The Wisdom of You: Scott Eyre

Next up, the first of two big-money bullpen acquisitions, Scott Eyre.
6'1", 215 lb
Bats Left, Throws Left
Age 34 (DOB 5/30/72)
BRef card | ESPN card | BPro card
2005 stats (full-season career highs in bold, lows in italics)
86 G, 0 GS, 2 W, 2 L, 0 SV, 68 1/3 IP, 48 H, 21 ER, 3 HR, 26 BB, 65 K, 2.63 ERA
Please send your predicted stats for Eyre (as well as Michael Barrett, Hendry Blanco, and Ryan Dempster) to cubreporter @ Only predictions sent by email will be included in the final prediction.


The sum of all Cubs fears has been confirmed:

There is no excuse for that.

unbelievable...what did todd walker do to deserve this???

what the ^%#%%^ is that???? there is no reason that either of those players to be ahead of todd walker. hes not as bad defencely as everyone say he is and whatever he does lack is made up for with his bat. neifi isnt even a has been, he never was and i think hendry is losing his touch becuase he is driving this franchise even deeper into its 100 year hole.

Bang Mrs Hendy/Baker/McFail/Wood

I'm just surprised Neifi isn't listed as the first choice at SS and 2B. "The dude was our MVP last year after Nomar went down. He gets his choice of spots. And of course he'll bat 2nd."

See how Neifi is the back up for short? Here is how it will play out Righty starts against Cubs- ss-Neifie 2b-Walker Lefty starts against Cubs ss-Cedeon 2b-Neifi And get ready for those zany double switches in the late innings.

calm down a bit...its just a media piece based on media incidents. that list isnt put together by dusty or hendry...its just a 'guesstimate' based on media rumblings. sadly, based on media rumblings, its correct. its not like kerry wood is now officially in the pen forever as the chart shows or neifi is the official starting 2nd baseman. if/when walker goes, its still someone's job to officially win in spring.

Anyone else notice that Pie is listed as a bak-up rightfielder? He is the only minor leaguer on the list. And 15 pitchers are listed, with Eyre and Howry at the bottom. Those must not be in any kind of order!

the cubs convention cant come soon enough...too many fans want too many answers about all kinds of things.

you guys are reading that chart upside down... when read correctly it says that Mabry is our starting first and third baseman, Walker is 1st on the depth chart at the crappy news is that Neifi is 1st on the depth chart at SS gotta like the outfield of JHJ in Left and Center with Pie starting in RF. Won't JHJ get tired? Not any more than Mabry...cause after he throws from 3B he's gotta run across the diamond to make the scoop in the dirt at 1B (remember our pitchers aren't trained to cover first).

The best part is that Maddux is listed as our #2 starter and even better Mitre is listed as the number 2 in Florida

If Neifie gets hurt Dusty will have to forfeit the rest of the games. "Can't win without that dude, dude. Know what I mean?"

Dave - Pie is one of four minor leaguers on the depth chart. You missed Hill, Koronka, & Soto.

Dave - Pie is one of four minor leaguers on the depth chart. You missed Hill, Koronka, & Soto. Yea...I guess I did. Oh well.

Crunch, Through out the whole Off-season that depth chart has listed Walker as the starter while the media has conjuctring on a Walker trade. This is as offical as this has got. Hendry better be trying to get anthor MI or were going to have to start up a fund for someone to go Nacy Kerrigan on Neifi's legs. This would not be so bad if he was hitting 7th or 8th and Barrett, Cedeno, Jones, or Murton was hitting 2nd but that wont be the case Neifi will hit 2nd. I really hope he blows out a knee in the WBC or JHJ has an awesome spring that idiot is pressured into starting him.

For what its worth, I remember seeing Neifi on there as the starting 2nd baseman months ago - the same time Hairston was listed as the "starter" in Right Field.

the good news is that if JHJ is playing left and center and Mabry first and third...Dusty can double switch with them almost every inning and nobody will complain about it.

Look at it this way, if JHJ is playing left and center and Mabry first and third, we probably have a roster of 14 or 15 pitchers since our bench will have Aram AND DLee. We won't need any other bench guys since Dusty will have the built in double switchers.

"The best part is that Maddux is listed as our #2 starter and even better Mitre is listed as the number 2 in Florida" Truth of the matter, Mitre probably is the #2 starter in Florida!

"Truth of the matter, Mitre probably is the #2 starter in Florida!" That is one hell of a drop from one to two!

Hey, The "other" board is saying that ESPN 1000 reports a rumor of Todd Walker and Jerome Williams for Julio Lugo. Whaddaya think? It sounds OK to me, we might be slightly overpaying, but we have too many SPs as it is, and Walker is apparently not loved, Dusty's comments in the Trib today notwithstanding. I think if you can turn Walker and half of LaTroy Hawkins (the other half being David Aardsma) into Julio Lugo, that's pretty good. Pierre and Lugo at the top of the order could easily combine for over 100 SBs. Think Derrek will like that?

I think this deal is a no-brainer. Walker is a give-away and Williams would not have a spot if Wood were to comeback by may. The speed @ the top would be very exciting. The best combo since Dernier/Ryno?

We don't need Lugo.

Right, because Niefi or Hairston would be ok at the two hole, and don't even say Walker because I've never ever seen someone so openly not wanted.

lugo is still a horrible SS...maybe if he played 2nd i could live with it. still, he'd probally find a way to butcher that. lugo's pretty bad with a glove. j.williams is a lot to give up, though...

trib's got a nice lazy journalism article in the paper today. its a serious-style mock interview with dusty where dave van dyck puts words into dusty's mouth to questions he was never asked. thank god for "gleening". i mean, its a decent way to naratively present your material to a reader, but its kinda...meh... he even put some "man" in least he knows his subject. but still, he took himself a bit too seriously for this article, imo.

Bruce Miles proves why he is the best Cubs beat writter:

Lugo for Walker AND Williams...pass Lugo for Walker, maybe even through in a middling prospect such as Wellemeyer. I could live with that, since it appears Walker isn't wanted anyway. But having to give up Williams would make this trade absolutely stupid. Of course following the transactions of the past few offseasons, sadly in line.

I like walker but if he isn't going to play anyway then trade him. Id love to have lugo and his 30+sb and .350+ obp in the #2 hole. Play him at 2b where he wouldn't be a worse fielder than walker.

If Walker's gotta go, Lugo might be a pretty good pick-up. Steady progress statistically on offense (and defensively at SS, at least prior to last season). Could also possibly play 2B, leaving Cedeno to play SS, with Perez and Hairston in reserve. Pierre and Lugo at 1-2 could be a nice situation for Lee and Ramirez. Also, as much as I'd prefer a big LH bat between Lee and Ramirez (like Cliff Floyd), better to not force Jones into that, I think. Hit Jones 5th and keep your fingers crossed there, even. If it happens (Walker for Lugo), I'd prefer to not have to include Williams, if possible, also, rather someone like Wellemeyer to get it done. Finally, I look forward to the next Cubs history article on the 1969 crew from Arizona Phil!

The Cubs have too much starting pitching? So how many starts can I pencil Wood in for now? Twenty-five? Fifteen? Zero? How many quality starts are we looking at from Maddux? Twenty? Ten? Eight? Glendon Rusch is a starter. What could possibly go wrong there? Prior's calves are so big, you know he won't get hurt again. Yeah, time to unload some starters. What an embarrassment of riches.

Chifan- Wow you would think Miles was on this board. If anything the Cubs need one more quality starter as it stands Maddux is our third starter, and one sore calf muscle away from being number two. Can never have enough starting pitching ask the White Sox.

ChiFan- Great Article. Wish I could be at the Cubvention. I'm pretty bitter about the whole Todd Walker thing.

I'm not a huge Julio Lugo fan. The issue becomes, from a Cub's fan standpoint, what SS/2B combination would we most like to have, including a possible Lugo. The problem is that you have to pencil in Neifi in every scenario. So, would we prefer Neifi/Lugo or Neifi/Walker or Neifi/Cedeno some other combination. My favorite in order, would be Walker/Cedeno (if no trade), Walker/Lugo (if we did not have to give up Walker for Lugo), Lugo/Cedeno. If forced to pick a combo with neifi, I suppose it would be Neifi/Walker with Walker batting second. Unfortunately none of these options are possible trade or no trade because of Dusty's love for you know who.

I don't think Hendry is going to trade Walker to Tampa Bay to be a backup.

If the perception that Lugo starts every day makes Neifi a true backup infielder then acquiring him will be good for the team. Clearly he would be hitting in the #2 spot and does add some basestealing and OBP, so I could live without Walker in this situation. I agree that JWill is too much to include but names like Wellemeyer might not be enough. So if JWill is necessary to make it opens the door to go out and get Jeff Weaver as the innings eater we need because of the unpredictability of Wood. If they could afford $50M for Furcal, they haven't spent that bucket of money since the only acquisition since that didn't happen has been JJones at $16M. So the way I look at it, they owe us $34M (which would be in the JWeaver salary ballpark at 3yrs with an option) Z, Prior, (Wood), Maddux, Weaver, Rusch...with Wood lurking works for me.

Why would we give up Jerome Williams and Todd Walker for Julio Lugo? I like Julio Lugo, but that's a rip off. Maybe Todd Walker and a minor leaguer.....that would be okay with me.

This could work....IF we get Jeff Weaver.

You are I know wanting Eyre,Barrett, Blanco, and Dempster predictions. I have one better, MLB 2006 predictions: AL East Central West Yankees White Sox Angels Boston Cleveland Oakland Toronto Minnesota Texas Tampa Bay Detroit Seattle Balitmore KC NL East Central West Mets Houston Dodgers Atlanta St. Louis San Diego Philadelphia Milwaukee San Francisco Washington Cubs Arizona Florida Cincinnati Colorado AL Wild Card-Cleveland NL Wild Card-Atlanta White Sox-Atlanta World Series (White Sox)

Jeff Weaver fuckin' sucks... I can't believe anyone here is still bringing up his name. 1)Jerome Williams will have a better year than Weaver at a small fraction of the cost. 2)Cedeno will probably have as good a year as Lugo at a small fraction of the cost. Add it up and it's a horrible deal for the Cubs. For for some mysterious reason, Weaver has a reputation of being more than a steaming shit pile.

Altough the comments about Weaver may be true, the BOTTOM LINE is THE CUBS NEED TO UPGRADE THE STARTING PITCHING, or we will see the Cubs fighting to stay out of the basement of the NL Central in all of 2006.

Hairston or Neifi batting second? Please give me a break! As has been said countless times, Neifi should be a sub/spot starter. Hairston? This guy is a utility player at best. He showed us very little last year. He is an unremarkable ball player. Let's start a new era with Pierre hitting lead-off, followed by Ronny C., then DLEE and ARAM. It is too bad we have no true # 5 hitter. Jones should bat sixth. Ah well, I can dream but it ain't gonna happen.

The BOTTOM LINE is Jeff Weaver is NOT an upgrade over Jerome.

1) walker/williams for lugo is a total ripoff, ridiculous, won't happen. 2) i still get the feeling the cubs won't actually trade walker 3) John has contracted the pirates in his predictions.

FYI -- My buddy who listens to MLB radio all the time said Cub Reporter was just mentioned. I'm not sure what the capacity was, but maybe you can find an archive of it or something.

2006 MLB Predictionís AMERICAN LEAGUE EAST Yankees (Damon will help the Bronx Bombers tangle with the White Sox for the AL Pennant). Boston (Just not enough to overtake NY) Toronto (could win 90 games and will be much improved with Burnett, Glaus, & Overbay) Tampa Bay (Will finish above Baltimore, good young talent) Baltimore (Tejada was right, he though chose to stay and be a miserable Oriole) CENTRAL White Sox (How could they get any better, they did, should repeat) Cleveland (Nice young team that will win a lot of games and score runs) Minnesota (The Twinkies will struggle to score runs) Detroit (Will we ever see the Tigers roar) Kansas City (This budget scrunching team might finish last) WEST Angels (Nothing less from Mike Scioscia, good team) Oakland (If they loose Zito it could be a horrible year) Texas (Key losses at key positions) Seattle (What happened to the Mariners) NATIONAL LEAGUE EAST Mets (Much improved, will it be enough to finish on top of Atlanta) Atlanta (Year after year Bobby Cox and the Braves win) Philadelphia (Pitching staff is a big if, should score runs) Washington (Frank Robinson return, Soriano unhappy) Florida (The Marlins will be back in a couple years) CENTRAL Houston (Preston Wilson should put up huge numbers, Goodbye Roger they donít need you) St. Louis (Good pitching staff, not enough offense outside of Pujols) Milwaukee (Will surprise a lot of teams and their fans) Pittsburgh (The Bucs should finish around .500) Cubs (Injury plagued starting pitching finds them fighting to stay out of last place) Cincinnati (Might overcome the Cubs and finish better than predicted) WEST Los Angeles (Great off season moves) San Diego (Should be an interesting race between SD and LA) San Francisco (Giant problems with manufacturing runs) Arizona (Could be a disappointing year in the desert) Colorado (dismal 2006)

...and what if the Cubs do not have an injury plagued starting staff?

Jerry, Ease the hammer back into place, lower the gun from next to your head and push it across the table to me. It's not going to be quite that bad.

"Preston Wilson should put up huge numbers" Say what now??

"Preston Wilson should put up huge numbers" the 'K' category. If the Cubs pitch well, play good D and get runners on base for DLee and Aram, we have a chance at doing some winning. PS-I would really like to see a Cross town WS.

Houston lost the league's BEST pitcher, Bagwell is going to retire, we all know that Morgan Ensberg doesn't have any of 2005 left in him. And their big pick up is...wait for it....Preston Wilson?? Get off the crack folks!! Houston is depending on an the ancient Biggio, a CF who is bound for a sophomore slump, KKKReston Wilson. They've got two frontline starters which, may I remind everyone, aren't any better than our two fontliners. St. Louis is the king of the division until somebody knocks them off. They won't be nearly as dangerous as last year so I look to the Cubs and Cards fighting it out to the end.

Suring up the bullpen alone gives the Cubs 10 wins more than 2005. The Cubs stunk it up last year but still won 79 games. Give them a good pen and you get at least 87-92 wins. Not to mention the fact that IF we can be healthy in the SP and we added a quality lead off guy.

Bagwell's doing worse than retiring. I read that he plans to drag his $17M contract and broken down body into camp and try to find some role he can perform this season. And you think Mabry cost alot for a pinch hitter?

Not to promote another blog or anything, but I thought this quote from Cubtown was pretty funny, and might even be somewhat true. It was in regards to the Dave Van Dyck interview with Dusty in the trib: "If there's one thing that could save us all from the prospect of Neifi! manning the keystone, it's Baker and his unwillingness to change. This is normally a weakness, but if the Cubs don't deal Walker before the season, I'd guess that Dusty would keep him in the lineup until he showed inconclusively that he didn't deserve it. Recall, if you will, the seeming decades of incompetence Todd Hollandsworth was required to show before he lost his starting job."

For one thing, the Cubs do not have enough offense, the only solid offensive weapons are Lee and Ramirez. Maybe Jones will do his usual, not good enough.Maybe Murton will surprise???? Maybe Cedeno will surprise??? Maybe Pierre will do his usual, will the offense be enough. The only solid pitching machine they have is Zambrano. OK, I will give them credit, they have a good starting pitching staff, Prior, Wood, Maddux, Zambrano, Williams, Hill, etc. Will Wood pitch more innings than last year???? Will Prior win more than 11 games than last year???? My honost opinion, I posted my 2006 predictions, and I am sticking with.

Hmmm, an interesting Dusty I start a proven vet who can hit (Walker) or do I start my man Neifi??? I hadn't thought about it like that but I've gotta think that Cedeno is going to be the one to bend over and take it in the butt if they don't move Walk. Well, Jerry, good for you to stick to your guns but you're way off. WAY, WAY off. Pittsburgh in front of the Cubs?? Pierre is a great lead off guy, one of the best in the game. Murton doesn't have to surprise....all he has to do is be a solid bottom of the order guy who takes walks, gets on base, and doesn't strike. Hmm, I wonder if he's up to that?? Walker and Barret have both shown that they are .300 hitters with some pop and Lee and Ramirez are bonafide superstars. Not enough offense? I think they'll be fine as long as Dusty doesn't try to stick JJ in between Lee and Ramirez. Let him hit fifth and hit .280 with 25 home runs. I'm disappointed we didn't make a bigger run at Zito and Furcal but I'm no Chicken Little either.

Todd Walker helps in that offensive category 2005, OBP .355 SLG .474 OPS .829

Karl, I have disagreed with you on numerous occasions but as far as your quote: "If the Cubs pitch well, play good D and get runners on base for DLee and Aram, we have a chance at doing some winning." I 100% AGREE.

Putting aside whether Cubs fans would be bent at trading away Walker, the rumored JWill/Walker for Lugo trade would only make sense from the DRays standpoint if they're going to trade Huff to HOU which is a rumor right now. Walker would'nt start over Cantu at 2B so he'd have to DH and right now Huff is the slated DH. Unless of course TB flips Walker to a team like TEX.

I can't see any good reason why Hendry would want to trade Walker for Lugo. Since the only possible reason Walker has fallen out of favor is his "bad defense", why would Hendry want to pick up Lugo, who's as bad with glove if not worse? Unless Todd Walker has done something to personally offend Dusty or Hendry or somebody else 'more important', his defensive reputation (which is partially undeserved) can be the only reason he seems on the way out of town. I can't imagine it's his evangelical Christianity - Barrett, Big Z, etc are all highly religious guys. Hell, most of the baseball world is.

I know chad, i was just stating the obvious anyway. I am saying that we do have all the components to win a WS. We finally have a leadoff man, we have a bullpen, and solid defence (DLee, Cedeno, outfield, etc.). We give Aram a hard time for his supposed nonchalance, but I think it was because of his lingering quad injury. In 2004 he made 10 Errors! Hell, he made some spectacular plays in the 2003 NLCS. Also, we cannot forget that he also caught the ball that Brad Hawpe hit off of Prior's elbow. I have to admit that this time last year I felt a thousand times worse about the 2005 season than I feel about the approaching 2006 season. Cubs Cards Astros 1B- Lee Pujols Baggy/Lamb? 2B-Walker Spivey Biggio SS-Cedeno Eckstein Everett 3B-Ramirez Rolen?(will he be the same?) Ensberg LF-Murton Bigbie/Taguchi Berkman CF-Pierre Edmonds Taveras RF-Jones Encarnacion Wilson C-Barrett Molina Ausmus 1-Zambrano Carpenter Oswalt 2-Prior Mulder Pettitte 3-Maddux/Wood Suppan Backe 4-Williams/Maddux Marquis Wandy Rod 5 -Rusch/Williams Reyes Astacio I think we have a chance...

There we all go again, looking at the Cubs on paper, well if you want use the paper then pull out the stat sheets on the above listed positions by team (Cubs, Astros, Cards)give me more than one position the Cubs lead. Compare stats.

Karl, i know that I see the world through Cubby Blue glasses but I have been saying that ARam is my pick for MVP.

fwiw, Lugo's scouting report: With above-average speed, Lugo can be a force on the bases, and should be able to match or surpass the 21 steals he logged last year. His natural aggressiveness makes him a constant threat to take an extra base. His defense is unsteady, but he is one of those players who will make several spectacular plays in a row, then boot a routine play. Most of his troubles come from erratic throws that usually are caused by fundamental mistakes. His Rate2 defensive stat from (100 is average. greater then 100 is above average, less then 100 is below average) For example, Neifi last year got a 114 (off the charts), Walker 93 2001 - 1 2003 (with Tampa) - 109 2004 - 103 2005 - 103 Career - 101 Neifi Career - 108 Lugo Career offense .276/.340/.400 Neifi Career offense .270/.301/.380 (Don't forget Coors) I compare the 2 because acquiring Lugo, I would like to assume, means Cedeno moves to 2nd and bumps Neifi to the bench. I could be very wrong. In the end, I don't like the trade if it includes Williams. Lugo is a year away from free agency I believe and giving up a guy who you have rights to for 3-4 years and is a good bet to pitch league average baseball (and possibly better) shouldn't be included for a guy who had his career year last year and it wasn't all that great. Walker/Lugo straight up I'd consider, only because it appears that the Cubs are determined to rid themselves of Walker and both can walk next year. Maybe throw in a low-level prospect due to the slight difference in age. (they can have that Perez guy we just got).

1B-Lee or Pujols, hmmmm, who is the 2006 NL MVP. 2B-I have to go with Biggio SS-Eckstein or Everett 3B-Rolen if healthy LF-Berkman CF-Edmonds RF-Encarnacion or Wilson over Jones C-Ausmus 1-Carpenter or Oswalt 2-Prior if healthy/Pettite 3-Wood if healthy/Suppan 4-Marquis 5-Wandy So do the Cubs have a chance, let me dig out the Brewers and Pirates stats and lets compare over again. We compare more to the other teams in the division.

Thanks for the info Rob... I'll admit I've never seen Lugo play in person, but I feel like Walker's bad D rep is overblown. His range is definitely subpar, but I don't think I've seen him blow a routine play all that often. This comes from memory, though, not from anything quantifiable.

Jerry - it's possible you should reconsider your pick for catcher on that list: catcher / 2005 eqa / career eqa Ausmus / .250 /.243 Barrett / .277 / .250 Molina / .231 / .234

#67 You would pick ANYBODY in baseball over Z? Go right ahead. Its foolish at best. Z is the best pitcher in baseball.

lugo's D is really that bad. one thing that makes me think this trade scenerio is b/s, though is bj upton is even worse...well, that and they already got a slew of 3rd basemen so there's no real room for cantu to move anywhere. he plays deep and gives up singles cuz of it...but hey, at least it looks good on the range factor and other stats. he's not out there trying to pad it, he just plays deep outta neccesity...mike bordick-style. lugo will bobble, bounce, flub, and otherwise try to throw away more than a fair share of chances. having lee on 1st would calm it out a bit, but i'd really hate to see that glove added to the IF. i feel that lugo's D is way more of a liability than walker's pretty easily. lugo's a see-ball chase-ball type. he dont set up, he's a nervous little tick out there...he sees the ball hit and chases it with no real method or smoothness. he throws himself on the ground to cover balls better SS's can pick and throw standing. TB's use of him at SS seems to be more of a neccesity thing than a practical thing. if for some weird reason he ends up in cubbie blue, i think i'd puke if cedeno was moved from his natural SS position to make room for this "all-bat" guy. hell, moving walker + anyone who matters for lugo would make me a bit ill as it is unless walker's knees are banged up to hell or etc.

I like Ausmus because he is better defensivly and can call a better game, works the pitchers well.

he plays deep and gives up singles cuz of it...but hey, at least it looks good on the range factor and other stats The more advanced defensive metrics take into account the total amount of plays made and compare it to an average major league SS. There are usually a number of other factors included such as the tendencies of the staff (Groundball vs. flyball, park effects, handedness of the staff, etc). I'm not exactly sure of BP's methodology on the Rate2 stat but it usually agrees with Bill James defensive win shares which had Lugo at about the middle of the pack among AL shortstops in defense, just about equal to Jeter and Tejada. I never take it as the holy grail, but coupled with scouting reports, you can get a fair assessment of a player's defensive skills. I'd called Lugo an average defensive SS, good enough speed to get to a lot of balls, but erractic with the arm.

"2B-I have to go with Biggio" Over walker? Hell no! "SS-Eckstein or Everett" Everett R 58; K 103; OBP .290/ SLG .364/AVG .248 Perez R 59; K 47 ; OBP .298/ SLG .383/AVG .274 I agree with Eckstein, but Everett is worse than NEIFI in both Hitting and Feilding! "3B-Rolen if healthy" "if" healthy! Either way, look at Ramirez and Rolen's #'s from 2004; you will find them very similar both i offence and in defence (both had 10 E). I think Aram is better anyway. "CF-Edmonds" His D is better than Pierre's, but he was swinging like KPatt last year. Edmonds is in a delcine. "RF-Encarnacion or Wilson over Jones" We will just have to see...They all suck anyway. "C-Ausmus" C-Barrett, sure Aus can call games, but he sure as hell cant hit like Mike (barrett). "1-Carpenter or Oswalt" Carpenter or Z, What kind of Cubs fan are you anyway? Last I saw, the Pirates sucked! The Brewers have an overload of rookies! I know I might be too positive, but with a healthy wood, we have the best rotation in the NL Central, maybe even the NL itself! Z, Prior, Wood, Maddux, Williams/Rusch Pretty damn good to me!

you will find them very similar both i offence and in defence (both had 10 E). I think Aram is better anyway. Please don't fool yourself into thinking that Aramis is anywhere near Rolen in terms of defense. Not. Even. Close. Rolen, Beltre, Chavez are the best in the game. Ramirez is one of the worst. Sure, he's improved his throwing, but he doesn't get to anywhere near the amount of baseballs those guys do.

I do have to say that Aram has improved by leaps and bounds at completing the plays on the balls he does get to though. He does still have terrible range but he isn't the defensive pile of crap he used to be.

You know, it strikes me that no matter how we decide to quantify defense - Win Shares, Rate2, etc - there's no way to quantify grace and style, and that's one thing that Lugo certainly lacks (especially by Crunch's account). I would think that a non-sabermetrically minded GM like Hendry would consider his poor style in the field as "bad defense" and not trade Walker for him... but maybe i'm being overly optimistic.

Here it is the bottom of the NL Central caparisons: 1B-Cubs,Lee;Brewers,Fielder;Pirates,Casey;Reds,Dunn 2B- Cubs,Walker;Brewers,Hall;Pirates,J.Castillo; Reds,Aurilia SS- Cubs,Cedeno;Brewers,Hardy;Pirates,J.Wilson; Reds,Lopez 3B- Cubs, Ramirez;Brewers,Koskie;Pirates,Randa; Reds, Encarnacion LF- Cubs, Murton;Brewers, Carlos Lee;Pirates, Bay; Reds, MoPena CF- Cubs, Pierre;Brewers, Clark;Pirates,C.Wilson; Reds, Griffey RF- Cubs,Jones;Brewers, Jenkins;Pirates,Burnitz; Reds, Kearns C- Cubs, Barrett;Brewers, Miller;Pirates,Cota; Reds, LaRue SP- 1.Cubs,Zambrano;Brewers,Capuano;Pirates,Wells; Reds, Harang 2.Cubs,Prior;Brewers,Ohka;Pirates,Perez; Reds,Milton 3.Cubs,Wood?;Brewers,Sheets;Pirates,Santos; Reds,Williams 4.Cubs, Maddux;Brewers,Davis;Pirates,Duke; Reds,Claussen 5.Cubs,Williams;Brewers,Bush;Pirates,Maholm; Reds,Belisle

Yeah, I no longer clench my teeth whenever a ball is hit to him for fear it will end up behind first base. He does a very good job of diving to his right to stop line drives down the line. He can't field bunts and can't get to anything hit to his left still, unless it's right at him.

ARam will never be confused with a gold glover but THIS year, his numbers will dwarf Rolen's.

btw, I don't buy the rumor at all. No way they're giving up Williams in that deal.

OK Jerry, and I like all of our players better than their's

Rob, I think its clear that ARam's biggest problem is when he has time to think about his throws. When he's gotta catch and throw its usually good. But a one hop rocket, he takes a big stride and WHOOP! first row!

Aram will win the gold glove at third base this year. Mark my words. Jerry- That is sacrelidge how dare you say carpenter or oswalt are better than Z! What a f'ing downer you are.

Aram will win the gold glove at third base this year. Mark my words. Note how sarcasm can be lost over the Internet. :) I don't disagree with you Chad, it's just as mental as physical. Although I give credit to the Cubs coaching staff and Baker, they claimed in 2003 that once they got him in Spring training they'd work on his footwork and improve his throws. I think they did a great job. 23 errors cannot be attributed solely to the work of Derrek Lee at first. It went up a bit last year, but nowhere near the levels he was in 2003.

Rob G.- Sorry no sarcasm intended. I am serious. I still believe he is one of the best 3 sackers in the league. Note: I still give him the benifit of the doubt on this. Side note: I am a Broncos fan and I still believe in Plummer. So what does that tell you.

Side note: I am a Broncos fan and I still believe in Plummer. So what does that tell you. That your in for a pretty crappy weekend. :) I knew you were being serious, just a bad attempt at a joke on my part.

Seriously I do think that Ramirez's injuries were legit/cause of problem. Most players fielding statistics don't go through peaks and valley's like that. He has made great strides. And I'am just seriously tired of all of the negative energy focused on the cubs. I believe we all need to focus on the more positve points. And don't think that I am a newcomer to this, I have been a die hard cubs fan since the sandberg game.

Yo 5, I am the biggest ARam fan but let's face it, if he's ever compared to Mike Schmidt, it will be for his monster homers and not the stellar glove. I think he has improved by leaps and bounds at the hot corner but I really don't think he's GG material.

To each his own I guess.

I would like to compare stats at every position between the Cubs, Brewers, Pirates, and Reds. Above you will see where I posted the positions from these teams, now lets dig deeper into the stats. My choice by position listed below. 1B-D. Lee, Cubs, .335 BA, 46 HR's, 107 Rbi's Casey, Pirates; Dunn, Reds; Fielder, Brewers 2B-Bill Hall, Brewers, .291 BA, 17 Hr, 62 rbi Castillo, Pirates; Aurilia, Reds; Walker, Cubs SS-Lopez, Reds, .291 ba, 23 hr, 85 rbi Hardy, Brewers; J.Wilson, Pirates;Cedeno, Cubs 3B-Ramirez, Cubs, .302 ba, 31 hr, 92 rbi Koskie, Brewers; Randa, Pirates; Encarnacion,Reds LF-Carlos Lee, Brewers, .265 ba, 32 hr, 114 rbi Jason Bay, Pirates, .306 ba, 32 hr, 101 rbi CF-Griffey, Reds, .301 ba, 35 hr, 92 rbi RF-Jenkins, Brewers, .292 ba, 25 hr, 86 rbi Burnitz, Pirates, .258 ba, 24 hr, 87 rbi Jones, Cubs, .249 ba, 23 hr, 73 rbi C-Barrett, Cubs, .276 ba, 16 hr, 61 rbi LaRue, Reds, .260 ba, 14 hr, 60 rbi P-Zambrano, Cubs, 14-6, 3.26 era, 202 k's Capuano, Brewers, 18-12, 3.99 era, 176 k's As you can see the Cubs are better in some areas, but I think the areas they are better in the other teams have quality players at them positions also. Again I say the Cubs will be fighting to stay out the basement in the NL Central in 2006, I hope not, I love the Cubs, but unless they get a quality starting pitcher or two it will be what I predict.

Jerry- That argument is lame bc it takes a whole team to win. Look at the White Sox. Go around to each position and each pitcher and you'd find clubs in the AL that stack up better than the White Sox.

#92, by TWINCITYCUBMAN You have a very solid point and is the point I am trying to get across. I have been praying for the Cubs to address the #1 problem and acquire at least one or two quality starting pitchers, I have been saying this all winter long. Now like you say, look at the rosters, look at the White Sox sure maybe the Cubs are no better or worse, except for one major area, STARTING PITCHING!!!! Wood now will probably be moved to the bullpen when he comes back, says Dusty. I look for at least hope that we start off the season with this staff of, Prior (if he is healthy and I would not be surprised if he misses the first month), Zambrano (hope the Cubs buy a bunch of Red Bull energy drink he will be all we have for consistantcy), Maddux (Cubs buy a bunch of Geratol), Rusch (at best average), Wood (DL), Williams (don't know what to expect from him), now who else.........Wellemeyer? Wuertz? Hill?