Cubs Projected 25-Man Roster
The Cubs are a wasteland of news at the moment. Let's look at how Project .500 is doing...
Starting 8 (total guesses right now):
vs. righties: DeWitt, Castro, Pena, Ramirez, Colvin, Soriano, Byrd, Soto
Bench: Fukudome, Baker, Hill, Barney, Guyer or other outfielder
vs. lefties: Baker, Castro, Ramirez, Pena, Byrd, Soriano, Soto, Fukudome
Bench: Colvin, DeWitt, Hill, Barney, Guyer or other outfielder
Starting 5: Zambrano, Dempster, Wells, Gorzelanny, Cashner or Silva
Bullpen: Marmol, Wood, Marshall, Grabow, Cashner or Silva, Samardzija, 1 of Russell, Caridad, Berg, Maine, Rice, Diamond, Coleman or Chad Fox.
The hints from Levine are that Colvin will get the bulk of playing time over Fukudome who would sort of super-sub throughout the week. Personally Fukudome is about the only leadoff option the team has right now against righties, so we'll see if that changes over spring training. My guess at a lineup versus righties is just that, a guess. Managers tend to like alternating lefties and righties so I could see that as an option.
The better bet and what I'd try with the current personal is Fukudome, Castro, Pena, Ramirez, Soto, Soriano, Byrd, DeWitt and I think spots 3-7 could all be shifted depending on the hot hand. You could also try Fukudome, Castro, Ramirez, Soto, Pena, Soriano, Byrd, DeWitt to break up the righties in the middle of the order(and have Pena and Soriano leave a shit load of runners on base) and it does depend if Aramis rebounds this season (let's hope for a rebound contract year).
The bullpen actually looks pretty good at the moment, but those have a way of being unpredictable. The rotation, well guess it depends on which Z we get and if Wells bounces back a little. It's solld, but definitely behind the Cards, Brewers and most likely Reds at this point.
2nd in defensive WAR, NL.
6th in NL in RBI
Go complain about something else, like, "they never play good against the good teams", or some other shit.
Addy really has trouble breaking through .250 BA -- after his hot streak got him to .251, he has gone 1-for-17.
Thank goodness for Jansen's 2 WP on Friday -- otherwise this would have been a sweep.
There seems to be a direct correlation with overconfidence in the Cubs offense against mediocre/young pitchers and really poor offense against mediocre/young pitchers. So, let's fear the Pirate pitchers!
Rizzo due for a power surge -- one HR in August so far. He truly does hit them in bunches.
Sometimes I'm not as supportive of Cahill as maybe I should be. There, I said it.
Rough 8th inning all around -- HBP, Cahill error, Javy's poor decision.
Oh well - given that the Cubs didn't look like they were going to score, it's better to lose in 9 innings, save the bullpen and get changed for the PJ trip home.
Baez still learning
heyward with his 3rd multi-hit game since the all-star break (all in august)...2nd in the past 3 games during his 7 game hitting streak.
he's gone from flirting with a sub-.300 ob% to nearing .310 ob% in 3 games (1 game was just a 1 for 1 pinch hit appearance). all 5 hits in the past 3 games have come in a row...neat.
stewart with 7Ks through 3ip...of course.
that 10-13 mph difference in his fastball/change is working today...and they're swinging at his crappy slider.
brock stewart...steven brault...fun times for the cubs hitters vs allegedly competitive teams...maybe.
Maddon would have started three lefties against the Dodgers, Montgomery, Zastryzny and Lester, except that he doesn't have the juice to do that. No manager does. Maddon has a boss, Epstein (and probably Hoyer, too), who gave him a starting rotation of five guys including Hammel. Maddon was asked yesterday about the starting group for next year and basically said, Not my call, that's why I drive away in my RV in the summer and occasionally check in, etc.
video of Maddon.
always nice that he actually tries to honestly answer questions. Does mention that he wanted to give Zastr? a chance in a meaningful spot rather than a mop-up role.
#Cubs Maddon: "I'm not going to make up an excuse for why I did what I did. It has nothing to do with lack of confidence" ... "It was the right thing to do today based on what I saw, what their lineup looked like and Rob Z.'s availability." #Cubs
Hammel not particularly understanding of getting pulled out...as he should. Be curious what Maddon had to say. All I can think of is is keeping arms fresh and maybe wanting to see if Zastr? is worth considering for the playoffs and how he'd do against the Dodgers.
Heyward, Russell, Baez, Bryant, Ross in particular...although Bryant's a bit hard to judge with all the positions.
Fowler and Rizzo in the top half of the NL for their positions as well (per fangraphs)...Zobrist right at the halfway cutoff for 2b in the NL.
I'm sure some luck is involved too, but the Cubs and Maddon knew what they were doing.