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   1. SouthSideRyan Posted: March 31, 2011 at 02:09 AM (#3781939)
I miss Moses Taylor, optimist.
   2. SouthSideRyan Posted: March 31, 2011 at 02:18 AM (#3781943)
Couple things:

Ramirez can't opt out after this season. The Cubs have a team option of 16M on him (2M buyout)

I love Mike Quade and have no idea why you'd consider him in over his head. Everything he's said and done this spring makes me think he gets it. The Silva ST issues are because Silva's a fat ####### prick.
   3. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: March 31, 2011 at 02:26 AM (#3781949)
Know Hope.
   4. McCoy Posted: March 31, 2011 at 04:39 AM (#3781990)
87 wins give or take 2 wins.

Castillo will do nothing special in the minors.

Zambrano will be a CYA contender

Aramis will be the best hitter the Cubs have.

Pena will hit .280ish and hit 30+ homers.

Colvin will regress mightily.

Second base will be an offensive mess all year round.

Soriano will get hot, cold, hot, cold, hot, cold.

Castro will be an asset at SS. Nothing spectacular but he'll justify his presence on the everyday lineup.

Garza will be the new Jason Marquis.

Cashner will fail as a starter.

Soto will play about 120 games, some of them healthy and Hill will hit like crap.

Brett Jackson will be this year's Cub ROY contender.

People will complain about Fukudome but he will continue to put up solid numbers against righties.

Jay Jackson will be in the majors this year and put up a 4.75 or so ERA.
   5. SteveM. Posted: March 31, 2011 at 05:09 AM (#3781998)
90 wins. Or maybe that is the NyQuil talking.
   6. VoodooR Posted: March 31, 2011 at 05:23 AM (#3782002)
I'll take it, McCoy.
   7. odds are meatwad is drunk Posted: March 31, 2011 at 06:41 AM (#3782020)
I am overly optiamistic, 91 wins, z and garza have great years wells and dempster are solid and our 5th starter isleague average, all they have to do is go 6 and the pen takes over. Aram, pena, and soto bounce back, castro makes gains, while soriano is useless kyoe hill continues to be koye hill and byrd is. The only decent outfielder.
   8. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: March 31, 2011 at 03:50 PM (#3782250)
I miss Moses Taylor, optimist.

Think of it as long term optimism then. I don't want Hendry to be the one to rebuild the team. I think he's had plenty of time to show he's not good at long term planning (his strengths are more in the patchwork variety). I think even the best case scenario for the team is well short of a pennant. I think it would be not in the Cubs' best interest to win the division this year, that'll only buy Hendry more time. So in a way, we need the Cubs to not be good enough this year so that Ricketts will replace Hendry. If that happens, you'll see the return of the optimist immediately.

Ramirez can't opt out after this season. The Cubs have a team option of 16M on him (2M buyout)

I knew that, and messed it up. Either way, I still think he's gone after this year.

I love Mike Quade and have no idea why you'd consider him in over his head. Everything he's said and done this spring makes me think he gets it. The Silva ST issues are because Silva's a fat ####### prick.

It's more of a prediction than anything else. I think last year was more of a statement on Lou than Quade. And even if I give him the benefit of the doubt in the Silva situation (which I am; meaning the Cubs, for once, didn't try to publicly run someone down before trading them), I just don't quite trust him. Call it a gut feeling.
   9. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: March 31, 2011 at 03:52 PM (#3782251)
Garza will be the new Jason Marquis.

What do you mean by this - he'll be our whipping boy? He'll seem to be overpaid, but will actually outperform expectations? He'll be a first half CY Young contender in Colorado in a couple of years?
   10. Andere Richtingen Posted: March 31, 2011 at 04:32 PM (#3782283)
My coldly realistic predictions:

95% confidence interval: Cubs win between 68 and 93 games. Bullseye prediction: 81.

Cubs spend most of the season in contention, less than five games out of first place. They will be in first place at some point. They will tread water after the ASB while one or more other teams open up a significant lead.

Quade exhibits some flaws as manager, in particular, wearing out some pitchers early in the season as the Cubs jockey for position among the leaders, but overall does a good job. For the most part, young players take significant steps forward and see increased roles as the season progresses.

The big discussion in Aug-Sep will be Hendry's pending demise. Criticism of Quade will be there, but not as intense. Hendry will be fired after the season ends, while Quade gets another chance under a new GM in 2012.

Scapegoat of the year: Carlos Pena, who will actually have a decent year, but will get a lot of negative attention for his sub-.250 BA, which early on will dip in below .220, thus sealing his fate in Cub fan hearts and minds for the season, as well as his propensity to strikeout and have extended slumps. He will join the pantheon of left-handed Cubs power hitters who don't seem to do so great and not be renewed.

Team MVP: Aramis Ramirez bounces back to something close to his pre-2010 level of performance. Soto, and surprisingly, Pena will deserve honorable mentions. Castro will take a small but important step forward, performing offensively at a level similar to 2010, but will still be raw defensively and have some jaw-dropping offensive slumps. The outfield will be mediocre all around. Same with 2B. Team defense will be average.

Pitching: Dempster, Garza and Zambrano will have good, but not great years, and put in 190+ IP and have a ~4.1 ERA between the three of them. Wells will be bitten by the DIPS bug again, and the fifth spot will be a revolving door all year. Overall, the starting pitching will be pretty decent though. The bullpen will have its bright points, but inconsistent roles and overuse of certain relievers will be a problem.

Slightly below average hitting, slightly above average pitching, average defense: ~.500 record. A reasonable but unexpected number of good performances and some luck with injuries, and the Cubs could win the division.
   11. Weeks T. Olive Posted: March 31, 2011 at 04:50 PM (#3782290)
John Grabow: He will be a FA at the end of the season.

I liked this one.
   12. Spahn Insane Posted: March 31, 2011 at 04:57 PM (#3782297)
John Grabow: He will be a FA at the end of the season.

I liked this one.


He's 32, and in a year, he's got a chance to be 33.

I'm on board with the .500-ish/3rd place finish/"could win the division if things go right and things going right isn't totally implausible" crowd. For some reason, I have a weird feeling this'll be a fun team to root for, wherever they end up.
   13. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: March 31, 2011 at 05:03 PM (#3782305)
Cashner: sub 4.00 ERA.

Castro: will hit more than ten home runs.

Colvin: sub .320 OBP.
   14. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: March 31, 2011 at 09:08 PM (#3782685)
I had no expectations last season and it served my blood pressure and breakables well. I will approach this season with the same perspective, though I agree that the division is more obtainable this season.

Glad to be back with you gents, regardless.
   15. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: March 31, 2011 at 09:54 PM (#3782725)
Manager Mike Quade inserted rookie Darwin Barney into the lineup at second base for Friday's Opening Day game against Pittsburgh.

"There are a lot of guys who had good camps," Quade said. "He and (Jeff) Baker had great camps. I think they both earned a chance to play. Barring something crazy, 'Bake' will play against the left-hander the second day."


Not that DeWitt is great shakes or anything, but I'm not at all optimistic about Barney.
   16. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: March 31, 2011 at 09:56 PM (#3782727)
Oh, I was in such a haste to post that, I didn't see the lineup for tomorrow was already out:

Fukudome RF
Castro SS
Byrd CF (really? I know this was talked about, but it's still odd to actually see)
Ramirez 3B
Pena 1B
Soriano LF
Soto C
Barney 2B

Catchers have to hit late, even if they are your best bat!
   17. Weeks T. Olive Posted: March 31, 2011 at 10:24 PM (#3782740)
Barney seems to me to be a poor man's Theriot.

But he can do flips! So that's something I guess.
   18. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: March 31, 2011 at 10:34 PM (#3782749)
So the second base depth chart is: Barney, Baker and DeWitt? We just traded Ted Lilly for the third string second baseman? Is this known as a Jim Hendry Special?

You know who would really help this roster? Mike Fontenot. Of course, it's tough to criticize that deal when we got back a 21 year old outfielder with a sub-.700 OPS in the Sally League.
   19. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: March 31, 2011 at 10:47 PM (#3782753)
I also hate the fact that Jeff Baker's nickname appears to be Bake. Awful.

Pops, just think what it must have taken for Hendry to trade away 2 second baseman last year. We can't expect him to quit them cold turkey, can we?
   20. McCoy Posted: March 31, 2011 at 11:41 PM (#3782795)
What do you mean by this - he'll be our whipping boy? He'll seem to be overpaid, but will actually outperform expectations? He'll be a first half CY Young contender in Colorado in a couple of years?

A serviceable back of the rotation starter.
   21. Spahn Insane Posted: April 01, 2011 at 12:14 AM (#3782812)
Soto batting in front of the 8-9 (and after Soriano, who doesn't get on base) makes no sense.
   22. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: April 01, 2011 at 02:53 AM (#3782931)
Anyone see Theriot help the Cubs this afternoon?
   23. SouthSideRyan Posted: April 01, 2011 at 04:57 AM (#3782982)
Roll Call for tomorrow's sleet delay?
   24. Don Geovany Soto (chris h.) Posted: April 01, 2011 at 06:18 PM (#3783328)
I am less optimistic than others here, though I don't have data to back that up.

I think this team will be lucky to win 80. I think that Z will crash and burn. The rest of the rotation will be decent, as will the late-inning 'pen, but the offense won't hit.

And I'm not one of those always-down fans. I just have a bad feeling about this team.
   25. McCoy Posted: April 02, 2011 at 07:05 AM (#3784211)
116 pitches for Dempster on a cold rainy day. Quade is already looking good.
   26. McCoy Posted: April 06, 2011 at 07:14 PM (#3788000)
I predict that 40% of the Cubs' starting rotation will be on the DL before the first week is out.
   27. McCoy Posted: April 17, 2011 at 03:56 PM (#3800213)
About to reach the 15 game and one of the troubling things I see for this team is their low walk totals. They have a lot of guys with "good" batting averages right now but taking virtually no walks. When they cool off a bit the Cubs are simply going to have no baserunners to score runs for them. The only team in the NL scoring more runs than the Cubs with less walks is the Phillies who are dead last in walks but putting up a league best .298 batting average.

When Lou first got here there was a big improvement in the Cubs' walk rate and the team improved. Last year it slipped and the Cubs tanked. Now it looks like the Cubs are going back to their old pre-Lou days of not liking to take a walk. It doesn't look good.
   28. Frisco Cali Posted: August 23, 2011 at 11:06 PM (#3907243)
So in a way, we need the Cubs to not be good enough this year so that Ricketts will replace Hendry. If that happens, you'll see the return of the optimist immediately. - Welcome back

The big discussion in Aug-Sep will be Hendry's pending demise. - I guess they decided not to screw around with having this discussion during football season.
   29. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: August 23, 2011 at 11:39 PM (#3907262)
Cashner: sub 4.00 ERA.

Castro: will hit more than ten home runs.

Colvin: sub .320 OBP.


Three more jacks from Castro and I'm 3 for 3!
   30. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: August 24, 2011 at 06:17 PM (#3907941)
So it appears I was much more realistic than everyone here, but my predictions tend to have erred on the too optimistic side. Who'd have thunk it?

And yes, I guess I'm officially an optimist again. Huzzah!
   31. McCoy Posted: August 25, 2011 at 07:19 PM (#3908911)
87 wins give or take 2 wins. Okay, give or take 15 wins

Castillo will do nothing special in the minors. .287/.359/.522 in the minors but if it means anything he is at a -15 OPS+ at the major league level. I also seem to think he has cooled down a bit. I think earlier in the season his line was much higher.

Zambrano will be a CYA contender Um, no.


Aramis will be the best hitter the Cubs have.
Nailed one.

Pena will hit .280ish and hit 30+ homers. .223 is .280ish. It will be close on the homers but he might just get there.

Colvin will regress mightily. Yup.

Second base will be an offensive mess all year round. It had the potential to be that but Barney has been a perfectly cromulent second baseman.

Soriano will get hot, cold, hot, cold, hot, cold. This year he went hot, cold, tepid, cold, so on and so on.

Castro will be an asset at SS. Nothing spectacular but he'll justify his presence on the everyday lineup. Yup.

Garza will be the new Jason Marquis. Pretty darn close if you ask me.
Cashner will fail as a starter.

Soto will play about 120 games, some of them healthy and Hill will hit like crap. Yup

Brett Jackson will be this year's Cub ROY contender. Doesn't look like they'll be bringing him up this year.

People will complain about Fukudome but he will continue to put up solid numbers against righties. I don't think anyone complained about him and while his OBP against righties was good he wasn't really solid against righties.

Jay Jackson will be in the majors this year and put up a 4.75 or so ERA. Apparently the one Cub minor league pitcher that wasn't thrown into the fire when Cashner and Wells went down. Though he has not been very good in the minors this year.

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