The Fillable Hole in Center Field and Other Bullets

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The Fillable Hole in Center Field and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

If you have Doug Martin, you won.

  • Paul Sullivan looks at the Cubs’ needs this offseason, none of which are a surprise. Included in the piece, however, are some interesting thoughts from Jed Hoyer on the team’s plans in the outfield. “We would like to add a good defender,” Hoyer said, per Sullivan. “The ability to play multiple spots out there is important. And … the more we can get left-handed, the better, though I wouldn’t say that criteria is a must [in an outfielder].” Hoyer also added that David DeJesus played well in right field and in center, but curiously said, “the more we push him into center, the more we deplete that.” Hmm. Taken all together, it sounds like the Cubs are looking for a defensively-minded center fielder, and plan to keep David DeJesus in right field next year (where his defense is great, but his offense doesn’t play particularly well).
  • I dig the plan, ultimately, though, because the free agent market (and trade market, if you include Coco Crisp) is actually quite deep in center field – Josh Hamilton, Michael Bourn, B.J. Upton, Nick Swisher (hasn’t played CF in a while, though), Angel Pagan, Shane Victorino, Cody Ross, and on and on. It’s actually a good year to need a center fielder. The Cubs could even go for one of the bigger names (i.e., longer deal), if they were so inclined, moving either Alfonso Soriano or David DeJesus out when Brett Jackson is ready (if he becomes ready). This will be a topic of conversation for some time, but it looks like the Cubs will have options.
  • Over at the Message Board, we’re discussing how many more 90 to 100 loss seasons you’d be willing to stomach as a Cubs fan in service of what will, theoretically  be a brighter future.
  • Obstructed View collects Bill James’ early projections for Cubs players in 2013. Among the most interesting bits: Anthony Rizzo is expected to blow away all other Cubs hitters; Bryan LaHair is projected to be the second best hitter on the team, followed by Starlin Castro and … Brett Jackson; Ian Stewart projects at a .238/.327/.427 line, which I’d probably take today; Matt Garza and Jeff Samardzija project to be good-not-great; and James Russell projects to crash and burn.
  • The MLBullets at BCB ask whether Zack Greinke is worth the monster contract he’s going to get (it’s been discussed here before, you may recall).
  • Also from those MLBullets, an interesting piece from Beyond the Boxscore. It dug into Tommy John surgery data to, among other things, compile a chart of the total number of Tommy John surgeries performed on players on each team/in each organization over the past 30 years (the data are admittedly not perfect). The Braves come in at the high end with at least 26 Tommy John surgeries, and the White Sox come in at the low end with just six. The Cubs are near the middle, but in the lower half, with 15. What does it mean? It might not mean a whole lot, given the data imperfections, and the possibility that a handful of your team’s TJS might be on players who actually developed for years in another system. This, though, is definitely the next frontier for finding and exploiting inefficiencies: how do you keep your pitchers healthy?
  • I was already a Dave Kaplan fan, but now I owe him a beer:

Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.