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Promising Signs of Spring?


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#1 BlueHorizons

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 08:45 AM

This time of year, there are signs of spring "blossoming" all around us. As an ever optimistic and typical Cubs fan, I think I am also seeing some promising signs of spring coming out of the Arizona heat. We all know that the Cubs are in rebuild-mode, and because of that, any excitement for the potential of this team should be tempered with a good bit of pessimism. We also know that Spring Training games and stats mean nothing and in no way can be used to predict how a team will fare during the regular season. On the other hand, hope "springs" eternal, and we never know how a team that looks average to mediocre on the scorers sheet will actually play. In recent years, we have seen several teams "bloom" into contenders when there were no expectations for a good season. (sorry to ramble and pardon the puns)

With that said, and while uttering many disclaimers to myself, I can't help feeling better about THIS Cubs team, than I have in several years. Why?!, you ask... (and I ask myself that, as well)... Maybe I am reading more into it than I should, and it is WAY early in a meaningless spring training camp, but here are some stats that I found heartening.

Team Fielding... Last year, as you know, errors absolutely KILLED... so far this year (and I found this VERY surprising), the Cubs, even with all of the new and young faces on the field, have committed just ONE error! Sure, that's after just 3 games, but last year, it was seemingly rare if the Cubs committed just one error in a single game, probably 5 in three games. (well, it SEEMED that way) So, I feel encouraged by this number... maybe with the concentration on fundamentals and the new attitude, they have turned a corner? Another stat... Fielding PCT... Cubs find themselves ranked 3rd in baseball.

Team Batting... I found a lot of these stats surprising. Cubs rank 1st in the league in batting average... slugging... and on base pct + slugging... and 2nd in on base pct. SWEET! A few other categories they are doing well in are RBIs (4th), HRs (8th) and Hits (9th). Sure, those numbers don't jump out at you, but keep in mind that is only after three games, where as most other teams have played more games (some as many as SIX games, giving them many more opportunites to and to their stats).

Team Pitching... So much for positive signs... Not much promise here, at least based upon the stats, as the Cubs rank 29th in ERA (UHG!) and are in the middle for walks, with fewer games. (I guess looking at pitching is a great way to prevent getting TOO excited!)

Sooo... If you have trudged through this ramble and are still reading (I DO hear crickets out there)... Should I be feeling a tad more optimistic with the results we've seen thus far in Spring Training, or am I just goofin' on 'shrooms?

#2 Brett

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 10:41 AM

I'm all about optimism, and will never shit on it.

That said, I'm always very leery about taking away too many positives or negatives from Spring Training. Too many crappy players on the other team, too many un-ready players on your own. Skews everything in unpredictable, and unreplicable, ways.

#3 MichiganGoat

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 04:49 PM

I'm honestly excited and optimistic about this spring but the reality of the situations keeps it in check. I always tap into my inner AI and telling myself that ST is basically practice... PRACTICE WE'RE TALKING BOUT PRACTICE

But Go Cubs Go, nice to see things going in a long term successful direction.

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#4 King Jeff

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 06:22 PM

You are looking way too closely at stats. Spring is more about preparation, learning, and preparing. Matt Garza was terrible for most of the spring last year and James Russell was lights out for most of it. How did that work out last year?

#5 Brett

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 07:35 PM

You are looking way too closely at stats. Spring is more about preparation, learning, and preparing. Matt Garza was terrible for most of the spring last year and James Russell was lights out for most of it. How did that work out last year?

So, you're saying the goal is to either be dogshit or awesome in Spring Training? (Russell was brilliant as a reliever.)

:)




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