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   1. Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: April 11, 2008 at 02:53 PM (#2739400)
A couple of things I'd add.

Things gone right-The bench. Not sure of the numbers, but it seems like all of those guys have contributed and at key times. Even Theriot did better those games off the bench. Reed Johnson has been good so far, and I do wonder if he's going to take Pie's job. Lou doesn't look like he has a lot of patience with him right now.

Howry has looked a lot better his last couple of appearances (his last 3 I think, after struggling his first 3).

The starting pitching. I highly doubt that Dempster is for real as a starter, and if Ted Lilly and Rich Hill don’t get their acts together, we could have a problem.

Of course Dempster isn't this good, but I still hold out hope he can be above average. Another casualty of bad SP is bullpen overuse. It's kind of exaggerated with the 3 extra inning games so far, but those guys are all pitching a lot so far. Z's got to go deeper in his good starts, and the other guys really need to start lasting longer too. That being said, the bullpen has done a pretty good job and we all expected it to be a strength.
   2. Meatwad Posted: April 11, 2008 at 03:03 PM (#2739411)
the batting order could be a bit better. theriot needs to be batting 8th and possibluy move fukudome to 2nd and soto sliding to the 5 spot would probly generate more runs.
the starting pitching is driving me nuts. im not sure what the deal is with lilly and hill but they need to get their #### together. leiber however is looking great out of the pen now if they can deal marquis and move him into the rotation it would help stabilize things
   3. Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: April 11, 2008 at 03:13 PM (#2739413)
We spend too much time thinking about the lineup. Once Soriano starts hitting, it won't matter. Theriot has been at the bottom the last 5 games. Johnson hit 2nd his 4 starts, and Fontenot hit there yesterday. Leave Fukudome where he is for now. Move De Rosa up, for those games Pie starts. If Johnson is going to get the majority of time in CF, I'm fine with him 2nd.
   4. And You Thought Zonk Was Terminated? Posted: April 11, 2008 at 03:19 PM (#2739420)
Fukudome. Fukudome. Fukudome.

I think I've probably seen about half of his at-bats so far this year, and I have yet to see a bad trip to the dish. He just oozes "professional hitter". Other than Derek Lee - you probably have to back to Mark Grace to find a hitter that seems so tuned in to how to approach an at-bat. He doesn't chase crap. He waits for his pitch - and when he gets it, he doesn't miss. He's rapidly becoming my favorite Cub to watch hit.

Geo has also calmed concerns that last year was a fluke... Forget Barrett, he's looking like the best Cub catcher since Jody Davis. He's hitting the ball with authority. He doesn't need to be an all-star, but if he can just ensure that his lineup spot is a plus -- we can restrict our concerns to SS and CF.

Pie's game winner the other night ought to be a huge confidence booster... but yeah, I don't want to trundle through another season where we consistently sport two lineup black holes of suck. Forget Brian Roberts, the priority for the Cubs ought to be a SS, pure and simple. The Cubs really ought to be targeting Felipe Lopez with a vengeance. We'll be fine rolling the dice on Pie coming around, so long as SS is securely covered from the offensive perspective.

While I sort of agree on the pitching concerns, we've got both Marshall and Leiber waiting. Lilly will be fine. Hill might be a bit more iffy, but he was streaky last year, too. Carlos eschewing his usual slow start has been a big plus.

The bullpen concerned me in week 1 - but Lou correctly moved Howry out of high leverage situations quickly enough. I still think Marmol should be closing, but since the 9th isn't always when the "high leverage" situations occur, it's not the end of the world. I also like that Lou seems to be increasing his appreciation of Mike Wuertz, who I think might be the most underrated middle reliever in the division.
   5. Dan The Mediocre is one of "the rest" Posted: April 11, 2008 at 03:31 PM (#2739428)
I have to say I'm not concerned with our starting pitching as of yet. I'm pretty sure that Lilly and Hill will come around, and even if Marquis and Dempster fail we still have 2 starters we can replace them with that I have confidence in.
   6. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: April 11, 2008 at 03:46 PM (#2739442)
Happy 156th birthday to Cap Anson.

Hill scares the blazes out of me right now. He couldn't throw strikes in spring training & he's walked 7 men in 9 innings in his two starts. Hopefully, it's just mental and can be straightened out sooner rather than later.

Lilly -- hasn't looked good, but his BABIP is what's driving his ERA right now. He's been a good MLB pitcher long enough so that doesn't worry me too much.

Dempster. No, he won't maintain an ERA+ of 599 for much longer. I think he can be an effective innings eaters. His rotten years as a starter came behind bad defenses. Then again, given what we've seen of the Cubs' D so far . . .

Marquis is Marquis. That does not inspire confidence.

No sure things in that foursome, but at least two should be fine & Leiber looks fantastic if they need to make a change. Plus Zambrano looks like Good Carlos so far.

The defense, what I thought was going to be a big strength, really hasn't been.
   7. Meatwad Posted: April 11, 2008 at 04:04 PM (#2739463)
all in all though im happy witht he cubs offense i do know the soriano will come around and lee showing power earily is great. and as long as they keep winning ill be happy
   8. Lassus Posted: April 11, 2008 at 04:12 PM (#2739469)
I wish I was as confident as all of you are in Soriano coming around. He's positively destroying my fantasy team.
   9. Dr. Vaux Posted: April 11, 2008 at 04:13 PM (#2739472)
They're taking Hill out of the rotation "until" he straightens out his control problems.
   10. Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: April 11, 2008 at 04:17 PM (#2739479)
I have to say I'm not concerned with our starting pitching as of yet. I'm pretty sure that Lilly and Hill will come around, and even if Marquis and Dempster fail we still have 2 starters we can replace them with that I have confidence in.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Sean Marshall sucks. I'm more confident in both Dempster and Marquis than him. Luckily, I think Lou agrees with me.
   11. Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: April 11, 2008 at 04:23 PM (#2739483)
They're taking Hill out of the rotation "until" he straightens out his control problems.

It's a possibility. Lou said he'd talk to Rothschild about that, but nothing has been decided.
   12. BDC Posted: April 11, 2008 at 04:32 PM (#2739488)
Leiber waiting

While waiting, Lieber has 7+ straight scoreless innings. Granted it's all against the Pirates, but he should qualify as one of the things that's gone right so far, too.
   13. Andere Richtingen Posted: April 11, 2008 at 05:53 PM (#2739555)
No sure things in that foursome, but at least two should be fine & Leiber looks fantastic if they need to make a change. Plus Zambrano looks like Good Carlos so far.

The defense, what I thought was going to be a big strength, really hasn't been.


And I think the defense will come around.

I guess that for just about any team with good pitching, there are ways that it can easily fall apart, and that we have seen some of those things in the Cubs so far. Despite what we've seen so far, I doubt they have the offense to support Zambrano and a cast of inning eating mediocrities into a post-season berth, even if the bullpen turns out to be pretty good.

But really, there is probably more to feel good about after these first nine games than feel bad. It's a snapshot, and I intended this entry to be a conversation starter about it in that context.
   14. SouthSideRyan Posted: April 11, 2008 at 06:03 PM (#2739568)
Vaux, that's far from a fact. Hill has had one bad start, and this whole braindead organization and many of the braindead fans are freaking out about it.
   15. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: April 11, 2008 at 08:08 PM (#2739697)
I'm most concerned with the starting pitching. Lilly is due for a regression and Hill has looked like the pitcher we saw before he was basically given his "final" chance in the bigs.
   16. dcsmyth1 Posted: April 14, 2008 at 02:24 PM (#2743421)
Most of this stuff is just low sample size. The one thing I worry about that I think is real is Pie.

We 'know' that he is a free swinger and is not going to walk much. We 'know' that has a power type swing, and strikes out quite a bit, so he's not gonna put up a high BAvg.

So, in order for him to have any real offensive value, he has to have serious power. I didn't realize this, but Pie is listed at only 170 lbs. So I did a quick for players who were active in 2007, with at least 1000 career ABs, and listed at less than 180 lbs. There aren't many such players. They tend to avg around 10 HR per season. The best all-around comp in the group is....Corey Patterson.

Pie is probably gonna be a bust.
   17. Spahn Insane Posted: April 14, 2008 at 05:37 PM (#2743607)
I'm not quite understanding the collective freakout over Hill's poor start.

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