Goatriders of the Apocalypse

GROTA Round Table: 2010 Predictions, Part 2

Round Table
Welcome to the second installment of the never-ending Round Table Series in which we predict the inevitable World Series championship of the 2010 Chicago Cubs.  (Phew, long sentence.)

To pick up where the last article left off...

Over/Under

3. Carlos Zambrano, 12 wins

Rob - over.  I don't see him EVER meeting the high expectations we all had for him, or ever truly earning his lofty salary.  But he ought to win 12 games with his bat alone.

Yarbage - This was the easiest pick of the day. Carlos Zambrano will win at least
15, maybe a couple more. Big Z is due a monster year and this is it
folks. Put it in the bank.

Byron
- Over. I mean, if someone had told you a Cub had been injured while sitting in a chair, wouldn't you have expected it to be Big Z in years past? Z finally breaks through. (I'd have to check, but I've been unsuccessfully predicting that for each of the last 4 years I think.)

Mike - I'm quite bullish on Big Z (note..i'll call him that no matter how skinny he gets).  I think he leads the team in wins, ERA, and strikeouts this year.  I'll say 15-10 for the skinny Venezuelan.

Peter - If I'm in Vegas I don't put money on this one way or another.  My instinct says it'd be a push.  Over the past two seasons, Demp has thrown 406 2/3 innings for the ballclub and is only one year removed from a 17 win season.  My gut says the home runs allowed go down from last year, the K/9 rate stays about the same and so do the walks allowed and Demp walks away with 15 wins on the dot.

AJ - Over, by just a couple. He won't sniff 20 wins, but the man's a gamer. And I know every year the writers hoot and holler over folks being in the "best shape of their life" but photos of Z make me actually believe it in his case.

Phil - Over. Though sadly, most Cubs fans expect won't be happy with him unless he bring each one flowers, wins a Cy Young, and hots 45 home runs. I am hoping to see a 17-18 win season for Large Zed.

Kurt - Over.  Will the Carlos Zambrano of our dreams ever step up and deliver unto us the Cy Young season we so justly deserve?  Probably not.  Will he ever overcome the so-called maturity issues that have plagued his career?  Doubt it.  Will he stay healthy for the remainder of his epic contract with Chicago?  Unlikely.  But Carlos is better than what we've seen, and if he pitches 30 games in 2010, sucky bullpen or no, we will see more than 12 wins. 

4. Carlos Marmol, 30 saves

Rob - over.  It BETTER be over.  If he can keep his concentration all year, there's no reason why he can't dominate.  He acts like he wants it, it has always been a matter of his maturity.  Keeping my fingers crossed...

Yarbage -  Eh…I would love Marmol to have a lock down great year, but I don’t see it in truth. Even in Spring Training he has been all over the place. I think he will be fine for the most of year, but will only save around 28 games. So, under and I hope he proves me wrong.

Byron - Over. If Joe Borowski can get 30 saves, then surely Marmol can. Right?

Mike - Under.  Another guy I dont trust.  I actually think he'll pitch himself out of the role. 

Peter - Over.  I don't expect the Cubs to be blowing out opponents all year, so there should be ample opportunity for Marmol to take the ball in the 9th.  Marmol has some of the filthiest stuff in the majors, it has always just been a matter of believing in his stuff.  Hopefully I'm right here.

AJ - Over. Somebody mentioned Borowski; I think the opportunities will be there for him, and I don't know who will take the job from him, and really that's enough for 30 in today's game.

Phil - Under, though not because he will do poorly, I think the bullpen guys in front of him are gonna be blowing a lot of games. By July we may be wishing for the good ol' days of Bob Howry and Aaron Heilman.

Kurt - The optimist in me says over, because I know all-too-well that a failed Marmol equals a failed 2010 Chicago Cubs.  There's just no other train in the station.  But let's take a breath and be honest here -- there is something wrong with Carlos Marmol.  Maybe it's a mechanical issue that can be fixed, maybe not, I dunno.  Regardless, this is not the closer we were looking for.  Under.

5. Lou Piniella, 5 ejections

Rob - under.  He can say whatever he wants, but Sweet Lou has lost the fire.  Hell, he might not even leave the dugout five times this year, not counting pitching changes and little trips to check if Font is ok after fouling balls off his shins.

Yarbage - Can I put money on this one? Is this the real line? If it is, I’ll take the under this year. It seems high for me for some reason.

Byron - I'll propose a formula:

# of Lou ejections = # of Cubs losses/15 - 2 + # of day games at Wrigley with a temperature above 95.

Al Gore says things are getting warmer, so we'll fix it at 3 hot day games. Working backwards, we'd need 75 losses for 5 ejections, and that's 87 wins... but with rounding, well I'll just say push.   

Mike - Probably under, but not because there's good baseball on the field..just because he's mellowing out.

Peter - I don't see it, so under.  This isn't the Lou Piniella that used to only talk to his (Devil) Rays players in four letter expletives.  He's become "Sweet" Lou, the loveable, fade off into the sunset, "can't wait to drink margaritas in Florida" guy that just happens to be managing a team.  Honestly, I'd prefer never to see him leave the dugout to argue a call because if he doesn't, it likely means the Cubs are doing fine on their own. 

AJ - Under. Man's old.

Phil - Under. Has Lou had 5 ejections total in his time with the Cubs? And are we sure he is still alive? Zombie Lou is mellow Lou.

Kurt - if the Cubs suck, over.  If the Cubs win 55% of their games, under.  Call it the cheap way out because I'm not giving a definitive, but where the Cubs go, so goes Lou's temper.  Then again, he spent a year in the same clubhouse as Milton Bradley, and yet he managed to avoid taking his festering frustration out on anybody in the field.  Maybe AJ is right.  Man's old.

Tomorrow, we'll continue this long-winded round table by examining the health of Alfonso Soriano, the appetite of Geovany Soto, and the status of the bullpen.  Stay tuned!

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