To lead you into the MLB season Stoop Sports’ MLB staff is embarking on a 30 day journey, where we will give you pre-season profiles of all thirty teams. Each writer was given the artistic liberty to format their previews to their liking. Enjoy, and happy spring training!
2012 was a rough year for the Cubs. They finished 61-101, which was good for fifth in the NL Central and 29th in the MLB. This was their 3rd straight losing season, and as you likely know, they haven’t won a World Series in over 100 years.
And yet, there are reasons to be optimistic about the Cubs’ future. First of all, they added some solid pieces in Edwin Jackson (even if you think he was overpaid), Scott Hairston, Scott Baker, and Scott Feldman. We can infer a few things from their offseason, one being that General Manager Jed Hoyer has a particular fondness for people named “Scott”, but more importantly that the Cubs should improve from last season.
Their rotation has a chance to be decent, especially when fully healthy. The opening day rotation projects to be as follows:
Matt Garza will miss the first month with a lat injury, while Scott Baker is set to be fully recovered from Tommy John Surgery in mid-April. They should improve on last season’s team 4.51 ERA if things go as planned.
Their lineup had a lot of trouble scoring runs last year, and that isn’t likely to change in 2013. Anthony Rizzo added some much needed spark after his call-up, and is definitely a good breakout candidate. Right now the lineup projects to be:
Outside of Castro, Rizzo, DeJesus, and possibly Soriano, the Cubs suffer from a lack of talent. A full season of Rizzo can only help, but the Cubs are very far from being a top offensive team in the league.
However, help may be on the way. ESPN insider’s Keith Law ranked the Cubs’ farm system 5th in all of baseball, highlighted by SS Javier Baez, OF Albert Almora, and OF Jorge Soler. These guys will look to add to the Cubs’ crop of young talent that already includes SS Starlin Castro and 1B Anthony Rizzo.
All things considered, President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein and General Manager Jed Hoyer are on the right path to rebuilding the Cubs. However that process takes times, and the Cubs aren’t there yet. They’ll be better than they were in 2012, but far from where they want to be.
I have them at 71-91, 5th in the NL Central.