Checking out the Chicago Cubs in 2013. Is there hope on the North Side of Chicago?

11 Jan

Checking out the Chicago Cubs in 2013. Improvement?

Published by: Doc on 11th Jan 2013 | View all blogs by Doc
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Besides covering the Milwaukee Brewers, I wanted to cover a few other teams that I follow and like and today I’ve been looking into what the Brewers NL Central Division Rivals the Chicago Cubs are doing.

The Lovable Losers from the Friendly Confines at Wrigley Field. But it hasn’t been so lovable lately as the Cubs lost 101 games for only the third time in their long history dating back to the 1800s.

But don’t despair Cubs fans there is hope, and you don’t need to send the team down to Peoria as a minor league team. Although in a weird way that’s exactly what they’re doing to build this long time proud franchise back up.

Under the direction of team president Theo Epstein who constructed the Red Sox championship teams last decade, Jed Hoyer the general manager and Dale Sveum the manager the Cubs are building for the future while playing for the present as well.

They are bringing up some minor leaguers like Anthony Rizzo, Brett Jackson, Ian Stewart and Wellington Castro. They brought in a 32 year old pitcher Kyuji Fujikawa a possible closer from Japan. He will work alongside Cubs closer Carlos Marmol for late innings. Meanwhile outfielder Kosuke Fukodome who spent part of 5 years with the Cubs will return to Japan.

The Cubs also signed infielder Luis Valluena to a one year contract. Meanwhile the Cubs biggest acquisition was right hander Edwin Jackson who pitched for Washington last year and once pitched a no hitter in the majors while with Arizona in 2011. Jackson will be part of a Cubs rotation possibly with Matt Garza if he isn’t traded and returns from injury and Jeff Samardzija who has become a nice starter/reliever for the Cubs. Other pitchers the Cubs picked up include Scott Baker from the Twins, Scott Feldman from the Rangers and Carlos Villenueva who used to pitch for the Brewers.

Some other non roster invites of note that the Cubs will bring in to look at are Darnell McDonald who has had a good clutch bat for the Red Sox at times I remember and has a nice glove. Brent Lilibridge has played some infield for a few major league teams most recently the Braves and Dontrelle Willis who was once a very good pitcher for the Florida Marlins and pitched in Detroit for the Tigers for a few years as well. He is looking to make a comeback to form.

Add in veterans Starlin Castro and Darwin Barney who make a nice double play combination and Alfonso Soriano who still has good power at age 37, and this could be an interesting mixture and year for the Cubs.

They likely won’t win the division or get a playoff spot, but they shouldn’t lose 100 games again either. From what I’ve read the Cubs model for success is the Washington Nationals. The Nationals have had some great drafts for young talent, (Stephen Strasberg and Bryce Harper) and signing some good free agents to become a playoff team which they were last year and look to contend again this year.

The Cubs will be better so don’t lose hope my Cubs friends no selling out to Peoria. But the team is a year or two away likely from being really good again. However help is on the way and the building process has begun. So keep watching and pretty soon you’ll be able to start enjoying Wrigley Field again for more than the ballpark and ivy. Go Cubs Go and Hey Chicago What do You Say the Cubs are going to WIN today. Hopefully for Cubs fans that after winning game chant at Wrigley will be sung more often in the future. Cubs fans need that HOPE. Good luck! Doc.





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