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Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Theo Epstein pleased with where organization is at

Oh, he’s just like any team president, only more so.

The second-year Cubs president entertained reporters for about 10 minutes before his team beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 3-1.

“Good, excited,” Epstein said of his feelings. “I think we made a lot of progress last year. Now, it’s time to go out and compete and see if we can get off to a good start and see if we can find ourselves right in the middle of this thing, as we want to be.”

Talking outside the Cubs clubhouse to avoid a morning rain-snow mix, Epstein’s topics included the state of the organization and the proposed Wrigley Field renovations.

“I feel the organization’s really unified compared to a year ago at this time,” Epstein said. “We were trying to explain what the vision was, to get people to buy in. Now, a year later, with some change in personnel and with some people who are still here who are fully empowered, the entire place is really united behind this vision.”

...The Cubs have opened the season with five players on the disabled list. Of those five, Darwin Barney, Ian Stewart, Matt Garza and Scott Baker figure to be key players.

However, Epstein said he feels the Cubs have the depth to withstand the absences.

“I think the answer to that is yes because we have already suffered some pretty significant injuries and feel we can definitely compete with the team we’re putting on the field right now,” he said. “I think we’re going to try to turn these early injuries into a positive, where if we can get off to a good start in April and with the weather ... they are often low-scoring games, there’s a real fine line between victory and defeat.

“The key is good execution and playing smart baseball. If we can play well right (out) of the chute, we know we’re getting some really good players coming back off the DL pretty soon.”

Repoz Posted: April 02, 2013 at 10:41 AM | 10 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: cubs

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   1. SG Posted: April 02, 2013 at 11:15 AM (#4401936)
I think the 'at' in the headline is unnecessary.
   2. zonk Posted: April 02, 2013 at 11:17 AM (#4401938)
I think 'Pleased' is probably too strong... I'd go with 'content'.

They have a pretty good SS locked up to a fine long-term deal at a reasonable rate -- even if he stalls out as Gary Templeton. They likewise have what looks to be a pretty good mid-order hitter in Rizzo, who -- like Castro -- is only 23 this season. They have a couple of raw/young but interesting OF prospects - plus another that has the talent to become something in between Austin Jackson and Curtis Granderson if he can get his K rate under control. Javier Baez also looks like he just might be a keeper, too.

However, the pitching is still a mess... Only Garza and Samardzija look like real options going forward and they both have question marks. What's worse, there's really not much exciting on the mound in the system at this point... Only the injury-questionable Vizcaino and maybe the very raw and young Underwood have anything approaching front-end rotation possibilities and both seem more suited to short work.

Don't get me wrong - I'm pretty happy with the plan and I'm also fine with the moves made this offseason to essentially patch a staff together with a bunch of reclamation projects... but pleased would be going a bit too far.
   3. SoSH U at work Posted: April 02, 2013 at 11:25 AM (#4401945)
I think the 'at' in the headline is unnecessary.


It should read: Theo Epstein pleased with where the orginzation is at, #######.
   4. Urkel's Boner Posted: April 02, 2013 at 11:40 AM (#4401957)
Talking outside the Cubs clubhouse to avoid a morning rain-snow mix


If they ever get around to those renovations on Wrigley, I hope they start with the clubhouse roof.
   5. Walt Davis Posted: April 02, 2013 at 05:03 PM (#4402336)
So Theo doesn't want to move to Rosemont either.

in between Austin Jackson and Curtis Granderson

Ummm ... do you mean Brett Jackson? Do you realize that Austin Jackson is a 5-WAR player? (and Granderson about 4.5) I'll be ecstatic if Jackson can turn into Cameron Maybin (3 WAR) and content if he's Drew Stubbs.

If you meant somebody other than Jackson, well, be more specific next time. :-)
   6. zonk Posted: April 02, 2013 at 05:07 PM (#4402341)
Ummm ... do you mean Brett Jackson? Do you realize that Austin Jackson is a 5-WAR player? (and Granderson about 4.5) I'll be ecstatic if Jackson can turn into Cameron Maybin (3 WAR) and content if he's Drew Stubbs.

If you meant somebody other than Jackson, well, be more specific next time. :-)


I'm not as anti-WAR as most, but you're going to force me into becoming that if I always have to look up the actual number rather doing the usual back-of-the-napkin non-normalized offensive performance + rough guess as defensive value!
   7. Moses Taylor, Moses Taylor Posted: April 02, 2013 at 05:10 PM (#4402344)
Don't get me wrong - I'm pretty happy with the plan and I'm also fine with the moves made this offseason to essentially patch a staff together with a bunch of reclamation projects... but pleased would be going a bit too far.

Well, it's all relative. Perhaps they're just much further along than they expected once they got here; I'd think this is also a comment on the state of things as left by Hendry.

Also to be fair to Epstein, he doesn't actually use the word "pleased" here.
   8. zonk Posted: April 02, 2013 at 05:19 PM (#4402364)

Well, it's all relative. Perhaps they're just much further along than they expected once they got here; I'd think this is also a comment on the state of things as left by Hendry.


Sure... they did sort of get lucky on a couple items -- while Castro stalled a bit last year, he didn't regress. That's no sure thing for a 21 yo.... and Rizzo came up and did pretty much what Thed would have hoped (again, no sure thing... he could have become Justin Smoak part II).

That said, I wholly agree on what Hendry left....not only was the system pretty thin, but what's worse -- the pieces at the big league level were either under contracts that made them very difficult to trade for any value, or, weren't worth the contracts they had.

I was just cruising through the Cubs recent draft history -- and actually, it's a lot of "yikes!".... I suppose Baez looks like a keeper, though.
   9. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: April 02, 2013 at 05:35 PM (#4402388)
I was just cruising through the Cubs recent draft history -- and actually, it's a lot of "yikes!".... I suppose Baez looks like a keeper, though.

I believe Baez was drafted during the Hendry-is-fired-but-it's-a-secret time period so that (possible) success should be credited elsewhere.
   10. zonk Posted: April 02, 2013 at 05:40 PM (#4402394)

I believe Baez was drafted during the Hendry-is-fired-but-it's-a-secret time period so that (possible) success should be credited elsewhere.


I'm guessing still Wilken, though -- he's still employed with the Cubs, right? (Kicked upstairs IIRC?)

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