Along with about every other baseball fan, I love this time of year. Spring training is finally here! And in addition to baseball, March Madness is about to begin for us college basketball fans as well. Anyway, it’s been a couple days since my last post and I wanted to catch up on a few things.
Kosuke Fukudome is getting a chance this spring to leadoff. The Cubs desperately need to find someone who can fill the role of being a leadoff man for the team and it appears he’s getting the first shot at it. If he succeeds at this role then I would be excited. However, I am not completely confident that this is where he needs to hit. Personally, I think he makes a good number 2 hitter or someone in the lower lineup. Plus, if wins the job of starter in rightfield and leadoff man, that means Tyler Colvin will become a bench player. I would like to see Colvin as our everyday rightfielder.
Leftfielder Alfonso Soriano is looking good in the early going this spring. If he is able to stay healthy and play better than he has the last couple of years that would be huge for the team.
Tyler Colvin has been working on playing firstbase this spring and may be our backup in case Carlos Pena gets injured this season or needs a day off. This is something that I like. I believe Colvin can be an everyday player at firstbase or rightfield. I also believe that Colvin will battle Fukudome for the starting job in RF especially if Kosuke cannot handle the job of leadoff man.
Reed Johnson and Fernando Perez will be battling for a spot on the roster as our 5th outfielder. In this battle, I prefer Johnson at this point. He’s a seasoned vet and just happens to be one of my favorite players.
The battle for the 4th and 5th spots in the rotation have begun. Carlos Silva, Randy Wells and Andrew Cashner are my three favorites to win those two spots. It will be interesting to see how they perform this spring. In this battle, I prefer Cashner and Wells. While Silva got off to a good start in 2010, I’m not convinced he is going to be that successful again. I also like Casey Coleman as a darkhorse in this race, but from what I’ve read he will probably start the season in Iowa.
Another battle going on this spring is for utility infielder. Youngster, Darwin Barney, and veteran Augie Ojeda are the two main guys fighting for this job. I prefer Barney in this battle.
Another utility player that I would like the Cubs to give a chance is Bobby Scales. I don’t think he will make the team out of spring training, but I believe if someone struggles or gets injured he will have a good chance of getting called up. He’s versatile and I would love to have his energy coming off our bench.
That’s all I’ve got for now.
For most Cub fans, you probably know the name Bobby Scales. A longtime minor leaguer who made his major league debut for the Cubs in 2009 at the age of 31. The guy simply loves the game and has never given up. I think he deserves a chance to be a utility player on the team this year, but I am realistic and understand he’ll probably be in Iowa for most of the season. Anyway, I have another longterm plan for Scales. I think he has the potential to be a coach in the minor leagues someday. Someone who loves the game and who would be willing to teach younger players what it takes to succeed in baseball at any level. While he still has some baseball left in his tank I would like the Cubs to consider him as a coach in the future.
I read this morning that the Cubs discussed trading Fukudome to the Gians for Aaron Rowand. I don’t like this move personally. Both players will be free agents after the 2011 season and I would rather have Kosuke’s lefthanded bat over Rowand who is righthanded. I still think the best option we have for trading Fukudome is the Red Sox. They have Carl Crawford, J.D. Drew, Mike Cameron and Jacoby Ellsbury already, but 3 of the 4 are injury risks in my opinion. Anyway, I think we may not be able to trade Fukudome and we might be better keeping him as long as he doesn’t take away at bats from my man Tyler Colvin.
I also read that the Cubs are still shopping Tom Gorzelanny. A couple of weeks ago, it was the Tigers that were interested in him and not it’s the Mets. I say let’s hold on to him and trade Randy Wells instead. I know that Wells isn’t as valuable as Gorzelanny, but that’s okay with me. We need to find new teams for Wells and Carlos Silva to open up room for some of our younger pitchers.
Finally, to sum up my thoughts this morning, I am excited about the Cubs getting Kerry Wood back! I believe the Cubs need to develop, sign and trade for players like him that fans want to see win. We need guys that our kids can look up to and respect. Wood is that kind of man.
Also, one last thing, I think it’s time we sign Ryan Dempster to an extension. I suggest a three year deal. He will turn 34 next season and I would like to see him play with the Cubs a few more years. Something to think about.
The Cubs need a boost. I don’t think there is any denying it. We have had injuries this season to Aramis Ramirez, Rich Harden, Carlos Zambrano and the list goes on and on. Milton Bradley hasn’t hit well and neither has Soto. Fontenot has been playing out of position at third since Aramis went on the DL and his hitting has suffered since moving to the other side of the infield. The Cubs have brought up Bobby Scales, Andres Blanco and Jake Fox. I say we keep Scales and Fox up and let go of Freel and Miles who are both on the DL. Blanco is a great defender, but is not known for his hitting. If he gets sent down it won’t bother me one bit.
I still want the Cubs to acquire Jake Peavy. I say we trade young Josh Vitters, pictured below, to obtain Peavy.
The Cubs will hopefully be active this summer before the trade deadline. I want to get another stud pitcher. Peavy is at the top of my list. He may be the kind of guy that puts the Cubs over the top. I would hate to lose Vitters in a deal, but I also understand that it would take a deal involving him to get Peavy. I would be willing to make that sacrifice.
During the winter months and early into spring training I was hoping the Cubs would make a deal for San Diego’s ace pitcher, Jake Peavy. That trade never happened even though I still wish it would. Then this week Peavy rejected a trade that would send him to the White Sox. That made me very happy. If the Pads do trade Peavy to someone besides the Cubs I pray it’s not the White Sox or Cardinals. Anyway, Peavy pitched against the Cubs last night and I knew he was gonna bring his “A” game. What I really appreciated though was the reaction by the Padres fans. They showed their respect last night to Peavy for choosing to stay a Padre. They also showed their class by cheering loudly for newly acquired Tony Gwynn, Jr. Living in the midwest I don’t know any Padres fans and rarely get to see them play on tv. But last night these fans displayed class and respect for Peavy and Gwynn. They cheered the way fans should. Jake Peavy is a class act. Take for example last night after Carlos Zambrano hit David Eckstein with a pitch in the first inning. Bobby Scales led off the second inning for the Cubs and Peavy hit him in the right thigh area. He did what he was supposed to do. But the classy thing about it was the fact that he didn’t go head hunting. He wasn’t there to hurt Scales. He did it the right way. Even though the home plate umpire gave warnings to both teams I don’t believe their was any anger between the teams.
Now the Cubs need to figure out how to score some runs. Over the last week it seems the team has forgotten how to get guys to cross homeplate. It’s frustrating!!!! We have too much talent on this team to struggle the way we are right now.
I am a baseball romantic if there is such a thing. I love the game, the history, the ballparks, and stories about 31 year old rookies. Just yesterday the Cubs called up Bobby Scales from Triple-A Iowa. And not only did he get called up he started at secondbase for the Cubs. He also recorded his first Major League hit as well. The only thing that went wrong with this story is the fact that the Cubs lost.
Here’s to Bobby Scales. Congratulations on your first big league hit and hoping it’s the first of many.
On to something else. The Cubs have started to play better ball lately and are starting to look a little more confident on the field. The loss of Zambrano doesn’t bother me too much right now. I would rather it happen in May than August. While the 2009 Cubs aren’t as deep as last year’s team I still think they can win the division and overtake the red hot Cardinals.
Speaking of the Cards, I was very concerned over Rick Ankiel’s injury after colliding with the outfield wall. If you saw the collision it was definitely scary. I wish him a speed recovery.
The Cubs are in Houston tonight and I have a good feeling that Milton Bradley is going to break out of his season long funk. The team could certainly use his bat.