Cubs Preview Pt One: A few sentences about each starting position player and the official WCS victory song
Most people realize that this is going to be a long season for the Cubs, yet optimism is still high for the future because of Theo Epstein’s arrival over the winter. I think most people who read this space regularly know that I am a Boston guy originally and that I LOVE Theo. I despise this current group of Red Sox players and management so much so that I wish I could jump on the Cubs bandwagon right now. Just get in on the ground floor and ride the wave to the 2015 World Series Championship. Burn this city to the ground with the biggest party ever. But nope. I’ll be stuck rooting for a bunch of jackasses in Boston while everyone around parties like it’s 1908. Sucks being an elitist sports fan. You really trap yourself into unpleasant situations sometimes. My only option is to be a casual(jealous) Cubs fan and just party for the sake of partying when Theo eventually wins one in Chicago. This will be a rough year for the Cubs because they are not re-building…they are just building. Here is what you need to know about your 2012 Cubs:
Catcher: Geovany Soto. Soto seems to be able to hit every other year. 2008…good. 2009…sucked. 2010…good. 2011…sucked. It’s another even year…so naturally I expect Soto to regain the form he has shown in year’s passed.
First Base: Bryan LaHair. Honestly…don’t even bother to learn this guy’s name. Forget what you just read because this guy is just keeping Anthony Rizzo’s seat warm. Rizzo is likely to start the season in AAA Iowa, but will be up probably before July. He is the 1B of the future and has All-Star potential. Definitely a “Theo guy”.
Second Base: Darwin Barney. Should get the majority of the starts and 2nd for the Cubs. Solid player, but unspectacular. Should hit at the bottom of the order. .270, 5HR, and 50 RBI would be a great year for Barney
Third Base: Ian Stewart. Just acquired via trade this offseason. He is a strike out machine, but is a solid on-base guy. Another Epstein type of player. Solid in the field. Playing everyday and getting 400 ABs, Stewart could hit 20 bombs
Shortstop: Starlin Castro. Without a doubt Starlin is the most talented player on the Cubs. Even though Castro was an All-Star last season, I expect him to take his game to new heights. Castro is a player who seems to have ADHD at times. The regime change bringing in a culture of professionalism and accountability should benefit Starlin more than any player in the organization.
Left Field: Alfonso Soriano. Chin up Cubs fans…his contract is almost over. Best case scenario: Soriano goes on one more of his famous hot streaks in July where he hits like .425 with 8 HRs and Theo is able to dump his bag of bones at the deadline for prospects.
Center Field: Marlon Byrd. Probably the second best position player on the Cubs behind Castro. Byrd plays a good CF and puts up decent offensive numbers. If Byrd can deliver better with runners in scoring position(hit .198 with runners in scoring position in 2011), he make his way back to the All-Star game.
Right Field: David DeJesus.The most important thing to know about DeJesus is that his wife is an absolute dime. Fire city. Other than that…he is guy with decent speed who may end up batting leadoff for the Cubs in 2012.
Obviously this lineup won’t have opposing pitching staffs shaking. Not a lot of pop, especially in the corners. However, I think there is a lot to be said for the culture change coming to the North Side. Sports Illustrated projected the Cubs to win 66 games, while Vegas has the Cubs win total line set at 73.5. If that lineup fires on all cylinders I think the Cubs can hit that 74 mark. Although I think it’s more likely that they finish somewhere between 66 and 74. And every time the Cubs win this season, WindyCitizenSports(or whatever I decide to change the name to here shortly) will be playing this hot fire jam as the official Cubs victory song.
“I’ve got some good talk, but not enough game”…Cubs slogan for the season.
PS: Lincoln Hall, 4/28/2012, JD McPherson…be there
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