How many Wins If This Was The Cubs '11 Team?
I have no clue who the Cubs are going to get this offseason. I do think they'll try and move Fukudome and maybe Silva (good luck on both counts). Since the Cubs aren't going into the Cliff Lee sweepstakes, the only pitcher I find remotely interesting would be Javier Vazquez, but by no means is he a certainty to land with the team. But here's a possible 2011 Cubs team, how many wins do you think they'd be worth? (remembering they won 75 last year and their expected win-loss was 73 wins).
C - Soto, Backup C (Varitek, Hill, Castillo, Blanco, Chirinos, etc)
1B - Carlos Pena (Berkman, LaRoche, N. Johnson also possibilities)
2B - Dewitt/Baker
SS - Castro
3B - Ramirez
LF - Soriano
CF - Byrd
RF - Colvin
Bench: Backup C, Dewitt or Baker, Barney, Vet Pinch-Hitter (Stairs, Hinske, etc), Utility Outfielder likely right-handed to spell Colvin (Guyer, R. Johnson, Fuld, etc).
SP - Zambrano, Dempster, J. Vazquez, Wells, Gorzelanny, Silva (someone goes to the pen or minors or is traded of course)
RP - Marmol, Marshall, Grab-Ass, D. Wheeler and fill out the pen with 3 of: Cashner, Samardzija, Caridad, Dolis, J. Jackson, Maine, Gaub, Coleman, Russell, Berg, etc
No one quite knows who exactly the Cubs will sign and acquire via trade, but a left-handed power hitting 1b-men, a veteran starter and a veteran right-handed reliever are on the agenda and Pena, Vazquez and Wheeler would fit those roles. I'm sure a lot of Cubs folks would like to see Kerry Wood join the team, but I'm guessing he'll find a closer role somewhere or at least a a chance to compete for the role that he wouldn't get in Chicago.
I'd put that team at 80 wins unless Z and Vazquez find the fountain of youth and stability.
I don't think his issue(s) will have anything to do with it. He hasn't hit since he's been back. Coghlan has the hot hand.
I'm not a denier but definitely a skeptic on Strop and Grimm, who struggle with fastball control. Strop doesn't go near the ninth inning, and note how Grimm couldn't close the deal even with a 5-run lead. So Felix Pena comes in and gets the 3-pitch game-ending strikeout like it was nothing.
And how about Almora missing that very catchable ball? That was unexpected after all the hype about his glove.
When Trea Turner misses balls like that--which he does--I draw conclusions from it. It seems to be the one chink in his armor. But I'll give Almora another chance.
Assuming Soler is good to go, I think it comes down to 3 of the following 4: Coghlan, TLS, Sczcur, Almora. Of the 4, TLS seems to be the hardest to justify, particularly given his behavioral issues.
I'm wondering if both Coghlan and LaStella make it. With Javy being able to play all the infield spots and Joe maybe wanting late-inning D when Soler plays (assuming he plays), hence either Szczur or Almora, I think LaStella might be the odd guy out.
Hendricks needs the win, anyway, plus a couple more.
My hunch is that Hendricks wins the Cy Young . . . for Lester. That is, without Hendricks tipping the scale toward the Cubs, Scherzer tops Lester.
Old Cub fans remember when Ken Hubbs died at 22 in the crash of a small plane he was piloting in a storm in Utah in 1964. But Hubbs was not an elite power pitcher like Score and Fernandez. Score lived a long time after the accident but it was (effectively) career-ending.
HAGSAG: Since I've only seen them throw in one game and in one "live" BP session, all I can do is provide initial first impressions.
Brailyn Marquez is listed at 6'4 but is probably more like 6'5 or 6'6. I would describe him as a younger version of Bryan Hudson, throwing a ton of ground balls but not getting a lot of swings & misses (yet). Because of his size he could eventually grow into more velocity, but right now he's mostly a pitch-to-contact guy. He generally throws strikes.
Phil, do Marquez and Ocampo look like prospects?
It helps when your defense has declared war against the H in WHIP.
Lackey finishes with a 3.35 ERA. Currently good for 13th in the NL. Not bad for a guy signed to be a #3 starter in a 15-team league.
He is also 6th in WHIP. Pretty amazing: Cubs have the #2, #3, #5 and #6 starters in WHIP.
Completely meaningless game, but Pena striking out Sean the Turd to with the bases loaded was very fun.
Other than one bad game in SD, Pena has been very good. Even with that game, 9.0 IP, 13 K, 0.89 WHIP.
101 wins...most since 1910 (104).
neat. ...or sad. pick one. pick both. 'murica.
Just looked up Grimm's stats -- after a great run, he gave up 2 runs vs. MIL then didn't pitch for 10 days. Don't remember why?
Sean Rodriguez's helmet looks like it's taking a dump
Grimm not doing himself any favors lately re: making the playoff squad. Seems to have lost the feel for his curveball.
j.grimm is literally worse than hitler.
felix pena, your turn.