Ross Doing His Work, the Unnerving State of the Bench, and Other Cubs Bullets

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Ross Doing His Work, the Unnerving State of the Bench, and Other Cubs Bullets

Chicago Cubs

I started these Bullets a couple hours ago with some thoughts on the luxury tax. But then those thoughts spurred questions in my mind, and the answers to those questions spurred more questions and more research. By the time I realized I need to shift to an entirely separate set of Bullets, I was 2000+ words down the rabbit hole. So that’s coming shortly.

Until then, Bullets …

  • It sounds like new Cubs manager David Ross had a busy Winter Meetings, even if the organization was light on transaction activity. Per 670 The Score, Ross met with every available department head, and also spent 12 hours with the Cubs’ pro scouts, “learning exactly what they’re looking for and who in their perspective could fit with the Cubs in 2020 and beyond.” Good to have the manager on board with that stuff, especially if he’s coming on board for a phase where the “beyond” part is going to be treated as far more important than the 2020 part.
  • As presently-constructed, the Cubs have a competitive starting lineup, but the bench would leave a load to be desired:

  • Right now, the Cubs – with David Bote the nominal starter at second base – would be looking at a big league bench consisting of Victor Caratini, Tony Kemp, Daniel Descalso, Albert Almora, and probably Hernan Perez. Obviously you aren’t going to have superstars on your bench, and not every team has as much talent (currently) in the starting lineup. But, outside of Caratini, who is required as the back-up catcher (and is probably a very good one), that group has the potential to be an absolute disaster, which would also increase the strain on the starters and, eventually, sap some of their effectiveness.
  • Whether by way of the upcoming trades or signings that move guys around, the Cubs cannot enter the season with that bench if they really care about putting the 2020 group in a position to compete.
  • Some of this issue, by the way, rests on a recent inability to develop the kinds of cheap, decent, fringe contributors you see on many other competitive benches around baseball. Like everything else on the talent development side, the Cubs have jump in with both feet to attack that issue, but the fruits might not show up for another year or two or more.
  • Well this will be fun:

  • This is hilarious, and also just the kind of “I-don’t-care-what-anyone-thinks” sweet that I really appreciate from a ballplayer:

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.