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The Dark Horses in this year's Spring Training

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#1 Ivy Walls

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 07:36 PM

Hoyer made a statement earlier this winter regarding Rizzo that performance in Arizona (esp. offensive performance) should not be counted but each year there are a couple of unexpected gems, or as the sports writers like to metamorphically call, "dark horses" as in the "ponies" venacular, so who the question remains: Who will be 2012's dark horses.

First let us remove RJackson and Rizzo from the dark horse list in that we should expect a solid performance. Second dark horses are unexpected like Colvin of 2010 where he simply "wowed" the entire organization with BA, OPA, OPS and power.

Often a dark horse comes out of the pitching ranks as a pitcher finds a new pitch, new command and new confidence, take Marmol back in 2007. after an abysmal stint as a starter in 2006.

My candidates for dark horses:


Samardzija, it is said he worked out in AZ over winter and has found his slider and a splitter. He has the oppty to make the rotation.

McNutt, the oft-injured prospect who has the oppty to make the front office to change their plans for 2012.

Dolis, the expectant prospect reliever who could make Marmol expendible if he realizes his purported press.

Struck, he was elevated faster than some said he should last year.


Barney, the word is that Cubs view him as a perennial utility player like Blauser of Atlanta, but he has gone to AZ to put on weight, so can he hit the ball beyond the OF'ers?

Cardenas, Cubs cut DeWitt for the stone hand Cardenas who is a switch hitter and the next utility player.

Clevenger, catcher a left hitting catcher who has a good defense prowess, making Castillo work at being the back up.


Campana, he gained muscle this winter and if he can shoot line drives in the gap he could be a faster Lofton and change all the Cub fans plans for the OF.
"What does a mama bear on the pill have in common with the World Series? No cubs."~Harry Carey

#2 frozentoews


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Posted 12 February 2012 - 08:37 PM

I am really interested to A) see what Barney will look like with all this weight on and B) how it will affect his play. Muscle is never really a bad thing but it can change what a player does and in Barney's case, is very particular.

#3 npnovak


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Posted 13 February 2012 - 02:59 AM

I am really interested to A) see what Barney will look like with all this weight on and B) how it will affect his play. Muscle is never really a bad thing but it can change what a player does and in Barney's case, is very particular.

pics here: http://journal.boyso.../mrt-shirt.html

I personally don't see a difference. Plus, I remember hearing something about Barney bulking up last year, and he still didn't hit for power. One thing you have to remember: you always hear all this great stuff about player A putting on some muscle and player B losing weight and player C being in the best shape of his life, but the problem is every team has plenty of players like that. Not everyone is going to see a dramatic increase in stats, and some of their stats might even regress.

It's great that these players have put themselves in positions to succeed, but you have to take all of these reports with a grain of salt.

#4 BFiddy


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Posted 13 February 2012 - 03:11 AM

He isn't really a dark horse...but I can't wait to see Ian Stewart this spring.

Post-hype sleeper that Theo and Co. must like pretty well...can he finally put it all together?
And that's a bad miss...

#5 MichiganGoat


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Posted 13 February 2012 - 06:02 AM

oppty - is that you Mike Quade?

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#6 King Jeff

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 11:59 AM

I think Jeff Beliveau is a sleeper and could make the bullpen with strong spring. I also think either Clevenger or Castillo could tear it up and lock down the backup catcher job, both have pretty nice bats, especially when compared to that other guy who was the backup the last few years. I am also interested in how the guys at Camp Colvin(i can't think of the strength coaches name) look this spring, it would a pleasant surprise if someone unexpected showed up this year with 20 homerun power.

#7 Katie


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Posted 13 February 2012 - 12:08 PM

I'm just anxious for the season to start already. I can't take anymore of this NBA bullshit. I can't wait to read all the updates out of Mesa.
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Al: With every bullet, so far.

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