Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Page::start_lvl() should be compatible with Walker::start_lvl(&$output) in /home/bloglockers/public_html/subdomains/chicago/cubs/wp-settings.php on line 240

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Page::end_lvl() should be compatible with Walker::end_lvl(&$output) in /home/bloglockers/public_html/subdomains/chicago/cubs/wp-settings.php on line 240

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Page::start_el() should be compatible with Walker::start_el(&$output) in /home/bloglockers/public_html/subdomains/chicago/cubs/wp-settings.php on line 240

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Page::end_el() should be compatible with Walker::end_el(&$output) in /home/bloglockers/public_html/subdomains/chicago/cubs/wp-settings.php on line 240

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_PageDropdown::start_el() should be compatible with Walker::start_el(&$output) in /home/bloglockers/public_html/subdomains/chicago/cubs/wp-settings.php on line 240

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Category::start_lvl() should be compatible with Walker::start_lvl(&$output) in /home/bloglockers/public_html/subdomains/chicago/cubs/wp-settings.php on line 240

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Category::end_lvl() should be compatible with Walker::end_lvl(&$output) in /home/bloglockers/public_html/subdomains/chicago/cubs/wp-settings.php on line 240

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Category::start_el() should be compatible with Walker::start_el(&$output) in /home/bloglockers/public_html/subdomains/chicago/cubs/wp-settings.php on line 240

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Category::end_el() should be compatible with Walker::end_el(&$output) in /home/bloglockers/public_html/subdomains/chicago/cubs/wp-settings.php on line 240

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_CategoryDropdown::start_el() should be compatible with Walker::start_el(&$output) in /home/bloglockers/public_html/subdomains/chicago/cubs/wp-settings.php on line 240

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Comment::start_lvl() should be compatible with Walker::start_lvl(&$output) in /home/bloglockers/public_html/subdomains/chicago/cubs/wp-includes/comment-template.php on line 0

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Comment::end_lvl() should be compatible with Walker::end_lvl(&$output) in /home/bloglockers/public_html/subdomains/chicago/cubs/wp-includes/comment-template.php on line 0

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Comment::start_el() should be compatible with Walker::start_el(&$output) in /home/bloglockers/public_html/subdomains/chicago/cubs/wp-includes/comment-template.php on line 0

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Comment::end_el() should be compatible with Walker::end_el(&$output) in /home/bloglockers/public_html/subdomains/chicago/cubs/wp-includes/comment-template.php on line 0
Chicago Cubs MLB News - Cubs Baseball Blog » 2007 » March

The Chicago Cubs bring in Lou Piniella to call the shots

Blogged under Bloglockers, Front Page, Positional Preview for Season by chinmusic on Thursday 29 March 2007 at 2:04 am

The Cubs have spent a bunch of money on players so they wanted to bring in a manager who knows how to win and Lou Piniella is the right guy.  He has a career record of 1,519-1,420 (.517) but remember that record includes three seasons as manager of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.  Piniella was won 4 Division Titles in his 19 years as a major league manager and he’s won a World Series (1990).  He has a career post season record of 23-21(.523).

The Cubs bullpen looks a little iffy for 2007 season

Blogged under Bloglockers, Front Page, Positional Preview for Season by chinmusic on Wednesday 28 March 2007 at 2:23 pm

The Cubs probably can’t afford another season of Ryan Dempster as the closer but they didn’t sign or trade for anyone to take his job away.  29 year old Ryan Dempster was 1-9 last season with 2 holds, 24 saves, a 4.80 ERA and a 1.51 WHIP in 74 games for the Cubs last season.  Batters hit .262 against him (lefties .310) and he walked 36 batters in 75 innings which is way too many.  Look for Dempster to get replaced as closer at some point in the season.

33 year old righty Bobby Howry had a decent year as the set-up man for the Cubs and he does have experience as a closer so Dempster better watch his step.  Howry was 4-5 with 21 holds, 5 saves, a 3.17 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP in 84 games for the Cubs last season.  Batters hit .245 against Howry last season and he whiffed 71 batters while only walking 17 in 76.2 innings for the Cubs in 2006.  Look for Howry to take Dempster’s job away by the middle of the 2007 season and he will do a good job for the Cubs.

34 year old lefty Scott Eyre had a up and down season for the Cubs last year.  He was 1-3 with 18 holds, a 3.38 ERA and a 1.48 WHIP in 74 games for the Cubs last season.  Batters hit .265 with 11 homers and they walked 30 times in 61.1 innings last season against Eyre and those are not good numbers.  He whiffed 73 batters last season so he has the ability to miss opposing bats, he’ll just have to do a better job of it in 2007.

26 year old lefty Neal Cotts had a rough season for the White Sox in 2006 but the Cubs have confidence that he can return to the dominant pitcher he was in 2005.  Cotts was 1-2 with 14 holds, 1 save, a 5.17 ERA and a 1.63 WHIP in 70 games for the White Sox in 2006.  Batters hit .291 against him last season and he gave up an unbelievable 12 homers in only 54 innings.  Those are amazingly bad numbers for a pitcher that held batters to a .179 batting average and only allowed 1 homer in 2005.  Look for Cotts to pitch better than he did in 2006 but not near as good as he did in 2005.

29 year old lefty Will Ohman will give the Cubs a third lefty in the bullpen which should give the Cubs good matchups late in ballgames in 2007.  Ohman was 1-1 with 9 holds, a 4.13 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP in 78 games for the Cubs in 2006.  He held batters to a .208 batting average (lefties .158) and he whiffed 74 batters in 65.1 innings in 2006 which shows what kind of stuff he has.  Ohman walked too many batters (34) last season and if he can improve on that he could be a dominant pitcher in the majors.

28 year old righty Michael Wuertz pitched very well for the Cubs after they called him up last season.  He was 3-1 with 6 holds, a 2.66 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP in 41 games for the Cubs in 2006.  Batters only hit .226 against him (lefties .194) and he whiffed 42 batters in 40.2 innings which shows you what kind of stuff he has.  Look for him to pitch well for the Cubs in 2007.

29 year old Kerry Wood is the wildcard for the Cubs this season if he can stay healthy.  He was 1-2 with a 4.12 ERA and a 1.37 WHIP in 4 starts for the Cubs last season.  Wood has the stuff to be a closer and maybe limiting his innings can keep him healthy.  We’ll find out in 2007.

The Chicago Cubs spent a lot of money on the rotation…will they get their money’s worth?

Blogged under Bloglockers, Front Page, Positional Preview for Season by chinmusic on Wednesday 21 March 2007 at 1:53 pm

The Cubs spent a lot of money on Ted Lilly and Jason Marquis but it’s up in the air as to whether they will get positive results for their money.  25 year old righty Carlos Zambrano is the rock of the Cubs rotation.  He was 16-7 with a 3.41 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP in 33 starts last season.  He’s a super aggressive pitcher who whiffed 210 batters in 214 innings last season but he’ll need to cut down a little bit on his walks (115) if he wants to compete for the Cy Young in 2007.  Zambrano is highly dependable as he’s thrown over 200 innings in each of his last 4 seasons and he’s 59-32 for the Cubs over that span.  He also swings a good bat as he’s a career .212 hitter with 10 homers in 330 at bats.  Look for Zambrano to win 15-19 games with a ERA in the low 3’s with 200+ strikeouts.  He will be a finalist for the Cy Young Award.

31 year old lefty Ted Lilly hit the jackpot when the Cubs signed him to a big, long term contract.  He was 15-13 with a 4.31 ERA and a 1.43 WHIP in 32 starts for the Blue Jays in 2006.  Lilly will need to cut down on his walks if he’s going to be worth the money because Wrigley Field is an unforgiving place in you put batters on base without earning it.  Look for Lilly to win 12-15 games with an ERA of around 4.50 in 2007.  One thing for Cubs fans to worry about is the fact that Lilly has never pitched over 200 innings in a season over his 8 year career.

27 year old lefty Rich Hill looks like he’s going to be a good one for the Cubs.  Hill was 6-7 with a 4.17 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP in 17 games (16 starts) in 2006 for the Cubs.  Batters only hit .227 against him and he whiffed 90 batters in 99.1 innings last year.  Hill will need to keep the ball down as he allowed 16 homers last season and that’s a little bit too many.  Look for Hill to win 13-16 games for the Cubs this season with a sub-4.00 ERA and a lot of strikeouts as long as he stays healthy.

The Cubs gave 29 year old righty Jason Marquis a huge three year contract to pitch for them.  He was 14-16 with a 6.02 ERA and a 1.52 WHIP in 33 starts for the Cardinals last season.  In his defense, Tony LaRussa left Marquis out there on the mound to take a few beatings for the team to save the bullpen last season.  Marquis has averaged 14 wins and over 200 innings in his last three seasons and that’s what the Cubs are really paying for.  Look for Marquis to win 12-15 games with an ERA of 4.25-4.75 in 2007.

It looks as if 30 year old righty Wade Miller will be the #5 starter when the season starts for the Cubs.  Miller was 0-2 with a 4.57 ERA and a 1.71 WHIP in 5 starts for the Cubs last season.  The Cubs didn’t take much of a risk as they aren’t paying Miller much to see if he’s healthy.  Miller has only started 36 games the last three seasons in the majors, but from 2001-2003 he was outstanding for the Astros.  During those three seasons Miller was 45-25 for the Astros.  If Miller is healthy he will pitch well enough to keep Mark Prior in the minors.

26 year old righty Mark Prior has really fallen on hard times.  He was 1-6 with a 7.21 ERA and a 1.69 WHIP in only 9 starts for the Cubs last season.  Prior will likely start the season in AAA to try to rebuild his arm strength as he’s been just throwing in the mid-80’s in Spring Training.  Prior gave up 9 homers and walked 28 batters in only 43.2 innings in 2006 and those numbers are scary bad.  Don’t expect much from Prior in 2007.

24 year old lefty Sean Marshall was 6-9 with a 5.59 ERA and a 1.52 WHIP in 2006.  Marshall wasn’t overwhelmed in the majors but he’ll likely start the season in AAA ball and await a call by the Cubs.  He allowed 20 homers and walked 59 batters in 125.2 innings and he needs to cut down on those numbers to become a decent major league starter.  With the brittle nature of some of the Cubs starters he could get another chance at some point in the season for the Cubs.

24 year old Carlos Marmol was 5-7 with a 6.08 ERA and a 1.69 WHIP last season for the Cubs.  His problem isn’t his stuff as he only gave up 71 hits in 77 innings for the Cubs.  His problems are that he allowed 14 homers and walked 59 batters which is quite incredible.  Look for him to start the year in AAA as he has only pitched 2 games there in his minor league career.

24 year old righty Juan Mateo was 1-3 with a 5.32 ERA and a 1.62 WHIP in 11 games (10 starts) for the Cubs in 2006.  The Cubs had to rush Mateo because of injuries to the rotation last season.  Look for Mateo to start the season in AAA ball which is a level that he hasn’t pitched at yet.

25 year old righty Angel Guzman was 0-6 with a 7.39 ERA and a 1.88 WHIP in 15 games (10 starts) for the Cubs last season.  Batters ripped him for a .308 batting average and 9 homers in only 56 innings last season.  Expect Guzman to spend most of 2007 in AAA ball for the Cubs.

Jacque Jones looking to repeat last season in RF for the Cubs

Blogged under Bloglockers, Front Page, Positional Preview for Season by chinmusic on Friday 9 March 2007 at 3:42 pm

Soon to be 32 year old lefty swinging Jacque Jones will handle RF on most days for the Cubs in 2007.  He could get a break against lefties once in a while as he only hit .234 with a .677 OPS against them last season.  Jones played in 149 games for the Cubs last season and he scored 73 runs, whacked 27 homers, drove in 81 runs, stole 9 bases and had a .833 OPS.  Jones played in 143 games in RF and he made too many errors (7) while showing below average range.  If Jones can improve on defense a little bit and hit better against lefties he will have a very good season for the Cubs this year.

Matt Murton will play some in RF against lefties.  He didn’t play there all last season as he was the starter in LF for the Cubs, but he should be at least an average defender in rightfield.

32 year old lefty swinging Daryle Ward might also play a few games in RF.  He’s best used as a pinch hitter and firstbaseman because he doesn’t have much range in the OF.  He played in 98 games last season with the Washington Nationals and the Chicago Cubs and he hit .308 with 7 homers, 26 RBIs and a .926 OPS.  Look for Ward to have another solid season swinging the bat for the Cubs.

The Cubs to experiment with Alfonso Soriano in CF

Blogged under Bloglockers, Front Page, Positional Preview for Season by chinmusic on Friday 9 March 2007 at 3:32 pm

31 year old Alfonso Soriano will try his hand at patrolling CF for the Cubs after playing left field for the Nationals last season.  He definately has the range and arm to handle CF, but will the winds play bad tricks on him?  It’s entirely possible as Soriano made 11 errors in 158 games in LF last season.  His hitting will more than make up for any problems he has on defense.  Last season he played in 159 games and he hit .277 with 119 runs scored, 46 homers, 95 RBIs, 41 stolen bases and a .911 OPS.  It’s very possible that Soriano could be a 50/50 man for the Cubs as he went 40/40 in one of the biggest ballparks in baseball last season.  Look for Soriano to get a ton on MVP votes as long as he’s not to awful in CF on defense.

22 year old lefty swinging Felix Pie is the top prospect that the Cubs have at the higher minor league levels.  He played in 141 games last season in AAA ball and he hit .283 with 78 runs scored, 15 homers, 57 RBIs, 17 stolen bases and a .792 OPS.  The Cubs want him to cut down on his whiffs (126 last season) before they give him his big chance.  He’s likely to start the year in AAA and get a call if the Cubs suffer any injuries.

Cubs in good hands in LF

Blogged under Bloglockers, Front Page, Positional Preview for Season by chinmusic on Monday 5 March 2007 at 7:34 pm

It’s possible that the Cubs might platoon in left field even though Cliff Floyd doesn’t want to hear that.  The 34 year old Floyd only hit .179 with a .631 OPS in 84 at bats against lefty pitchers last season.  He still feels that he should be a full time player, but he’s only played in more than 113 games in one of the last four seasons.  Floyd played in 97 games last season for the Mets and he hit .244 with 11 homers, 44 RBIs and a .731 OPS.  Floyd showed poor range last season, but he only made 2 errors in 92 games in left field.  A platoon with Matt Murton could keep Floyd healthy and productive this season for the Cubs if they can convince him to accept that.  Floyd will improve his batting average this season and he will still hit for power as long as he’s healthy.

25 year old Matt Murton had a solid season with the Cubs last year and he should get a lot of at bats in either left or right field against lefty starting pitchers.  Overall, Murton played in 144 games last season and he hit .297 with 13 homers, 62 RBIs and a .809 OPS.  He was very solid against lefty pitching as he hit .301 with a .870 OPS against them last season.  He also showed outstanding range on defense in 133 games in left field and he only made 3 errors there.  Look for Murton’s playing time to be cut drastically this season unless there is an injury to Floyd or Jacque Jones.  Still, he should be a productive player for the Cubs this season.

25 year old switch hitter Angel Pagan will have a hard time making the Cubs out of Spring Training this season unless they suffer an injury to an outfielder.  Pagan played 77 games for the Cubs last season and he hit .247 with 5 homers, 18 RBIs and a .701 OPS.  He played 39 games in left field and he only made 1 error while showing about average range.  Look for Pagan to start the season in AAA, but he will be on the Cubs at some point in the season.

Proudly powered by Wordpress - Theme Triplets Identification band, the boyish style by neuro