/page/CHC">Cubs logo" width="88" align="left" border="0" src="http://images.sportsline.com/images/cbss/ui2/logos/mlb/160x100/CHC.gif" />Chicago Cubs
2007 Record: 85-77 1st in NL Central
The Cubs didn't make too many moves this offseason which is somewhat expected especially after how much they spent last offseason. I believe this will be a good year for the Cubs. I think they have the best Rotation in the NL Central. The biggest question marks for the Cubs Rotation is the 4-5 guys. Right now there are 4 guys vying for 2 spots. They are Ryan Dempster, Jason Marquis, Sean Marshall and Jon Leiber. Right now I believe that Dempster and Leiber will round out the rotation. I think both of these players will do an adequate job as the numbers 4 and 5 starters. I also believe that Jason Marquis will be traded, possibly before the season starts. Because he said that if he isn't named a starter he no longer wants to be on the team. The Cubs also have a competition for the Closers role. Right now Kerry Wood, Carlos Marmol and Bob Howry are competing for the Closers role, with Ryan Dempster moving to the starting rotation. Bob Howry has the most experience as a closer, while Marmol had a 1.43 ERA last year in 69 innings. Right now Wood is leading the race and it looks as if he'll be the Closer. Hopefully he can stay healthy which is a big question but if not, Bob Howry or Carlos Marmol should be able to fill in quite easily.
The Cubs offense should put up some runs this year. With Alfonso Soriano, Derrek Lee, and Aramis Ramirez. The biggest question mark for the Cubs this year is going to be the Japanese import with a funny name Kosuke Fukudome. It should be interesting to see what Fukudome brings to the table for the Cubs offense. From what I have heard he is a cross between Hideki Matsui and Ichiro. Don't get me wrong he isn't as good in one area as the other two. But he brings both power and speed, not as good of power as Hideki Matsui and not as much speed as Ichiro. Just a blend of Matsui's and Ichiro's talents.
The Cubs also have a player that is an early contender for Rookie of the Year in Geovany Soto. He is being called upon as the starting catcher. He is a very good defensive catcher who works very hard with the Cubs pitchers and is a student of the game. He will be hitting in the 8 hole and I expect him to hit around .265-.275 with 10-15 Homeruns.
Strengths- The Cubs strenghts this year should be are 1-3 starters Carlos Zambrano, Ted Lilly, and Rich Hill are all very good pitchers and all three should win us at least 15 games. Another one of our strenghts is the middle of the Line-up. The Cubs have a formidable top and middle of the line-up. We have some bangers with Alfonso Soriano and Aramis Ramirez. Derrek Lee has become more of a doubles hitter ever since his recent injury.
Weaknesses- The Cubs weaknesses is Center Field Felix Pie has yet to break out and has been somewhat of a disappointment this year. He is a big question mark in what he can bring to the Cubs. Another weakness is the 4-5 spots in the Rotation there is a big drop off from Zambrano, Lilly and Hill. The Cubs Bench is also a weakness we have pretty much 1 viable pinch hitter in Daryl Ward.
- Alfonso Soriano
- Kosuke Fukudome
- Derrek Lee
- Aramis Ramirez
- Mark DeRosa
- Felix Pie
- Ryan Theriot
- Geovany Soto
- Carlos Zambrano
- Ted Lilly
- Rich Hill
- Ryan Dempster/ Sean Marshall
- Jon Leiber/ Jason Marquis
Final Thoughts: I can't wait to watch my Cubs this year, it should be a great race with the Milwaukee Brewers. It is only fitting that we start the season against them and finish the season against them it should be a dog fight all the way to the end.
2008 Record- 87-75 1st in NL Central