going north

01 SS Theriot
02 RF Fukudome     09 ?F X Nady
03 1B Lee
04 3B A Ram        10 3B C Tracy
05 LF Soriano      11 OF T Colvin
06 RF Byrd
07 CA Soto         12 CA K Hill
08 2B Fontenot     13 2B J Baker

14 SP Z!           19 RP S Marshall
15 SP Dempster     20 RP J Samardzija
16 SP Wells        21 RP J Russell
17 SP Silva        22 RP J Berg
18 SP Gorzelanny   23 RP E Caridad
                   24 RP J Grabow
	           25 RP C Marmol

DL Lilly
DL? Jeff Gray - running a few weeks behind, and they had plans of using him;
                keeping him on ML DL saves an option for now
60DL Guzman

Yep. I don’t remember what projections I was looking at; there are many out by now, and I’ve looked at a lot of them. Which ever one it was (the one that was a sum of many projections, run many times?), they pegged the Cubs for about 83 wins, with a range of 72-90. That’s exactly where I’d have them based on this roster. They’re low 80s with a 10 game swing either way. It’s a fault of management to be that low, but at least there’s a chance.

The more I think about it, the less concerned I am about the inexperience of the bullpen. If you believe the vast majority of bullpen arms are unpredictable and unreliable from season to season – which I do, because otherwise they wouldn’t be bullpen pitchers – then you might as well go cheap and promising with it than expensive and flawed. There are going to be some games blown because the rookies blow a lead, and it will be the roster mistake which will get Hendry in the most trouble (because there’s nothing more dramatic than a game lost you should’ve won), but it’s hardly the worst thing here. This is a sounder move than 2010’s Scott Eyre and Bobby Howry.

Making decisions on 40 ABs in spring training is a great way to screw yourself up, but if everyone believes Tyler Colvin’s true upside is major league fourth outfielder, what’s so horrible about using him in that role?

Xavier Nady playing outfield despite being unable to throw the ball is the underplayed story of the season. Really, he shouldn’t be doing anything more than pinch hitting, but they’re making noise as if he’s going to actually start and platoon with Fukudome a little bit. Runners taking extra bases are going to get old quick.

This team kinda shifted to the back of my mind the last couple weeks, but I’m exicited to get this started now (and kinda disappointed I didn’t figure out a way to join a fantasy league I wouldn’t hate.) Maybe it’s the 80 degree weather that’s making it feel like baseball should already be here – probably won’t feel it quite the same in a couple weeks when it’s freezing again.

3 Responses to going north

  1. Yes! Put all other thoughts out of your mind, like Black Bear Diner, Chicago Hamburger Company, JB’s Restaurant, strange Laundromats, The Cubs holding up the City of Mesa for more money than even The Cubs Fan makes per hour, saguaro cactus, March rain in the desert, $10.25 (or was it $10.75) cups of beer at Angels Stadium – and especially all that stuff that Sarah Palin calls “that luchy-libry thing” – and focus on the big thoughts:
    * How fast can Ted Lilly make it back to the mound?
    * How quickly will Starlin come to the rescue?
    * How fast will Mr. Piniella and Mr. Hendry stick with Mr. Soriano?
    * A win-win trade: Carlos Zambrano for Manny Ramirez? Discuss.
    * Carlos Marmol: Rolaids Fireman of the year or what?
    * Fukudome and left-handed pitchers: Do we dare?
    * Colvin, Nady, Fukudome, Soriano – would you rather have Manny?
    * Setup men – which one blossoms into this year’s version of the past few years’ Marmol?
    * Is Derrek Lee’s return to previous power numbers the hidden key to the whole season?

    This were the PECOTA projections, weren’t they?
    You could have joined out Fantasy League (Yahoo head to head) – we had room for 2 more. Really decent people.

    As far as the division goes, it really looks from here, in a different time zone, that there will four competitive teams (though the pitchers will have to perform despite Johnnie B. in Cincy) and even Pittsburgh and Houston won’t be so bad as to be uncompetitive

    It would not surprise me at all if a big injury knocked out one of the four competitors before July 4th, one of the lower-tier division clubs had a hot first half, and that the division found 3 or 4 teams still in it as of September 15th.

    Lastly, having 13 of the first 19 away from home and having 16 of the last 22 on the road strikes me as a really bizarre scheduling. I could see this being raised frequently in all the media if the Cubs have a slow start or don’t finish strong.

    I have been to Wrigley Field in May. May 1991. I froze, even though the temperature at O’Hare was something like 61 or 62 that day. The conclusion was, it’s always cold at Clark and Addison (especially if you are not sitting in the sun). Fortunately, I was at Demon Dogs via the el no more than 20 minutes after the game ended.

  2. Seriously. As I type this, the Satruday game with the Reds ins in the middle of the ninth. I have watched or listened to the last two games here. Who can tell how good (or bad) anyone is. Every time you come up to bat, in that bandbox, you just have to just swing as hard as you can and with an uppercut. Home run, home run, home run, home run, home run, these aren’t games, it’s Home Run Derby.

    Then again, with Marmól up, it’s K, K, K, and another save for my fantasy team. Jealousy abound in the tri-county region of the west suburbs.

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