the plate that hammered Russell last year). You’d like for Russell not to have to be relegated to LOOGY duty all year, even if the numbers say he could be fantastic at it.
  • Ricky Renteria compliments Brian “Schlit” Schlitter on sticking to it after he was cut from big league camp (Cubs.com), so much so that the Cubs decided to bring him back and put him on the Opening Day roster. Let that be a lesson for future cuts, I suppose.
  • Matt Snyder with an NL Central storyline for each of the five teams heading into the 2014 season. For the Cubs, there are only so many reasonable choices for a national publication, so the “bounce back” of Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo seems a fair one.
  • http://www.frenchrocks.net Ian Afterbirth

    And dammit I’ll be driving from Vermont to NYC during the game!!!!!!!

  • Blackhawks1963

    Fearless predictions…

    NL Central – St Louis, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Cubs, Milwaukee
    NL East. – Washington
    NL West – Los Angeles
    NL Wildcard – San Francisco, Pittsburgh
    NL. MVP – Bryce Harper
    NL Cy Young – Matt Cain
    NL ROY – Javy Baez

    World Series – Washington over Tampa Bay

    • Brocktoon


      East: WAS
      West: LA
      Wild: PIT & ATL

    • blublud

      If Baez come up early enough and plays like the ROY, Cubs won’t finish 4th or last in the division. If he comes when I think he will, end of April, beginning May, and plays like Roy, Cubs will finish 3rd, if not better. I think this team is better them most people think.

      • Dakota44

        Right there with ya, its also looking like Bryant is coming in june or July as well, so I’m excited

        • http://bleachernation.com woody

          Bryant will be nowhere near Wrigley in June or July.

          • NorthSideIrish

            Totally disagree. I think he gets called up to AAA by the end of July and has a layover at O’Hare on his way to Des Moines.

        • ame1908

          Ahh, delusion. I wish Bryant would come up that early, but it just isn’t going to happen. And Baez has looked studly in ST, but he isn’t good enough to put a 5th place team into 3rd place during his rookie season (even if he does get a call up by the AS Break). Sorry.

      • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

        With Baez, this team could play well enough to compete for the post-season.

        Unfortunately, it’s the Cubs so they won’t.

    • Ivy Walls

      I think Cinci regresses more Cubs might finish below and they might calibrate the losses to be within the bottom third because of FA implications or their plan does not include losing a number one regardless how they finish.

  • TommyK

    Rizzo and Castro are definitely the biggest story of this year for me. If they are what they were last year, there’s no limit to how bad this team could be and you start to wonder if this rebuild is going to work. I mean, if those guys can bust, why would we have any confidence in any of these prospects? If they do what we think they have the potential to do, this team could flirt with .500 and you feel a whole lot better about the rebuild.

    Most people on here (and in the Cubs organization) seem to poo-poo the importance of going .500. I think that they “there’s no glory in 80 wins” argument ignores the fact that there is great shame is losing 100 games. Avoiding that shame is a worthwhile goal. That is my hope for this season. I’m not expecting glory; I’m just hoping to avoid shame.

    • brains

      i agree with this, and agree about the stakes. moreso i think that everyone who stat crunches all day misses the baseball fundamentals that the “time” to invest in the team comes *because* they’ve invested in the team. a bad team with no investment leads to a bad team with no investment. it’s a bizarre logic that’s a little bit tragic, and a little bit silly. so if these minor leaguers don’t pan out at a very high level, say goodbye to theo, expect another dramatic rebuild, and forget signing anyone of note at all for many years.

      if the cubs improve a little with then expect us to sign a couple bottom rotation pitchers and sit on our hands another couple years. those are the choices, those are the breaks.

      • baldtaxguy

        I agree that is bizarre logic.

        • DocPeterWimsey

          It’s not the logic, but the premise that you are questioning. The premise is this: a 0.500 team in 2013 often offers nothing towards making a 0.550 team in 2014. Of course, that statement is too general to really be useful: it depends on *how* you get that 0.500 team. If you get it (as the Cubs would have had to do) by propping up a deteriorating team with guys who would not be making the team better in 2 years, then the premise has a lot of empirical support.

          On the other hand, if it is because you’ve added improvements to the team that will continue to add value (that is, contribute more to run-differential than the average player at their position on other teams) in 2-3 years time, then 0.500 is a good thing. That would have been cool: but it also was going to be almost impossible.

    • http://bleachernation.com woody

      Losing 90 plus games is the only way to aquire an impact player without shelling out big bucks in FA or trading talent from your farm system. That is the unfortunate reality in todays baseball world. With the crazy contracts that just keep getting larger and larger this is the only sane approach to take. If this team is hovering near the .500 mark in July then we may actually see a trade to add talent if it fits the over all plan. But with the division that we play in and the schedule we have in April I doubt very much if we will be in contention for anything except a selloff.

      • brains

        yeah i agree. spare a minor league miracle it’s looking bleak for the cubs putting any effort into winning the division until 2018-2020. eventually i’ll tire of pointing this out, but i’m still scandalized by it, so here i am.

        • baldtaxguy

          There you are.

        • TWC

          “eventually i’ll tire of pointing this out”

          We’ll do anything we can do to help you reach that point. Just ask.

          • brains

            hah, yeah how’s your world of warcraft mage doing?

            • TWC

              Huh? The video game, right?

              Not sure what the hell you’re talking about, but that’s pretty normal.

              • brains

                how about your second life character? does he wear the wizard hat too?

                • half_full_beer_mug

                  I think your wizard sleeve is starting to show.

                  • brains

                    that’s his cape, it’s sunday.

                • TWC

                  ? Still nothing.

                  What a sad-sack case you are. I’m going back outside. It boggles my mind that your shit is still tolerated by the management here.

                  • brains

                    yeah, from the guy who shows up, attacks a few strangers, never once talks baseball, and then leaves. go back to your online d&d game. i might be idiosyncratic and pessimistic, but i don’t pick on other users, and i eat my shit with a smile, as long as it’s about how bad i am at understanding baseball.

                  • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                    Just remain on the moral high ground, TWC. Folks tend to do it to themselves eventually. As we’ve now seen.

        • waittilthisyear

          prophesy is not a profitable business, especially when you punt 6 seasons.

      • baldtaxguy

        Angels won 100 games in 2008 and used a comp pick to draft Trout 25th overall in 2009.

        • DocPeterWimsey

          heh, that’s a little like saying that someone used a dollar that they found under the couch to buy a winning lottery ticket!

          Trout might point to one of the under-valued parts of the market: players from “cold” states with much shorter baseball seasons than players from warm ones. However, this sword cuts both ways: the small sample sizes make “helium” performances a lot more probable, too.

          • baldtaxguy

            Agreed. Just addressing the hyperbole that losing 90 games is the only way to acquire impact talent on the cheap.

            • DocPeterWimsey

              Well, there always is luck, obviously: and the Angels got a bit lucky with Trout. However, there was one other thing that 90+ win teams were doing to build that the Cubs cannot do: they used supplemental draft picks for the mid-season acquisitions that they let go as FAs. The Sox in particular really played that game strongly. (I *think* that Trout was compensation for KRod’s departure, not for a midseason acquisition’s departure: but the basic point still stands.) This actually gave competitive teams with good scouting a really good advantage: they could get multiple picks in the first couple of rounds.

              That’s not going to happen anymore. So, the 90-win team is going to get one crack at the top picks (unless they sign someone attached to compensation), and then they have to hope that a Trout magically drops to the 20’s.

              This subtle but important change with the last CBA cannot be understated. I think that it basically was to prevent teams like the Sox from seemingly having cake and eating it too by basically getting new prospects to make up for the ones that they gave up. Instead, it’s just changed it so that few teams are willing to give up any draft picks for anything other than top FAs.

      • Kyle

        “Losing 90 plus games is the only way to aquire an impact player without shelling out big bucks in FA or trading talent from your farm system. ”

        Being good at scouting and development still works.

    • ssckelley

      The Cubs did not lose 100 games last year. There is no participation trophy for being a .500 team nor is there any glory, ask Arizona fans how they feel about their .500 finish. If the Cubs cannot make the playoffs then I could give a crap where they finish in the standings. If you are going to be bad, then be bad, baseball awards teams for being bad with protected draft picks with extra pool money for the draft and signing IFA’s.

      • half_full_beer_mug

        I understand this premise and agree with it up to a point, but at some point in time you have to quit trying to be bad and try to start on the up hill climb. Once that decision has been made I do think there is some (very little) glory in a “.500” finish. If for no other reason it shows the team and fans that there has indeed been progress made.

        I’m really hoping that this is the year that decision is made, and if it’s not it for sure be next year or I may start believing the naysayers have more of a point than any of us would like to admit.

        • ssckelley

          I do not believe they approached last season or this season “trying to be bad”. But when you enter the trade deadline under .500 and it is obvious you are not making the playoffs then sell off what you can and grab the draft position.

          • half_full_beer_mug

            Then that becomes a vicious cycle with no chance of improving. If you give up and sell off everything of value, why would you think that a year from now you’d be any better?

            Please understand that up to this point I’ve had very little heartburn with any player that has been traded or released. I’m just of the opinion that it’s getting really close to the time that proven players that can be part of a winning future need to be retained instead of “flipping” for a possibility.

            • ssckelley

              No chance of improving???? The whole idea to sell off at the trade deadline is to get value to help with the future years. MLB is set up to penalize mediocrity, if you are not in the playoff hunt then there is no point in winning games the last couple of months of the season.

              The Cubs looked like they have improved to me over the past couple of years. These pieces the Cubs have picked up over the past couple of years via trades and draft could be a huge part of the Cubs future success.

              • half_full_beer_mug

                You are leveraging the present for a less than 50% chance (historically) on the future, but if you stick to the same “plan” every time it gets to the ASB if you aren’t “above .500” you are going to plan on exchanging the proven players of the present for possible players for the future.

                Can’t you see that this is a doomed path to ever be good in the present?

                • ssckelley

                  No, not at all and we will probably have to agree to disagree on this. I see no point in trying to win games in August and September when there is nothing to play for. I remember the seasons where the Cubs made the playoffs, not the ones where they hovered around .500. Do what you can now to win but if on July 31st you are not in the playoff hunt flip what you can and use the rest of the season for development to help the future.

                  • half_full_beer_mug

                    I really don’t think we are that far off; just probably saying the same thing different ways.

                    My main point is that the team needs to get to a point (quickly) where there are no “flippable” pieces on the 25 man roster. That the players on the field ARE the future and the present. It may be that they aren’t in the hunt that year, but are trending in that direction and no reason to tear it down only to have to start over again.

                    • ssckelley

                      I can definitely agree on that and I think we are seeing more of that this season. This is a big reason why I hope they sign Shark to an extension instead of flipping him. The upper minors is finally starting to look good so I see little value in trading him unless that is the only option.

                    • blublud

                      I agree. I see no point in flipping anyone this year, besides Hamels, unless its the only option, or we get blown away by an offer. I think we may be around .500 this year, so it will be interesting to watch.

  • AP

    You forgot the most important storyline heading into the 2014 season, Brett. I just found out that I passed the Bar! Maybe you should start developing a legal department for the site to analyze all things Cubs.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Hey! Congrats!

    • http://bleachernation.com woody

      Every time I passed the bar I usually stopped in for a drink. Congratulation man!

  • Ivy Walls

    I hear and see all this pessimism to downright angst over the future sorryful season that there is one thing that is a law regarding human nature, the unexpected.

    Yes spring season hopes eternally—that is life. But looking at this roster and the subsequent back ups and pipeline things look better—across the board.

    Let me start with pitching: Number one, beyond: Marmol was still the closer, then there was Shawn Camp, Bowden and Tashahashi. This year the bullpen appears to be much better even sustainable where as in AAA there are three or four players who can actually push and improve the current roster as the develop more command.

    Starting pitching; Again I see things better than last year. Samardzija knows he is playing for the big payoff nothing better than a player urgency to peak performance. Wood continues to refine his game, Jackson appears to regress to a bounce back and Hammel who was hurt is also auditioning for a pay out. That leaves Arietta whom Sutcliffe and a scout I know to say he really does have the best stuff.

    Okay let us improve .33 runs per game, but that will take more than strikeouts—defense. Let us start in the OF, last year we started with DeJesus, Soriano and Schierholtz backed up with Sappelt and Hairston. This year the defense appears to be Lake, Sweeney, Schierholtz (better) with Kalish, Ruggiano and sometimes Bonafacio backing them up. Much more speed, and fundementals.

    On the infield; we started with Barney on the DL, along with Stewart—remember that epic failure at 3B! So we installed Lillibridge, Gonzalez and Valbuena with Castro and Rizzo. This year Cubs have brought up Olt to earn himself into an everyday player there, and now have Bonafacio and Barney platooning at 2B. Barney will also probably see work at SS to rest the Starlin.

    Catching we have Castillo who earned himself into an everyday and is learning to better frame pitchers along with a journeyman professional in Baker.

    They also have a positive field staff, I think they will blow by 66 wins and be knocking on the door of 78-to-82 wins. It will be done by scoring .25 more runs a game with an offense better at scoring that loose run from third with less than two outs and scratching a run here or there because of more speed on the bases.

    Through the season we will also see players who come up that will be improvements along with positive progression from Rizzo, Castillo, Lake and Olt with a regression towards his normal potential in Castro.

    • brains

      i agree with everything you say here, except the projected record. the team looks “ok”, but take away pie in the sky anticipation, add a couple injuries, shark’s trade, and one or two players slumping that didn’t slump last year – and even with improvement from castro and rizzo we’re looking at 66-72 wins, 75 if we have a hot streak and the gods intervene. i’d put my money down on 69 wins.

    • 1060Ivy

      Missed how the Cubs’ offense improves over last year’s woeful performance.

      • brains

        the team is about the same as last year, but morale should at least be up until the all star break. after that, and the trade deadline it’s anyone’s guess. basically if the minor league talent doesn’t pan out in a big way there’s going to be dissension in the FO, and not against theo but against the ricketts for sabotaging their chance to sign key players along the way. signing no players is not a plan, it’s a business decision. however the money gets distributed, and for whatever reason, it’s not going into competition and wont for another 3-4 years.

      • Ivy Walls

        Got to think that Castro and Rizzo hit bottom on their career performances. Got to think that Olt is a 25 HR hitter with a low .800 OPS. I think Lake also is near .800 OPS and with Barney-2013 is off the field Cubs offense is demonstratably better (is that a new word?)

        • hcs

          Demonstrably, but close enough. :)

    • http://bleachernation.com woody

      Pretty accurate analysis.

    • Dustin S

      This sums up most of my feeling going into the season to. If I were to put a number on it I’d expect ~75 wins. But that number might even creep up a bit if they have a hot first half and somehow turn more into modest buyers at the trade deadline than sellers. That will be the big determining factor on the end number.

      If the last 2 monthas are Shark-less and it turns into a repeat of last year where it was basically watching the Iowa team at Wrigley in the 2nd half, 80+ wins are unlikely. But ideally Castro and Rizzo bounce back, Olt does well, Lake doesn’t regress too much, maybe Castillo shows some more power, Baez and another couple call-ups help this season, a nice mid-season deal here and there…and anything can happen. A 1983->84 shocker would be my dream, but I’d be happy with this season lining them up for a legitimate (or even expected) 2015 .500+ run.

  • Jon

    Wonder if Rizzo, now seeing Freeman’s deal, is having some buyers remorse ?

    • half_full_beer_mug

      Maybe he will when he puts up similar numbers. I just don’t think the two are an apt comparison right now.

    • baldtaxguy

      He needs to play beyond his current contract to have remorse.

  • http://bleachernation.com woody

    The first month of the season will solve all the questions about this ball club in short order. If somehow they can come through April with a .500 record then they will be in good shape. The cubs last year were nearly a .500 ball club outside of our division. Inside our division we only won about a third of the games. To be a .500 ball club we need to have a winning record outside the division and play close to .500 within our division.

    • Ivy Walls


  • Indy57

    Hope springs eternal every April and 2014 is no different with the exception that there is really hope. 75 wins do seem to be within reach with the operative word being “reach.” Watching the Cubs for the last few spring games, however, does suggest real progress is being made. There are many “ifs” but they seem reasonable.

    I do believe Rizzo and Castro will have better seasons. I do believe Mike Olt will produce for the #4 spot. Barney looks like he is comfortable at the plate and he will continue to anchor that spot until Baez joins the team after July. Bonifacio is a nice addition. He looks like he can set the table.

    The outfield is a mix of questions and more hope. I do believe Ryan Kahlish will be a huge boost to the team. He will make Schierholtz or Sweeny expendable by June. Lake is the wild card, figuratively and literally. If he can tap those tools, there is a diamond in the rough. There is also the potential for Bryant, Szczur and possibly others to join in August and September.

    Watching Jackson and Hammels in Arizona this weekend was enjoyable. The question is simply, can they be that good consistently? What will we get when Arrietta returns? How long will it take the bullpen to produce and who will be out and in as the year goes on? Pitching is a real question mark and we will find out in the first 30 games.

    Last is Renteria. His attitude appears to have the team in a good frame of mind. Now, let’s see how he manages in-game strategy and how he uses the versatility of this roster. Let’s see how he uses match ups and how he plays the “hot hand” of key players during the season. So far, the team has been willing to take extra bases, steal, bunt (yes it still works once in a while) and play hit and run. How he manages the pitching will determine how far this team can go.

    It is a stretch to think that this team can contend, but it will be fun to watch as they will play much better defense, they will produce more runs and they will feature the youth and athleticism of the franchise. I like the direction we are headed and I plan to attend more games in person this year. The Cubs are on the rise, in my opinion and 2014 will set the table for the next 2-5 years of winning baseball.

    • brains

      we can agree that in 5 years from 2014 the team will be decent, after 8 years of elective indecency. will we be perennial winners as promised? only if the cubs play it the yanks or angels way and sign everyone. otherwise the answer is no and we will have wasted many, many years paying off billionaire loans to themselves under the guise of “the plan”.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        I find your incessant hyperbole to be thoroughly annoying. Making the same ridiculous point over and over is a good way to get yourself ignored, for a starter. Try something else.

        • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

          You mean folks continue to pay attention to him?

        • brains

          on the contrary, we both know that once i figured out a working angle that it shifted the conversation. this is “brains” iteration #4 or so. rules: 1) stay on the message, 2) show how the opposite point is also as plausible as the stated point, 3) keep focused on effort accorded for competition, not business operations. if anything i’ve mostly abandoned the hyperbole approach, which was iteration #3. :)

          • brains

            approaches that don’t work at baseball blogs: 1) descriptions of how business operations/economies of scale work, 2) stat-mining, because someone always says the framing is wrong in retort, 3) appeals to tradition, 4) appeals to fundamentals (even though i still believe in them), 5) humor, 6) praise, 7) projections….

            the most effective approach is being on the bandwagon with whatever everyone is saying, but that’s the least interesting tactic.

            • brains

              on this thought one thing i will apologize for is spurts of over-posting when i only have a short time to talk cubs. i’ll keep those down.

              • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

                So in the span of 3 posts you went from “Your dumb, you don’t understand me” to “Here is why I am a genius” to “WOE IS ME! No body knows the troubles I’ve seen”

                • brains

                  hansman, no one understands me like you. and i’m not genius, just explaining my blog persona, which i’d define as a weirdo using trial and error to get a point across that he actually believes.

                  • https://twitter.com/dwoytek dw8

                    Seems like you could really develop that blog persona on, say, your own blog, instead of the comments (not posts), of this Cubs blog.

                  • another JP

                    You forgot to add the words “shit 4” when creating your log-in name.

                • http://www.teamfums.org MichiganGoat

                  Just the continuation of bullshit we’ve all come to expect it’s nothing new or interesting and just more reason to realize some posters are worth engaging.

        • AB1980

          Best not to acknowledge the narcissists, let them indulge in their little fantasy world of self-importance.

          • DocPeterWimsey

            It shouldn’t even be necessary: any narcissist worth his or her salt loves him/herself enough that he/she doesn’t need adulation from the rest of you.

            (Unless, of course, there is such a thing as an insecure narcissist…..)

            • brains

              comeon doc, you know better than that. you’re being too careful – a narcissist is always insecure, they just have varying degrees of steep walls to protect that insecurity.

              usually they’ll blame scapegoats for larger structural problems first, say neighbors, employees, the environment, the past… then they’ll substantiate their position by explaining just how good they are at what they do, and that it simply hasn’t been recognized yet. eventually the bubble bursts and they cope a lot worse than an average person. wait, am i talking about myself or am i channeling something else close to our hearts? maybe a little bit of both. :)

              • DocPeterWimsey

                What about narcissists who find insecurity to be a turnoff? (I mean, really, it is….)

                • brains

                  my courting ritual has failed. mom always wanted me to marry a doctor.

        • half_full_beer_mug

          Can we please get an ignore button?

  • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

    Booking it now…162-0 this season!

    CAN NOT WAIT. I will be nervously nibbling hamburgers until tomorrow.

    • Patrick W.

      You’ve never “nibbled” a hamburger in your life.

  • TSB

    Prediction: The Cardinals will not win the Central. Realistic? No, but it sure feels good predicting it…

    • cubfanincardinalland

      I predict the cardinals will be baseballs big bust team. They are not going to hit .330 with runners in scoring position. Lots of young players due for regression as the league adjusts. And teams tired of hearing about how fabulous the cardinals and their special “way” are, will be gunning for them. 86 win team.

    • Darth Ivy

      Prediction: an earthquake will expose a new small fault line that exists only under their shitty stadium. The stadium will be too dangerous to play in. Then all cardinals players will get sex-change operations and quit baseball. Then, the US will kick Missouri out of the union. Finally, the cardinals bird species will go extinct.

      PS- Then Cubs win the world series

  • Blackhawks1963

    The Cubs are doing to struggle to score runs and the starting rotation is mediocre at best. That’s a recipe for 90 or so losses in 2014. I’m very optimistic on the future, but 2014 is not going to be pretty. I see a summer sell-off happening again too, which will make 2nd half of the season success harder to come by.

    • half_full_beer_mug

      I keep seeing these words “summer sell off”. Would someone please tell me what exactly this team has to “sell off”? I mean look at the 25 man roster and show me what they have that another team wants, and then show me how that is a true “sell off”. I understand there is probably a better than 50% chance that Jeff could be traded, but there’s still a chance that they work ot an agreement in principle for and extension. Anyone else that is traded really can’t be considered more of a sell off than clearing a spot for someone better.

      No I don’t expect the roster to be the same at the end than at the beginning, but I do think the roster could be better then as opposed to now. If that’s the case wouldn’t it be exactly the opposite of a sell off?

      • Blackhawks1963

        Samardzija, Hammel, Jackson, Villeneuva, Veres, Russell, Schierholz, Sweeney, Barney, Valbuena could all be summer sell offs .

        • half_full_beer_mug

          not sure if serious

          There’s one name on that list that is close to a difference maker. A dumpster dive, a favorite whipping boy from last year, a prospect, a journeyman reliever, an overrated and misused LOOGY, two journeyman outfielders that most have written off for AA players, a player that no one wants on the 25 man roster, and a utility infielder. How in the world can a team win without that collection of players????

          IF the FO is serious that 16 is the year that it all takes shape, then this should be the first year that players quit being flipped for future value. The exception being if their age wouldn’t match with the time frame, or if they were considered replaceable by prospects (i.e. making room for better players not a sell off).

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

            Schierholtz and Sweeney have been written off by most as Double A players?

            Not seen that one before. Of course it completely falls apart in the face of even a casual glance at the most basic of empirical evidence, but it is at least new.

            • half_full_beer_mug

              Probably didn’t phrase that correctly. Should have said that most feel they will be replaced by players currently in AA.

              Hence “for” and not “as”, but I agree it wasn’t as clear as it could have been.

            • DocPeterWimsey

              You aren’t looking at it through a half empty beer mug, though!

  • Blackhawks1963

    Washington and St Louis are absolutely loaded. Neither team has a discernible weakness and both are deep clubs. I don’t feel the same way about Los Angeles. They obviously have a ton of talent, but I think that club will not be as great as advertised. And Puig is a ticking time bomb and a cancer in the making.

  • IA_Colin

    Random side note…Robinson Chirinos, and Jim Adduci made the opening day Roster for the Rangers. I used to like Adduci a bit. Other former Cubs on that roster are Donnie Murphy and Neal Cotts.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      Adduci is a good guy to have in Triple A as an emergency fill in starter type and would probably make a good outfielder off the bench, but if he’s the Opening Day starter that’s probably not a good sign.

      • IA_Colin

        Ha yeah I just remember he had some speed, good walk rate and hit well in the minors. Good for the 4th OF spot.

  • carmelo

    Grimm was the only reliever NOT to pitch in any of the final two games vs. Arizona—wonder if that has any meaning on the final 25 man opening day roster?

    • Jason P

      I’m split on Grimm. On one hand, I think he could develop into a really nice late inning reliever, but on the other hand, he has two nice pitches in his fastball and curve that make him look like a potential #3 starter. Whatever they decide to do with him, I won’t have a problem.

  • Leo the Lip

    The Cubs really had a lot of “feel good” stories this year. In a Cubs fan world our Cubbies would all progress and come through. They are all nice guys.

    Oh, damn. You know what happens to nice guys?

    • DocPeterWimsey

      Let’s see, nice guys don’t end up with the girl frequently until they are about 25. After that, they get lots and lots of girls (and stop being so nice).

      What’s that got to do with baseball?

  • Darth Ivy

    I’m either almost or equally excited for fantasy baseball to get going than for real baseball.

    Oh, but I’m way more excited to see Olt, Baez, Viscaino, Hendricks, and maybe Alcantara in the bigs.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      What I love about fantasy baseball is that it makes you pay attention to the whole league, rather than just one team. One of the biggest failings of fans (particularly when discussing prospects, but not limited just to that) is to make assertions about how good/bad things are on their team without making any comparisons to the same state of affairs on other teams.

      Besides that: baseball is just darned fun.

      • Darth Ivy

        I was so mad when I tried to draft Baez with my last pick (there are N/A positions in that league where I was planning on keeping him) only to see that someone else drafted him the round before.

        But I do have Bradley, Taillon, and Gray in my 3 N/A spots. Taveras was also drafted before I could get him. I have Castellanos, Palanco, d’Arnaud, Jarred Cosart, Oberholtzer, Syndergaard, Henderson Alvarez, and Gausman on my watchlist. It should be fun to see how these young guys develop

        • DocPeterWimsey

          Ah, the “Prospect Love” guy: every league has one! It actually can payoff big late in the year, after teams get over the arbitration fear.

          In all seriousness, though, it does make you pay attention to other teams minor leaguers.

          • Darth Ivy

            haha, yep, I’m that guy

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