Three games into Spring Training and the Cubs are 3-0. Sweet. Hoffpauir has looked great at the plate in both power stats and patience. I kind of feel bad for guys like Hoffpauir and Fox though because it seems like every Spring these guys deliver unbelievably consistent stats, yet we simply have no room for them on the 25 man roster. It’s a shame too. It must drive these guys crazy. Hopefully one of them breaks through this year somehow, especially if their Spring is as impressive as Springs past. Hoffpauir’s the DH today so he’ll have another chance to shine this afternoon.
What’s up Lilly! I’m happy to hear that you have the Cubs’ best interests in mind when it comes to your pitch count in the WBC. Everytime I hear that, it feels like a boxing championship someone is trying to win. Anyway, I always enjoy hearing that organizations have prevented their key players from playing in this tournament. I know it’s a great thing for the game and a fun exhibition of the world’s greatest sport. However, when you’re investing millions in guys to come through when it counts during the regular season, it’s too scary of a possibility that the guy goes down to injury in an exhibition competition. Big Z, Lilly, Harden, Dempster and Marshall. Ok, fine. But if we were to lose any of those top four it would make us extremely vulnerable and a much less powerhouse in the National League. The Cubs are definitely the on-paper favorites to repeat in the Central but a huge part of that is pitching. We can’t lose Lilly to something stupid so I’m glad he has the team’s best interests at heart. Have a great time Lilly, but come back healthy for sure.
Speaking of staying healthy…what’s up with the quad Milt? We definitely need that to be a precautionary measure in pulling himself from the game the other day. Milton Bradley makes this team so much better, especially when you figure his power in the middle of the order allows for us to keep Soriano up top leading off and not constantly questioning if we should be using his power later on in the order. Not sure that he’ll end up leading off yet having not seen much from Theriot or Miles as of yet this Spring…but more than likely that’s where Piniella will start him come Opening Day.
I know it’s been a little while since his signing and I’m not even sure he’ll make the roster, but I like the signing of Taguchi. From what I’ve seen of the guy he can be pretty clutch late in games when you need a big hit. If he sticks, his bat may be a great option off the bat here and there throughout the season. The Cubs are in a great situation with how deep they are, a great problem to have. Tons of people to look at and consider this Spring. I’d love to be a fly on the wall in Piniella’s office throughout S.T. and the regular season. That would be fascinating. The flying ability would be cool too.
Today the Cubs and the White Sox take their crosstown rivalry across the country to battle in exhibition. Heilman will get the start for the Cubs. Living in New York, I’ve seen quite a bit of Heilman over the years. He’s a guy that would surprise me if he were to take the fifth starter spot in the rotation. It’ll be interesting to see how he handles the couple innings he gets today, as well as how Rami looks at third. Always good to get those cuts in, work out the kinks from the winter months. It came up in the chat box I have set up here in the right hand column the other day as to who should back up Ramirez at third. Any Cubs fans out there have a preference? I’d be interested to hear your thoughts.
The Cubs have outscored their opponents 22-11 so far this season. 11 runs given up in 27 innings. Not too shabby, but could definitely be better. 22 runs in three games. Looking good. Good start to the Spring.
Here’s to a good ol’ fashion walloping of the Sox today. Go Cubs Go!