I'm worried that our best hitter and best pitcher are two of the most injury-prone players in the game
I'm worried that we signed Dempster back before the economy completely tanked, and wound up over-paying.
I'm worried that the Dempster overpay caused us to trade away DeRosa, which, I worry, has greatly weakened our bench.
And, I worry, has greatly weakened our chemistry, whatever the hell that is.
I'm worried that Carlos Marmol will tire of his experiment living
amongst humans, and decide to return to his normal, alien form, go back
to the mothership, and report to the Martians that no, the earthlings
do not offer any worthy baseball competition. Marmol the Martian will
then leave us as he explores other worlds in search of competition.
I'm worried that Carlos Zambrano is on the Livan Hernandez Career Arc.
I'm worried that you, gentle reader, won't follow me below the fold...
I'm worried that in a secret laboratory in Wyoming, DARPA is cloning Joe Morgan, with the intent of disappearing Len and Bob in May and replacing them with the first of an army of Joe Morgan clones. The clones will be programmed to plant subliminal anti-American, totalitarian messages in their commentary that eventually will lead to an army of brainwashed baseball fans who overthrow society and institute a New World Order based on moving the runner over and expensive suits.
I'm worried that Fukudome simply isn't a very good hitter.
I'm worried that after his first burst of personality and temper, Milton Bradley will get the type of treatment that Cubs "fans" have given Hundley, Hawkins, Jacque Jones and others, and will handle it about as well as his predecessors did.
I'm worried that when I then defend Bradley and call out the people giving him a hard time, I'll be run out of TCR on a rail.
I'm worried that not enough people appreciate what it literally means to get run out of town on a rail. It HURTS, damnit!
I'm worried that I just insulted the historical and sadistical literacy of my readers.
I'm worried that in our effort to free up money to get Bradley and/or Peavy, money we wouldn't have had to free up had we not overpaid on Soriano, Fukudome, and most recently Dempster, we let Wood go when we shouldn't have. I'm worried that Kevin Gregg is no Kerry Wood.
I'm worried that without Hank White, Cubs fans will struggle to find an appropriate new scrub on whom to fixate. It's just not nearly as much fun to be a part of the Aaron Miles fan club.
I'm worried that Joey Gathright will encourage other Cubs to try jumping over cars. Ryan Theriot will try jumping over a Hummer, and when he fails, I no longer will have to worry that Theriot is unlikely to match his BABIP from last year.
I'm worried about pretty much all of our non-Marmol the Martian bullpen pitchers.
I'm worried that since the Cubs have the easiest schedule in baseball we will spend the season over-estimating our club's talent and then be stunned when we're easily handled in the playoffs.
I'm worried that the rest of the TCR authors think of me as their own Milton Waddams.
I'm worried that Derrek Lee's 90 point drop in OPS last year wasn't a fluke.
I'm worried that none of the minor-league gurus is very impressed with our farm system once you get passed Vitters.
I'm worried that the one guy who we can least afford to lose is our catcher.
and that I'll never have hair as nice as him.
I'm worried that I'm out of practice at spelling Samardzija.
I'm not at all worried about Ted Lilly or Mike Fontenot. They'll be fine.
I'm worried that Rod Blagojevich has sent out his goons to get me, in retaliation for my ground-breaking reporting on the Cubs' role in his corruption charges. I already have very oddly shaped knees, and don't need Blago's goons wailing on them. And it'd hurt.
I'm worried that we're going to spend the next decade regretting the Nolasco for Pierre trade
I'm worried that the Cubs will bring Billy Jo Robidoux out of retirement to be Lee's backup at first, which will bring about two catacylsmic events. First, Ron Santo will spontaneously combust the first time Pat Hughes calls a Theriot-Fontenot-Robidoux double-play. Second, the Daughters of the American Revolution, Knights of Columbus, American Legion and Lou Dobbs will march on Wrigley demanding we employ only full-blooded Americans, not fake Cajun-Americans. Lou Dobbs will cast a hex on Wrigley, declaring we shall not win a world series for..... well.... for even longer.
I'm worried about Hendry's latest collection of scrub utility infielders.
I'm worried that I don't yet have plans for getting to a Cubs game this season.
I'm worried about Grey Goo.
And vinous, prehensile plants that can strangle you in the night.
I'm worried that all three of those things will, at some point this year, injure Harden, provoke a fight with Bradley, then injure Bradley in the fight.
I'm worried that Prince Fielder will tire of his vegetarian diet, and in a explosive fit of long-repressed gluttounous urges, gnaw off the head of Aaron Miles after he hits a single and stands on first.
And that he then will floss with Sean Marshall.
I worry that the Reds might actually be a pretty good team.
I worry that the Rays and Red Sox are clearly the two best teams in baseball as the season starts.
I worry that Batting Stance Guy does a better Soriano than Soriano does.
I'm worried that I've over-played this column, and that you, dear reader, will pan it in the comments.
Yeah, Underwood impresses the internet scouts more than the opposing hitters. Blackburn and Williams have pitched well but they would be more interesting if they missed more bats.
Myrtle Beach has a couple of guys--Trevor Clifton and Jake Stinnett--worth keeping an eye on.
South Bend has the best record in the Midwest League but it's more about their bats than their starting pitching.
Thanks Steve, I always forget about that.
Maddon spins the wheel-o-lineups and Bryant is playing 1B.
The line-ups, by the way, appear in the Twitter box on the left and usually very soon after they are made available.
Looks like no Heyward or Rizzo in the lineup today.
HAGSAG: Kevonte Mitchell has shown some improvement in 2016. He takes a lot of walks, shows occasional power, and he's an athletic defender capable of making the big play in the OF.
However, he strikes out way too much, he doesn't always take the most-direct-route to get to balls hit into the air, and he sometimes runs himself into outs on the bases. He is still very raw.
E-MAN: I don't think Dallas Beeler has a long-term future with the Cubs, but (when healthy) he has gotten the call over the past couple of years as the "26th man" when the Cubs needed an extra starter in a doubleheader.
PHIL: Thanks for the wrap. A 2010 early-ish round Hendry draft pick, why do you surmise the new management team just doesn't cut bait on Beeler? Not shown that much as a starter. Does he have a power arm when right? Is he another Schlitter? Or, is he rosyer filler while the org waits out the lower-level arms to surpass him?
Ryan Kellogg is still a fringy prospect despite being very old for low-A. He's putting up very good numbers no matter who he's facihg.
Great article on Yosh and Nobe. Thanks for including it Trans.
Phil, it looks like Kevonte Mitchell has made some progress this Spring. Your thoughts please, thanks.
so far ryan williams (AAA) is the only system prospect on the "could be ready soon" horizon doing well...that said, he's not very exciting and he's assumed to be an end-rotation talent at best.
paul blackburn is getting great early returns in AA, but he's getting surprisingly low K numbers doing it. he throws lot of low/sinking stuff with good control...also assumed to be an end-rotation guy, but he's got room to be better, especially given his control as base to build on.
Speaking of pitching -- another ugly outing for Underwood at AA. Through 6 starts: 5.19 ERA, WHIP 1.69. Yikes!
Man, do we need starting pitching depth. Our best hopes are still hanging with AZ Phil in Arizona. Very scary.
jeebus... that's terrible.
*clap* *clap* *clap*
Thanks AZ. If you like him, I like him.
Awesome report, and good to see Beeler on his way back.
I'm also very happy to hear about the bi-level bump for Daniel Lewis. In the Name of Theo, he was the Last of the Full-Season Cuts, and There Will Be Blood for those who unnecessarily slow his development. Sure, he might end up in independent ball pitching for Lincoln. But if everything breaks right, he may even have a shot at joining up with the Gangs of Chicago. I wouldn't bet My Left Foot on it, though.