My first Blog: Our team is fine right now... May need tweaking around deadline...
I will start by saying I think this is by far the best site on the net for Cubbie baseball discussion. I have learned so much about our system from top to bottom thanks to the blogs and discussion on goatriders. I have been telling all my fellow Cubbie Blue Bleeders about the site and they enjoy it as well. (OK did I suck up enough??") Here are just a few thoughts I've had concerning the team and the state we are in RIGHT NOW.
First the lineup as I see it right now:
3. Lee (I still think he is a professional hitter at a high level )
Bench: Hoffpauir/Johnson/Fukudome, Bako, Cedeno, Miles, Gathright, Pie(I'm not giving up on a 24 year old with that much speed and talent, although it would be nice if someone could teach him to hit ML pitching.)
OK - Start to pick it apart. Not that different from last year, but we won 97 games. Another full year for Theriot, Fontenot, Soto. And maybe a full year for Soriano(healthy) and a better mechanically adjusted/americanized Fukudome makes the team stronger AS/IS.
Now if we sign THE LH RIGHT FIELDER EVERYONE THINKS WE NEED.
2. Fukudome/Johnson (I think Fukudome could be the prototype #2 hitter. He definitely has control over the strike zone so he can take some pitches IF Soriano is healthy and could run again. I think he also understands the game and can move runners over and could post a solid OBP to set the table.
4. DUNN/Bradley (Dunn is in caps because he is the superior, (although it sounds like all signs point to Milton "Mr. Congenialty/picture of health" Bradley, option. Dunn stays healthy, would be bouncing balls off buildings(when he hits it) and takes a ton of pitches, getting us into other teams bullpens early in the game.
I love this lineup with Dunn. I guess I just don't want Bradley. I would give up the defenseand K's for the 40+ HR's and .380 OBP. The lineup would have great balance of Lefties and Righties and with Theriot and Fontenot at the back end if the pitchers could bunt that would set the table for Soriano.
Marshall/Hill/Samardzija/Guzman (The best performer in the Spring)
I have not given up on Hill. He wouldn't bring much in trade right now. But he and a healthy Guzman both have the talent and pitches to be serviceable back end starters if they can solve their respective problems.
Bullpen: Marmol, Gregg, Cotts, Samardzija/Marshall/Hill/Guzman,Wuertz, Hart)
OK these are my thoughts in a nutshell. I think we are solid as we stand now and with a full year of experience in the Majors for (Soto, Theriot, Fontenot, Fukudome, Samardzija, Marmol) we will be even better this year. Of course everything hinges on health of key players: (SORIANO, Zambrano, HARDEN, Lee) I personally don't want to cripple an already weak farm to bring in Peavy or someone else. If we go get a rightfielder I pray it is Dunn. Expecting and paying Bradley for his POTENTIAL just seems to me like a VERY BAD IDEA. However it works out it will be fun to watch the CUBS ROLLER COASTER lead to a WORLD SERIES TITLE IN 2009!!!!
Matt in the Quad Cities