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Bold Predictions: Cubs We Will Never See Again

December 22nd, 2014 at 3:00 AM
By Tim Duxbury

Making it in baseball harder than making it in any other professional sport. Baseball’ extensive minor league system allows teams to shuffle young player in and out at will, almost; there is always someone waiting in the wings. The Chicago Cubs used 48 hitters and 27 pitchers in 2014, including 10 total rookies, and we will never see a large number of them in a Cubs’ uniform again. Today’s bold prediction is that RHP Dallas Beeler, C Rafael Lopez, 3B Mike Olt, RHP Dan Straily, OF Matt Szczur, and Logan Watkins will never wear a Chicago Cubs uniform again.

These seven players will never play for the Cubs at the major league level again, but it won’t necessarily be because they aren’t good enough. Much like the real working world, baseball is all about who you know and what others have invested in you. Unfortunately for these seven kids, the Chicago Cubs don’t have much invested in them; they’re not top prospects, or making a lot of money, nor did they cost the Cubs a whole lot to acquire them.

Player

.ave

.obp

.slg

HR

RBI

SB

Lopez

.182

.286

.182

0

1

0

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Sunday Spotlight: Cubs Vs. Sox 2015

December 21st, 2014 at 3:00 AM
By Tim Duxbury

The off-season is only half over and already the Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox have made tremendous improvements to their roster. The two Chicago teams are being viewed among the most improved teams in baseball and for good reason. 2015 could be the first time since 2008 that both the Cubs and Sox have a winning record. Lets take a look at what their lineups would look like if the season started today:

Miguel Montero

Catcher

Tyler Flowers

Anthony Rizzo

First Base

Jose Abreu

Javier Baez

Second Base

Carlos Sanchez

Luis Valbuena

Third Base

Connor Gillaspie

Starlin Castro

Shortstop

Alexi Ramirez

Chris Coghlan

Leftfield

Melky Cabrera

Arismendy Alcantara

Centerfield

Adam Eaton

Jorge Soler

Rightfield

Dayan Viciedo

-

DH

Adam LaRoche

(Bold indicates new addition)

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Cubs Sign Ross Amid Mixed Reports, Develop Catching Logjam

December 20th, 2014 at 3:00 AM
By Tim Duxbury

According to Jon Heyman the San Diego Padres snatched David Ross away from the Chicago Cubs yesterday afternoon thus putting a damper our morning article about Ross’ ability to get the most out of Jon Lester. However, later in the day that report was shot down and, per Carrie Muskat, David Ross agreed to a two-year, five million dollar contract with the Cubs. The signing is clearly a move to help Jon Lester’s production, as Ross doesn’t add much offensively or defensively, but more importantly, it raises in interesting problem in regards to the Cubs’ catching situation.

A few weeks ago we made the bold prediction that Welington Castillo would remain with the Chicago Cubs as the starter but with the additions of Miguel Montero and David Ross it appears as though Castillo is probably on his way out of town.

Catcher

.ave

.obp

.slg

oWAR

dWAR

CS%

ERA

Castillo

.237

.296

.389

1.3

1.2

33%

4.20

Montero

.243

.329

.370

1.6

-0.0

29%

4.34

Ross

.184

.260

.368

0.2

-0.1

22%

4.04

(Stats per baseball-reference.com)

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Fan of the Week: It’s Finally Our Year

December 19th, 2014 at 3:00 PM
By Tim Duxbury

It has been a busy week in Chicago with the Chicago Cubs making a number of moves to better the roster in preparation of 2015, and now that it’s finally Friday it’s time for our Fan of the Week. This week’s Fan of the Week has been a supporter since the very beginning; congratulations to Jim David on being name this week’s Fan of the Week! Here is Jim’s paragraph of airtime:

Well, I'm not much of a blog writer or reader, I tend to disagree too much on most peoples opinions. So lets just say I'm very excited about the BUZZ in Wrigleyville right now and the upcoming summer. There will be a lot of expectations at Clark & Addison but with all the excitement there will be disappointment along the way too! I believe the tears will be less and the laughs and cheers will dominate most discussions. Theo has created, or started creating, a positive atmosphere with the players and most important of all the Cubs Fans!! So lets enjoy it while we can because we are the Ultimate Sports Fans!!! LETS GET SOME RUNS!!!

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David Ross: the Importance of a Personal Catcher

December 19th, 2014 at 3:00 AM
By Tim Duxbury

Amidst all the moves that the Chicago Cubs made this week there are whispers that Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer are also pursuing, catcher, David Ross. David Ross has been average at best over the course of his 13-year career, but the draw on signing the soon-to-be 38-year-old catcher is his rapport with Jon Lester. Ross served as Lester’s personal catcher during his time with the Boston Red Sox and to great success. Some folks don’t buy into the pitcher-catcher relationship but it is absolutely real and can greatly affect a pitcher’s performance:

Lester with… Catching

Innings

ERA

.oba

K/BB

Jason Varitek

546.1

3.41

.243

2.40

Jarrod Saltalamacchia

396.1

4.20

.262

2.71

David Ross

195.0

2.77

.235

3.31

Victor Martinez

169.1

3.24

.231

2.86

(Stats per baseball-reference.com)

When a catcher and pitcher have a good relationship they trust one another and they are on the same page and by the numbers, Jon Lester and David Ross can get it done. Of the four catchers who have caught Jon Lester for more than 100 innings during his career, David Ross has shown that he knows how to get the best out of him and by a large margin.

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