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Chicago Cubs MLB News - Cubs Baseball Blog » 2010 » February

RF could actually be a asset for the Chicago Cubs in 2010

Blogged under Bloglockers, Front Page, General, Positional Preview for Season by chinmusic on Saturday 27 February 2010 at 11:56 am

Right field is looking like a platoon position for the Cubs in 2010 between lefty swinging Kosuke Fukudome and righty swinging Xavier Nady. 32-year old lefty swinging Fukudome played in 146 games for the Cubs last season and he was 129 of 499 (.259 avg, .796 OPS) with 79 runs scored, 11 homers, 54 RBIs and 6 stolen bases. Fukudome was helpless against lefty pitchers hitting only .164 with a .532 OPS. But, against righties, Fukudome hit .270 with a .828 OPS. Fukudome was a terrible center fielder last season for the Cubs but he is solid in RF which is his natural position. Fukudome didn’t make any errors in 44 games in RF for the Cubs last season and he showed outstanding range. His arm is a little short for RF as he only had 1 assist from RF. Look for Fukudome to be more productive in 2010 playing in RF and likely only against righty pitchers.

31-year old righty swinging Xavier Nady’s 2009 season was cut short by Tommy John Surgery. The Cubs need him healthy enough to platoon with Fukudome this season. Nady played in 7 games for the Yankees last season and he was 8 for 28 (.286 avg, .739 OPS) with 4 runs scored and 2 RBIs. In his career (679 games) in the majors, Nady has a .280 batting average with a .792 OPS. Nady has scored a run every 7.8 at bats, whacked a homer every 25.9 ABs and he has knocked in a run every 6.9 ABs in his major league career. Nady will be productive for the Cubs as long as he can stay healthy. Nady didn’t make any errors in 6 games in RF for the Yanks last season while showing below average range.

29-year old lefty swinging Micah Hoffpauir could also get some P.T. in RF for the Cubs this season. He played in 25 games in RF for the Cubs last season and he made 1 error while showing slightly above average range. Hoffpauir only had 1 assist from RF so he doesn’t have a big time arm.

PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE RF IN 2010: B-

The Chicago Cubs turn to Marlon Byrd in CF for 2010

Blogged under Bloglockers, Front Page, General, Positional Preview for Season by chinmusic on Saturday 27 February 2010 at 11:41 am

32-year old righty swinging Marlon Byrd will be the starting CF in 2010 for the Cubs. He will give the Cubs improved defensive play and hitting from the position in 2010. Byrd played in 146 games for the Rangers last season and he was 155 of 547 (.283 avg, .808 OPS) with 66 runs scored, 20 homers, 89 RBIs and 8 stolen bases. Byrd played in 104 games in CF last season for the Rangers and he made 5 errors while showing below average range. He only had 3 assists so he doesn’t have a big arm out there but he is a much better defensive player in CF than Kosuke Fukudome.

28-year old lefty swinging Sam Fuld will try to make the Cubs as Byrd’s backup in 2010. Fuld played in 65 games for the Cubs last season and he was 29 of 97 (.299 avg, .821 OPS) with 17 runs scored, 1 homer, 2 RBIs and 2 stolen bases. Fuld also played in 84 games in AAA-ball in which he was 93 of 328 (.284 avg, .772 OPS) with 62 runs scored, 2 homers, 33 RBIs and 23 stolen bases. Fuld didn’t make any errors in 26 games in CF for the Cubs last season but he didn’t have any assists and showed poor range there. If Fuld improves his range a little bit in the field he could be a nice asset off the bench for the Cubs in 2010.

24-year old lefty swinging Tyler Colvin is a player on the rise in the Cubs’ system and he will battle with Fuld for a roster spot. Colvin played in 6 games for the Cubs last season and he was 3 of 17 (.176 avg, .426 OPS) with 1 run scored and 2 RBIs. He also played in 116 games in A+AA ball last season and he was 120 of 419 (.286 avg, .812 OPS) with 69 runs scored, 15 homers, 60 RBIs and 8 stolen bases. Colvin didn’t make any errors in 6 games in CF for the Cubs last season and he showed outstanding range.

PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE CF IN 2010: B

The Chicago Cubs need a healthy Alfonso Soriano for 2010

Blogged under Bloglockers, Front Page, General, Positional Preview for Season by chinmusic on Saturday 27 February 2010 at 11:30 am

The bottom line for the Cubs is that they need 34-year old righty swinging LF Alfonso Soriano to give them 150 or more games in 2010. He played in only 117 games for the Cubs last season and he was 115 of 477 (.241 avg, .726 OPS) with 64 runs scored, 20 homers, 55 RBIs and 9 stolen bases. Soriano has only averaged 120.3 games played, 79 runs scored, 27.3 homers, 66.7 RBIs and 15.7 stolen bases per season in his three years with the Cubs. The good thing about Soriano’s numbers with the Cubs is that he would project out to scoring 99 runs, whacking 34 homers, knocking in 83 runs and stealing 20 bases if the played in 150 games based on his averages with the team. The Cubs would gladly take those kind of numbers out of Soriano in 2010. Soriano has to hit the ball well because he is not a good defensive left fielder. Soriano played in 116 games in LF last season for the Cubs and he made 11 errors while showing slightly below average range. He did have 7 assists last season as his arm is still strong but that is about his only asset defensively.

31-year old Xavier Nady will be Soriano’s top backup in LF in 2010. But, most of his time will be spent in RF probably platooning with Kosuke Fukudome.

29-year old lefty swinging Micah Hoffpauir will have a decent chance of making the Cubs this season as a backup OF/1B. He played in 105 games for the Cubs last season and he was 56 for 234 (.239 avg, .727 OPS) with 28 runs scored, 10 homers and 35 RBIs. Hoffpauir didn’t make any errors in 11 games in LF for the Cubs last season but he showed poor range there.

24-year old lefty swinging Tyler Colvin is a long shot to make the Cubs. He is a natural CF but he could play left if the Cubs need him to.

PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE LF IN 2010: B-

The Chicago Cubs need a healthy Aramis Ramirez in 2010

Blogged under Bloglockers, Front Page, General, Positional Preview for Season by chinmusic on Saturday 20 February 2010 at 2:20 pm

The Cubs need 31-year old righty swinging Aramis Ramirez to stay healthy in 2010. Ramirez played in 82 games for the Cubs last season and he was 97 for 306 (.317 avg, .905 OPS) with 46 runs scored, 15 homers and 65 RBIs. The Cubs are expecting the Ramirez of 2004-2008 that averaged 86.6 runs scored, 31.6 homers and 105.2 RBIs to show up in 2010 for them. Ramirez played in 79 games for the Cubs last season at 3B and he made 10 errors while showing below average range.

29-year old lefty swinging Mike Fontenot and 28-year old righty swinging Jeff Baker will get most of their P.T. at 2B but either of them can handle 3B if Ramirez gets hurt. Fontenot played in 50 games at 3B for the Cubs last season and he made 4 errors while showing slightly below average range. Baker played in 20 games at 3B for the Cubs last season and he only made 1 error while also showing below average range.

PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE 3B IN 2010: A-

The Chicago Cubs are set at SS for 2010

Blogged under Bloglockers, Front Page, General, Positional Preview for Season by chinmusic on Saturday 20 February 2010 at 2:12 pm

30-year old righty swinging Ryan Theriot will hold down SS for the Cubs again in 2010. Theriot played in 154 games for the Cubs last season and he was 171 for 602 (.284 avg, .712 OPS) with 81 runs scored, 7 homers, 54 RBIs and 21 stolen bases. The Cubs would be content with the same kind of numbers out of Theriot in 2010. Theriot played in 151 games at SS last season for the Cubs and he made 15 errors there while showing slightly below average range.

25-year old switch hitting Andres Blanco will likely backup Theriot in 2010. Blanco played in 53 games for the Cubs last season and he was 31 for 123 (.252 avg, .644 OPS) with 15 runs scored, 1 homer and 12 RBIs. He played in 15 games at SS last season for the Cubs and he made 3 errors while showing good range. Look for his defense to improve in 2010.

PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE SS IN 2010: B-

The Chicago Cubs should not platoon at 2B in 2010

Blogged under Bloglockers, Front Page, General, Positional Preview for Season by chinmusic on Monday 8 February 2010 at 12:27 pm

It would seem like 28-year old righty swinging Jeff Baker and 29-year old lefty swinging Mike Fontenot would be perfect platoon players. But, Baker is a better hitter and defender so he should start most of the time at 2B for the Cubs in 2010. Baker played in 69 games for the Cubs last season and he was 62 for 203 (.305 avg, .810 OPS) with 27 runs scored, 4 homers and 21 RBIs. He played in 81 games overall with the Rockies and Cubs last season and he was 65 for 226 (.288 avg, .768 OPS) with 27 runs scored, 4 homers and 24 RBIs. Baker has the potential to put up big numbers if he were to get 500 at bats this season and the Cubs should give him that shot. Baker only made 2 errors in 52 games at 2B last season while showing good range.

Mike Fontenot played in 135 games for the Cubs last season and he was 89 for 377 (.236 avg, .678 OPS) with 38 runs scored, 9 homers, 43 RBIs and 4 stolen bases. Fontenot was really good for the Cubs in 2008 and they hope he can rebound from a poor 2009. Fontenot made 3 errors in 70 games at 2B last season while showing poor range.

PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE 2B IN 2010: C

The Chicago Cubs sign Kevin Millar

Blogged under Arrivals & Departures, Bloglockers, Front Page, General by chinmusic on Monday 1 February 2010 at 6:26 pm

The Cubs have signed 38-year old righty swinging 1B/OF Kevin Millar to a minor league deal. Millar played in 78 games for the Blue Jays last season and he was 56 for 251 (.223 avg, .674 OPS) with 29 runs scored, 7 homers and 29 RBIs. He has now played in 1,427 games in his major league career and he is 1,284 for 4,688 (.274 avg, .810 OPS) with 648 runs scored, 170 homers and 699 RBIs. Millar will have a chance to win a spot on the bench for the Cubs in 2010.

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