Recent News

Down on the Farm: Where the Cubs Rank in the NL Central

November 29th, 2014 at 3:00 AM
By Tim Duxbury

We have been hearing for over a year now about how talented the Chicago Cubs’ farm system is and in 2014 we got to see a number of the organization’s top prospects make their MLB debuts. But just how good is the Cubs’ system? Here’s a look at how they stack up against the other team in the National League Central:

Team

Top-100

Pitchers

Position Players

Pittsburgh Pirates

7

#16, #28, #58

#29, #45, #73, #74

Chicago Cubs

6

#53

#3, #5, #36, #48, #72

St. Louis Cardinals

3

#94, #99

#51

Cincinnati Reds

2

#17

#40

Milwaukee Brewers

0

-

-

(Rankings per MLB.com)

The Pittsburgh Pirates actually have the most top-100 prospects in the NL Central but the Cubs have more higher quality prospects, namely Kris Bryant (#3) and Addison Russell (#5). The biggest surprises on this list, though, are probably the talent rich St. Louis Cardinals who register only three top-100 prospects, none of which are in the top-50, and the Milwaukee Brewers who have a big ‘ole goose egg.

Read more...
Join the Conversation...

Fan of the Week: Preserving Wrigley

November 28th, 2014 at 3:00 PM
By Tim Duxbury

Hopefully everyone had a great Thanksgiving yesterday and is able to relax during this long weekend. Friday has found us once again and that means it’s time for our Fan of the Week. This week’s Fan of the Week is particularly special to me because not only has she supported my writing since the very beginning, but she is also the one responsible for making me a Cubs fan and giving life to my love for the game of baseball. Congratulations to Kim Carrow on being this week’s Fan of the Week! Here is her paragraph of airtime:

My first MLB game was in the summer of 1986. My then boyfriend (and future husband) brought me to Wrigley Field. It was the start of a long love affair. Oh yes, with him too. The ambiance of the park with its ivy covered outfield wall and charming old fashioned scoreboard set the stage for much more than a major league baseball game. It’s making memories. Over the years Cubs fans have seen wins, losses, managers, high profile players, scandals, and philanthropy. Yet we all remain loyal to Cubbie Blue. The dream of winning a pennant or even the World Series is constant, but it’s the memories the keep us coming back.

Read more...
Join the Conversation...

Wrigley Field Could Be Without Bleachers on Opening Day

November 28th, 2014 at 3:00 AM
By Tim Duxbury

As you all know, the Chicago Cubs have almost completely torn down Wrigley Field’s outfield bleachers as part of the stadium’s extensive, five-year facelift. But what would happen if the project were to fall behind? According to ESPN.com and Chicago Cubs president of business operations, Crane Kenny, there is a very real possibility that the new bleachers are not completed by opening day 2015.

Large projects like this are bound to run into problems and complications, but more important than the project falling behind, what will Wrigley Field without the bleachers mean symbolically? Talk about a metaphor that Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer don’t want to touch with a ten-foot pole. The Wrigley Field bleachers are a staple just like the scoreboard and the ivy. Opening a season in which the team is experiencing a monumental “rebirth” and having the bleachers incomplete would really set a poor tone for the year; particularly if the team struggles out of the gate. Imagine the headlines; “Cubs’ roster and stadium remain incomplete”, “Only bums, no bleachers”. Surrounding a very young team and a team with such high expectations with such debilitating negativity and criticism could ruin the 2015 season. Not that the Cubs’ young players need to be coddled, but trying to perform in an environment that is thick in doubt and skepticism can make even the most talented underperform.

Read more...
Join the Conversation...

Chicago Cubs’ Mid-Level FA Pitching Targets

November 27th, 2014 at 3:00 AM
By Tim Duxbury

The Chicago Cubs are not going to sign multiple $100 million dollar pitchers this off-season, Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer put that rumor to rest a while ago. However, that doesn’t mean that the Chicago Cubs won’t target multiple mid-level free agent pitchers this off-season. If the Cubs’ mid-season acquisitions are any indication, they will likely target low cost, high risk/reward arms. Pitchers like Felix Doubront and Dan Straily were perfect additions for the Cubs this summer because they have the potential to be legitimate second or third starters, but should they fail to reach that potential, the consequences would be minimal.

#

Starter

1

Jake Arrieta

2

Kyle Hendricks

3

Open

4

Open

5

Tsuyoshi Wada

The Chicago Cubs have at least two open spots in their rotation and, although they have plenty of internal options, here are five legitimate free agents that should be on Epstein and Hoyer’s radar:

Pitcher

Age

W-L

ERA

WHIP

IP

Jason Hammel

32

10-11

3.47

1.123

176.1

Justin Masterson

29

7-9

5.88

1.632

128.2

Jake Peavy

33

7-13

3.73

1.278

202.2

Read more...
Join the Conversation...

Making Sammy Sosa’s Hall of Fame Case

November 26th, 2014 at 3:00 PM
By Tim Duxbury

The 2015 MLB Hall of Fame ballot was released this week and it is ripe with superstars from the late ‘90’s and early 2000’s. Newcomers, such as Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez and John Smoltz figure to make a serious run a making the Hall on their first attempt while the likes of Jeff Bagwell, Barry Bonds, and Roger Clemens hope to end their waiting. Among those still waiting is, Former Chicago Cubs’ right fielder, Sammy Sosa who will make his third appearance on the Hall of Fame ballot in 2015. Sosa is just one amongst many who are surefire Hall of Famers, despite receiving just 7.2% of the vote in 2014, and here is why:

Period

HR

RBI

SB

.slg

Career

609

1667

234

.5338

All-Time Rank

8th

27th

261st

39th

· 1 MVP

· 7 All-Star appearances

· 6 Silver Slugger Awards

· Occupies 3 of top-6 most prolific HR seasons in history (1998-66, 2001-64, 1999, 63)

(Stats per baseball-reference.com)

Read more...
Join the Conversation...