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Chicago Cubs MLB News - Cubs Baseball Blog » 2011 » October

Ryan Dempster exercises his option to return to the Chicago Cubs in 2012

Blogged under Arrivals & Departures, Bloglockers, Front Page, General by chinmusic on Sunday 30 October 2011 at 8:00 am

34-year old righty starting pitcher Ryan Dempster has exercised his player option worth $14 million bucks for 2012. He pitched in 34 games (all starts) for the Cubs last year and he was 10-14 with a 4.41 ERA and a 1.45 WHIP. Dempster has now pitched in 358 games (138 starts) in his first 8 years with the Cubs and he is 62-61 with 87 saves, a 3.88 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP. There was never much doubt that Dempster was going to pick up his option as there is no way he would get that kind of money on the open market.

The Chicago Cubs have 8 potential free agents heading into the winter

Blogged under Arrivals & Departures, Bloglockers, Front Page, General by chinmusic on Tuesday 18 October 2011 at 9:37 pm

The Cubs have 8 players heading into free agency after the World Series. This is who I see staying and leaving out of this bunch:

Carlos Pena: 33-year old lefty swinging 1B Carlos Pena played in 153 games for the Cubs in 2011 and he was 111 for 493 (.225 avg, .819 OPS) with 72 runs scored, 28 homers, 80 RBIs and 2 stolen bases. PREDICTION: LEAVING

Aramis Ramirez: 33-year old righty swinging 3B Aramis Ramirez played in 149 games for the Cubs last year and he was 173 for 565 (.306 avg, .871 OPS) with 80 runs scored, 26 homers, 93 RBIs and 1 stolen base. The Cubs have a $16 million dollar club option on Ramirez with a $2 million dollar buyout. The catch to this option is that Ramirez can void the option and he will if he can’t get a contract extension from the Cubs. PREDICTION: STAYING

Reed Johnson: 34-year old righty swinging outfielder Reed Johnson played in 111 games for the Cubs last year and he was 76 for 246 (.309 avg, .816 OPS) with 33 runs scored, 5 homers, 28 RBIs and 2 stolen bases. PREDICTION: LEAVING

Ryan Dempster: 34-year old righty starting pitcher Ryan Dempster pitched in 34 games (all starts) for the Cubs last year and he was 10-14 with a 4.80 ERA and a 1.45 WHIP. Dempster has a player option worth $14 million bucks for 2012 and he will no doubt be picking that up. PREDICTION: STAYING

Rodrigo Lopez: 35-year old righty starting pitcher Rodrigo Lopez pitched in 26 games (16 starts) for the Cubs in 2011 and he was 6-6 with a 4.42 ERA and a 1.49 WHIP. PREDICTION: LEAVING

Kerry Wood: 34-year old righty reliever Kerry Wood pitched in 55 games (0 starts) for the Cubs in 2011 and he was 3-5 with 1 save, a 3.35 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP. Wood has stated that he either wants to re-sign with the Cubs or retire. PREDICTION: STAYING

Ramon Ortiz: 38-year old righty reliever/starter Ramon Ortiz pitched in 22 games (2 starts) for the Cubs last year and he was 1-2 with a 4.86 ERA and a 1.26 WHIP. PREDICTION: LEAVING

John Grabow: 32-year old lefty reliever John Grabow pitched in 58 games (0 starts) for the Cubs last year and he was 3-1 with a 4.76 ERA and a 1.52 WHIP. PREDICTION: LEAVING

The Chicago Cubs had another lousy year in 2011

Blogged under Bloglockers, Front Page, General, Season Reviews by chinmusic on Tuesday 11 October 2011 at 8:01 pm

The Chicago Cubs were in disarray the whole 2011 season. Whether it was Carlos Zambrano imploding once again or Marlon Byrd getting hit in the face with a pitch….it seems like everything that could go wrong did for the Cubs. The Cubs finished in 5th place in the N.L. Central with a 71-91 record as they finished 25 games behind the Brewers. Here is a look at the things that stood out to me in 2011:

TEAM MVP: Sure, 21-year old righty swinging shortstop Starlin Castro needs to work on his defense…..but he can flat out hit. Castro played in 158 games for the Cubs in 2011 and he was 207 for 674 (.307 avg, .773 OPS) with 91 runs scored, 10 homers, 66 RBIs and 22 stolen bases. The sky is the limit for Castro.

BEST PITCHER: For the second year in a row, 29-year old lefty reliever Sean Marshall was the Cubs’ best pitcher. He pitched in 78 games (0 starts) for the Cubs in 2011 and he was 6-6 with 5 saves, a 2.26 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP. He only gave up 66 hits and 17 walks, while whiffing 79 batters in 75 2/3 innings this year as he was outstanding.

PLEASANT SURPRISE: 26-year old righty reliever Jeff Samardzija really stepped up in 2011 for the Cubs. He pitched in 75 games (0 starts) in which he was 8-4 with a 2.97 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP. He only gave up 64 hits while whiffing 87 batters in 88 innings this year, but he walked 50 batters so he will need to improve his control.

BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT: 26-year old lefty swinging outfielder Tyler Colvin looked really sharp in 2010 for the Cubs, so expectations were high for him coming into this year. But, he fell flat on his face in 2011. Colvin played in 80 games for the Cubs last year and he was 31 for 206 (.150 avg, .509 OPS) with 17 runs scored, 6 homers and 20 RBIs.

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