Browsing posts from January, 2012
Trade rumors for the Cubs have been relatively quite since early last week.
Not even the Cubs Convention stirred the pot, with the excessive fanfare coming and going with barely a peep about possible trades including Matt Garza, Alfonso Soriano or others. But that doesn’t mean I’m without suspicions.
Now that it appears the Cubs will sign Kerry Wood before Friday’s Cubs Convention, I’ll repeat what I’ve said many times before: it’s time to put Wood back where he belongs–in the closer’s role.
Although dominating at times, Carlos Marmol regularly struggled last season to find his command.
His bouts of wildness resulted in nine hit batsmen and a league-high 10 blown saves–figures which only reaffirmed my belief Marmol is a better set-up man than a closer–and put the Cubs on red alert for its closer’s position heading into the offseason.
The Cubs have been wise to stock pile starting pitching this offseason.
It only makes sense–winning baseball survives on good starting pitching–and the Cubs are clearly thin throughout its rotation.
What Epstein & Co. are playing this winter is a numbers game through free agent signings and trades–a roll of the dice on helter-skelter hurlers who may, or may not, return to their past successes on the mound.
We know it’s not the ideal way to staff a rotation, or the way Epstein and Hoyer will fill the void down the road.
But for the time being, it’s the most practical and affordable way to help mask the development of the Cubs’ soon-to-be youthful and inexperienced lineup.
Obviously, there’s no guarantee the newest additions of Travis Wood, Andy Sonnastine, Chris Volstad and now, Paul Maholm, will pan out.
In fact, it’s more than likely most of them won’t. But let’s say two of them do surprise us. Then what would happen?
A ‘Group Patio’ in right field and a new 75-foot LED scoreboard? This is what Cubs fans want at Wrigley Field? According to Cubs chairman, Tom Ricketts, the answer is yes.
Since when did Cubs fans decide the charm of the ol’ ballyard wasn’t up to snuff, that a giant video board was a missing piece, that the right field bleachers were clearly lacking corporate advertising?
I’m curious to know ‘Who are these Cubs fans’…and what else will they ask for–fireworks after a Cubbie home run, a children’s playground in the left field bleachers…a new ballpark in the suburbs?
This is either a severe case of the Cubs miscounting hanging chads, or we’re getting fed a serious line of phony boloney.
Born – Sept. 23, 1986 (Age 25)
From – Palm Beach Gardens, FL
Big Fella – 6’8, 225lbs – Throws: Right, Bats: Right
Drafted – 2005, Out of H.S. by FLA 1st Round (16th overall)
High Praise – Named the Marlins’ No.1 prospect by Baseball America in 2006
Games Started – 102
Overall Record – (32-39) 4.59 ERA
-2008: (6-4) 2.88 ERA
-2009: (9-13) 5.21 ERA
-2010: (12-9) 4.58 ERA
-2011: (5-13) 4.89 ERA
About That 2010 Season: Volstad pitched 175 innings including two complete games. He set career highs in Win, Starts, Complete Games & Innings Pitched. His three home runs allowed at home tied teammate Anibal Sanchez for the second fewest long-balls surrendered at home by an NL starter with at least 10 home starts.
The $15M dollars the Cubs are paying to rid themselves of Carlos Zambrano is worth every penny of Tom Ricketts’ money.
Although it’s not the big-splash move Cubs fans had hoped for at the Winter Meetings, or the looming trade of Matt Garza, it’s certainly the most critical move Theo Epstein has made this offseason—and I couldn’t be happier.