Ben Zobrist is rolling for the Chicago Cubs

Blogged under Bloglockers,Front Page,General,Playing Well by joelapinski on Wednesday 18 May 2016 at 9:17 am

34-year old switch-hitting 2B Ben Zobrist has found a new home with the Chicago Cubs.  He doesn’t have to worry about playing all over the field….as he is the starting 2B.  Zobrist looks happy in Chicago and the results have been very impressive so far in 2016.  Zobrist has played in 35 games for the Cubs so far this year and he is 39 for 123 (.317 avg, .935 OPS) with 28 runs scored, 5 homers, 28 RBIs and 1 stolen base.  Zobrist is totally locked in at the plate right now, as he has walked 28 batters while whiffing 16 times so far this year!  He has a .439 on-base percentage and he is #1 in walks, #2 in runs scored, #3 in homers and he is #2 in RBIs on the Cubs so far this year.  I see no reason to think that Zobrist is going to slow down any time soon.

Tommy LaStella is raking for the Chicago Cubs in 2016

Blogged under Bloglockers,Front Page,General,Playing Well by joelapinski on Thursday 12 May 2016 at 6:40 pm

27-year old lefty swinging infielder Tommy LaStella is raking this year for the Chicago Cubs!  LaStella has played in 21 games for the Cubs so far this year and he is 18 of 52 (.346 avg, 1.039 OPS) with 10 runs scored, 6 doubles, 1 triple, 2 homers and 6 RBIs.  He has also walked more times (6) than he was whiffed (5) so far this year as he is totally locked in at the plate right now.  LaStella has now played in 54 games in his first two years with the Cubs and he is 36 of 119 (.303 avg, .864 OPS) with 14 runs scored, 3 homers, 17 RBIs and 2 stolen bases.  If LaStella keeps raking like he is right now, Joe Maddon is going to have to find more ABs for him.

Dexter Fowler sure looks happy to be back with the Chicago Cubs

Blogged under Bloglockers,Front Page,General,Playing Well by joelapinski on Saturday 23 April 2016 at 11:34 am

30-year old switch-hitting CF Dexter Fowler was a free agent over the winter and after not finding a deal to his liking, he re-signed with the Chicago Cubs.  Boy does he look happy about it so far.  He has played in 17 games for the Cubs so far this year and he is 23 of 61 (.377 avg, 1.172 OPS) with a National League leading 15 runs scored, 3 homers, 12 RBIs and 1 stolen base.  He has also walked 13 times so far this year, giving him an utterly amazing .500 OBP!  He played in 156 games for the Cubs last year and he was 149 of 596 (.250 avg, .757 OPS) with 102 runs scored, 17 homers, 46 RBIs and 20 stolen bases.  The other benefit to re-signing Fowler was that the Cubs could move Jason Heyward back to RF…where he belongs.

Anthony Rizzo is picking up where he left off last year for the Chicago Cubs

Blogged under Bloglockers,Front Page,General,Playing Well by joelapinski on Saturday 9 April 2016 at 8:03 am

26-year old lefty swinging 1B Anthony Rizzo took his game to a higher level in 2015 for the Chicago Cubs.  He played in 160 games for the Cubs last year and he was 163 of 586 (.278 avg, .899 OPS) with 94 runs scored, 31 homers, 101 RBIs and 17 stolen bases.  He was a National League All-Star last year and he finished 4th in the voting for the N.L. MVP Award.  He has picked up where he left off last year so far in 2016.  He has played in 4 games for the Cubs so far this year and he is 5 for 15 (.333 avg, 1.340 OPS) with 5 runs scored, 1 triple, 2 homers and 9 RBIs.  If the Cubs wind up as good as most people think they are going to be, Rizzo might win that MVP Award in 2016.

Matt Szczur is off to a blazing start with the bat for the Chicago Cubs

Blogged under Bloglockers,Front Page,General,Playing Well by joelapinski on Thursday 7 April 2016 at 9:57 am

26-year old righty swinging outfielder Matt Szczur was a long shot to make the Chicago Cubs‘ opening day roster.  But he did not only make the roster, but he is red hot with the bat right now.  In his first two years with the Cubs, Szczur played in 80 games for the Chicago Cubs when he was 30 for 134 (.224 avg, .619 OPS) with 11 runs scored, 3 homers, 13 RBIs and 2 stolen bases.  He is off to a great start this year.  He has played in 2 games for the Cubs so far this year and he is 3 for 5 (.600 avg, 2.000 OPS) with 2 runs scored, 1 double, 1 homer and 4 RBIs.  Szczur will have to stay hot with the bat in order to find P.T. for the Cubs.

Dexter Fowler looks like he’s glad he came back to the Chicago Cubs

Blogged under Bloglockers,Front Page,General,Playing Well by joelapinski on Thursday 7 April 2016 at 9:51 am

30-year old switch-hitting CF Dexter Fowler played in 156 games for the Chicago Cubs last year and he was 149 of 596 (.250 avg, .757 OPS) with 102 runs scored, 17 homers, 46 RBIs and 20 stolen bases.  He thought he was going to cash in with a big free agent deal over the winter, but it just didn’t happen, so he returned to the Cubs.  He is off to an outstanding start for the Cubs so far in 2016.  He has played in 2 games for the Cubs so far this year and he is 5 for 8 (.625 avg, 1.792 OPS) with 4 runs scored, 1 double, 1 homer and 2 RBIs.  The Cubs are lucky to have Fowler back in the fold, because that helped them move Jason Heyward back to his natural position in RF.

Jeimer Candelario has been impressive this spring for the Chicago Cubs

Blogged under Bloglockers,Front Page,General,Playing Well,The Minors by joelapinski on Friday 1 April 2016 at 12:27 pm

22-year old switch-hitting 3B Jeimer Candelario has made a good impression this spring for the Chicago Cubs.  He has played in 15 games so far in spring training and he is 14 of 40 (.350 avg, 1.056 OPS) with 7 runs scored, 3 homers and 5 RBIs.  Canderlario played in 128 games in A+AA-ball last year and he was 132 of 476 (.277 avg, .770 OPS) with 63 runs scored, 10 homers and 64 RBIs.  He has now played in 526 games in his first five years in the minors and he is 525 of 1,965 (.267 avg, .755 OPS) with 274 runs scored, 43 homers, 284 RBIs and 7 stolen bases.  Candelario comes into this season as the Cubs’ #10 prospect according to Baseball America, but he plays the same position as Kris Bryant.

The Chicago Cubs have gotten good work from their catchers so far in 2013

Blogged under Bloglockers,Front Page,General,Playing Well by joelapinski on Friday 30 August 2013 at 7:36 am

26-year old righty swinging Welington Castillo and 29-year old switch-hitting Dioner Navarro are sharing time behind the plate and the results have been impressive so far in 2013.  Castillo has played in 99 games for the Cubs so far this year and he is 88 of 331 (.266 avg, .704 OPS) with 33 runs scored, 4 homers, 22 RBIs and 2 stolen bases.  Navarro has been a force offensively for the Cubs this year.  He has played in 72 games for the Cubs so far this year and he is 55 of 186 (.296 avg, .871 OPS) with 27 runs scored, 11 homers and 27 RBIs.  Navarro could be trade bait this weekend for the Cubs.  That being said, Castillo and Navarro have made a nice combo behind the plate for the Cubs in 2013.

Donnie Murphy is on fire with the bat for the Chicago Cubs

Blogged under Bloglockers,Front Page,General,Playing Well by joelapinski on Friday 23 August 2013 at 1:27 pm

30-year old righty swinging infielder Donnie Murphy has been on fire with the bat since the Cubs called him up.  Murphy has played in 16 games for the Cubs so far this year and he is 19 of 58 (.328 avg, 1.191 OPS) with 11 runs scored, 8 homers and 15 RBIs.  He played in 89 games earlier this year in AAA-ball for the Cubs and he was 80 for 302 (.265 avg, .795 OPS) with 32 runs scored, 12 homers, 41 RBIs and 5 stolen bases.  Murphy is playing the best baseball of his career right now, but it’s doubtful that he can keep it up.

Junior Lake has been on fire since the Chicago Cubs have called him up

Blogged under Bloglockers,Front Page,General,Playing Well by joelapinski on Thursday 8 August 2013 at 9:12 am

23-year old righty swinging Junior Lake has gotten most of his P.T. in the outfield in the majors, but he was an infielder in the minors.  Lake has played in 20 games for the Cubs so far this year and he is 28 of 84 (.333 avg, .861 OPS) with 6 runs scored, 4 homers, 8 RBIs and 1 stolen base.  Lake has been hacking at the plate though as he has whiffed 21 times against only 2 walks so far this year.  Lake also played in 40 games in AAA-ball for the Cubs this year in which he was 46 for 156 (.295 avg, .803 OPS) with 30 runs scored, 4 homers, 18 RBIs and 14 stolen bases.  Lake came into this season as the Cubs’ #15 prospect according to Baseball America, so they have high hopes for him.

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