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Chicago Cubs MLB News - Cubs Baseball Blog » 2008 » March

The over/under for the Chicago Cubs is 87.5 wins

Blogged under Bloglockers, Front Page, General, Positional Preview for Season by chinmusic on Monday 31 March 2008 at 10:36 am

The over/under for the Chicago Cubs is 87.5 wins and I like the over on that. The Cubs have one of the best pitching staffs in all of baseball. If Kerry Wood can stay healthy as the closer the bullpen will be awesome with Carlos Marmol and Bobby Howry pitching in front of him. The National League Central is very weak and with the weighted schedule the Cubs should clean up quite a few wins in the division. Take the over with confidence.

The Chicago Cubs believe in Kosuke Fukudome

Blogged under Bloglockers, Front Page, General, Positional Preview for Season by chinmusic on Wednesday 26 March 2008 at 10:21 am

The Cubs gave a lot of money to 31-year old lefty swinging Kosuke Fukudome in the off-season to start in RF. He played in 81 games in Japan last season and he was 79 for 269 (.294 avg, .963 OPS) with 64 runs scored, 13 homers and 48 RBIs. Over nine seasons in Japan’s major leagues, Fukudome has a .305 career average and he has averaged 79.2 runs scored, 21.3 homers and 71.9 RBIs per game. Power numbers don’t usually transfer well from Japan so don’t expect big production out of Fukudome. He could hit for a high average with a bundle of doubles however.

Matt Murton will be Fukudome’s backup in RF. He played in 41 games in RF last season for the Cubs and he made 4 errors while showing slightly above average range.

PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE 2008 SEASON: C

CF appears to be a platoon position for the Chicago Cubs in 2008

Blogged under Bloglockers, Front Page, General, Positional Preview for Season by chinmusic on Wednesday 26 March 2008 at 10:17 am

23-year old lefty swinging Felix Pie and 31-year old righty swinging Reed Johnson will likely share CF in 2008 for the Cubs. Pie has not lived up to his press clippings thus far in his major league career. He played in 87 games for the Cubs last season and he was 38 for 177 (.215 avg, .604 OPS) with 26 runs scored, 2 homers, 20 RBIs and 8 stolen bases. He was incredible in AAA ball however. He played in 55 games there and he was 83 for 229 (.362 avg, .973 OPS) with 51 runs scored, 9 homers, 43 RBIs and 9 stolen bases. Pie showed slightly below average range in CF last season but he didn’t make a error in 80 games there.

31-year old righty swinging Reed Johnson had his worst season of his major league career last year. He played in 79 games for the Blue Jays last season and he was 65 for 275 (.236 avg, .635 OPS) with 31 runs scored, 2 homers and 14 RBIs. Johnson played in 70 games in LF for the Blue Jays and he didn’t make any errors while showing slightly above average range. Johnson has been a solid hitter over his major league career so the Cubs are hoping he bounces back with them. He played in 610 games for the Blue Jays in his major league career and he is 585 for 2,083 (.281 avg, .752 OPS) with 319 runs scored, 42 homers, 234 RBIs and 28 stolen bases.

25-year old lefty swinging Eric Patterson would likely get the call to the majors if either Pie or Johnson gets injured. Patterson played in 7 games for the Cubs last season and he was 2 for 8 (.250 avg, .625 OPS). He also played in 128 games in AAA last season for the Cubs and he was 153 for 516 (.297 avg, .817 OPS) with 94 runs scored, 14 homers, 65 RBIs and 24 stolen bases.

26-year old lefty swinging Sam Fuld is the #4 guy in line for playing time in CF for the Cubs. He played in 14 games for the Cubs last season and he was 0 for 6 (.000 avg, .333 OPS) with 3 runs scored. He also played in 104 games in AAA last season and he was 111 for 387 (.286 avg) with 69 runs scored, 3 homers, 29 RBIs and 13 stolen bases.

PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE 2008 SEASON: C-

Alfonso Soriano is the main man in LF for the Chicago Cubs

Blogged under Bloglockers, Front Page, General, Positional Preview for Season by chinmusic on Wednesday 26 March 2008 at 10:06 am

32-year old righty swinging Alfonso Soriano will man LF this season for the Cubs. He played in 135 games for the Cubs last season and he was 173 for 579 (.299 avg, .897 OPS) with 97 runs scored, 33 homers, 70 RBIs and 19 stolen bases. Look for Soriano to improve on those numbers as he played most of last season with a sore hamstring. Soriano has averaged 102 runs scored, 34.0 homers, 89.4 RBIs and 32.4 stolen bases per season over the last 7 years and those are the type of numbers the Cubs expect from him this season. Soriano made 6 errors in 122 games in LF last season while showing above average range. He also had an amazing 19 assists as runners keep challenging him….you thought they would have learned by now.

26-year old righty swinging Matt Murton will be Soriano’s primary backup in LF this season. He played in 94 games for the Cubs last season and he was 66 for 235 (.281 avg, .790 OPS) with 35 runs scored, 8 homers and 22 RBIs. He is best on defense in LF where he played 28 error-free games in which he showed outstanding range.

PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE 2008 SEASON: A

The Chicago Cubs sign Reed Johnson

Blogged under Bloglockers, Front Page, General, Positional Preview for Season by chinmusic on Wednesday 26 March 2008 at 9:59 am

The Cubs have signed OF Reed Johnson to a 1-year, $1.3 million dollar contract. The 31-year old righty swinging Johnson will likely platoon in CF with Felix Pie this season. Johnson is a career .281 hitter with a .752 OPS in 610 games.

Aramis Ramirez will continue to rake in 2008 for the Chicago Cubs

Blogged under Bloglockers, Front Page, General, Positional Preview for Season by chinmusic on Monday 17 March 2008 at 12:03 pm

30-year old righty swinging 3B Aramis Ramirez has turned into a complete player. He played in 132 games last season for the Cubs and he was 157 for 506 (.310 avg, .915 OPS) with 72 runs scored, 26 homers and 101 RBIs. He also flashed the leather last season as he only made 10 errors in 126 games at 3B while showing outstanding range. Look for Ramirez to be an All-Star in 2008 as long as he stays healthy.

Alex Cintron, Mark DeRosa and Ronny Cedeno could see some time at 3B this season. Cintron played in 19 games at 3B for the White Sox last season and he made 5 errors but showed outstanding range. Mark DeRosa will likely be the starting 2B for the Cubs but he could play some 3B if the Cubs indeed acquire 2B Brian Roberts from the Orioles before the season starts. He played in 37 games at 3B for the Cubs last season and he made 4 errors while showing outstanding range. Ronny Cedeno played 4 error-free games at 3B last season for the Cubs while showing outstanding range.

PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE 2008 SEASON: A

Ryan Theriot back at SS in 2008 for the Chicago Cubs

Blogged under Bloglockers, Front Page, General, Positional Preview for Season by chinmusic on Monday 17 March 2008 at 11:57 am

28-year old righty swinging Ryan Theriot will be the starting shortstop for the Cubs again this season. He played in 148 games of the Cubs last season and he is 143 for 537 (.266 avg, .672 OPS) with 80 runs scored, 3 homers, 45 RBIs and 28 stolen bases. He played in 108 games at shortstop last season for the Cubs and he made only 8 errors but showed below average range. As long as Theriot hits well he will keep the starting job.

29-year old switch hitting Alex Cintron could be a threat to Theriot’s job if he doesn’t hit as well as he did last season. Cintron played in 68 games for the White Sox last season and he was 45 for 185 (.243 avg, .605 OPS) with 23 runs scored, 2 homers and 19 RBIs. Cintron played 17 games at shortstop for the “evil” White Sox last season and he only made 2 errors while showing outstanding range. Cintron is a career .277 hitter with a .716 OPS in 598 major league games so he should bounce back with the bat in 2008.

25-year old righty swinging Ronny Cedeno has heard his name in trade rumors with the Baltimore Orioles for Brian Roberts. Cedeno played in 38 games for the Cubs last season and he was 15 for 74 (.203 avg, .623 OPS) with 6 runs scored, 4 homers and 13 RBIs. Cedeno played in 15 games at shortstop for the Cubs last season and he mad 2 errors while showing poor range. Cedeno was outstanding in AAA ball last season as he played in 75 games and he was 103 for 287 (.359 avg, .959 OPS) with 52 runs scored, 10 homers, 37 RBIs and 6 stolen bases.

PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE 2008 SEASON: C-

The Chicago Cubs hope Mark DeRosa can handle 2B in 2008

Blogged under Bloglockers, Front Page, General, Positional Preview for Season by chinmusic on Friday 14 March 2008 at 6:59 pm

33-year old righty swinging Mark DeRosa has had some serious health issues in spring training and the Cubs hope they don’t linger. He played in 149 games for the Cubs last season and he was 147 for 502 (.293 avg, .791 OPS) with 64 runs scored, 10 homers and 72 RBIs. DeRosa’s defense was an issue last season and he showed poor range in 93 games at 2B last season, but he only made 6 errors. Look for DeRosa to put up similar numbers to what he did last season.

28-year old lefty swinging Mike Fontenot will be DeRosa’s top backup. He played in 86 games for the Cubs last season and he was 65 for 234 (.278 avg, .738 OPS) with 32 runs scored, 3 homers and 29 RBIs. Fontenot also showed poor range at 2B as he made 6 errors in only 68 games.

PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE 2008 SEASON: C

The Chicago Cubs release Shingo Takatsu

Blogged under Arrivals & Departures, Bloglockers, Front Page, General by chinmusic on Wednesday 12 March 2008 at 7:15 pm

The Cubs have released veteran reliever Shingo Takatsu. “Mr. Zero” was anything but this spring for the Cubs as he was 0-1 with a 9.64 ERA and a 1.71 WHIP in 5 games. This is good for the Cubs who can focus on some of their younger pitchers for the bullpen instead of dealing with washed up pitchers.

Angel Guzman is likely to miss the entire 2008 season for the Chicago Cubs

Blogged under Bloglockers, Front Page, General, Injuries by chinmusic on Wednesday 12 March 2008 at 4:44 pm

The Cubs won’t likely have 26-year old righty Angel Guzman pitching for them this season as he recovers from elbow surgery. Guzman pitched in 12 games (3 starts) last season for the Cubs and he was 0-1 with a 3.56 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP. He has now pitched in 27 games (13 starts) in his major league career and he is 0-7 with a 6.05 ERA and a 1.69 WHIP. This hurts Guzman a lot more than it hurts the Cubs as he showed potential last season before his injury.

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