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I am having a hard time remembering a season like this one for the Cubs. Sure, they've never had these types of young guys before, but it's still different beyond that. And while there is no doubt that the Cubs certainly have not had too many winning seasons moving into the second week of June, they've had a handful over the years. I think it has to be the fact that this roster is so fluid. From day to day the only thing you can bank on is Rizzo at first and Fowler in center. And even then you aren't sure where Rizzo will bat in the order.
There's a second baseman who didn't start the year at second and could be the starting shortstop, and a third baseman who looks great but could easily be moved to the outfield for the rest of the year by next week - not to mention a shortstop who could be traded, and a handful of outfielders who could be out of baseball next week, or starting every game the rest of the season. It's kind of madness.
And now with a handful of interleague games on the way, they could bring up someone completely different from the minors to play. I've mentioned a flawed and unfinished roster in the past, but maybe this is just what happens with a manager like Joe Maddon? I don't even know. Not to mention the closer role is up for grabs now. Is there even a 6th, 7th or 8th inning guy now? Does Joe even know? Is this by design? I don't know, but I do know that this isn't even close to the end of what is going to happen. It's really been an interesting season.
The Week In Review: The Cub inexplicably lost two of three to the lowly Marlins only to come back and win three of from from the very good Washington Nationals. At least E-Jax got to pitch twice in that Marlins series (both losses).
The Week In Preview: The boys in blue head to Detroit for two and then come back home for four against the Reds. It may be time to bury the bottom feeding teams, like Cincinnati, if they want to keep this train on the right track and are serious about, you know, the season.
The Left Field Report: The left field job has almost exclusively gone to Chris Coghlan - he who started the week batting .225 and got the exact number of at-bats and hits to end the week at .225. At least he's consistently horrible. Matt Szczur got the one start last week that did not go to Coghlan in left. And Szczur went 0-4, so thanks, Matt. I literally could have done the same thing. Enjoy Des Moines. Chris Denorfia is back in the fold just in time, now that our favorite ninja is out with a foot injury. Someone from left - probably Junior Lake - will have to play right. In other words, the Cubs don't have a right or left fielder right now.
Mad(don) Scientist: Big Poppa Joe came down hard on Junior for showboating against the Marlins. Joe is cool and all but don't take that for weakness, because he'll call you a punk when you act like a punk. All this being said, I still like Junior Lake.
Wishing Upon A Starlin: Our favorite Castro (sorry, Fidel) had a prosperous week with six hits and six RBI. He also committed another error, and is tied for third in among shortstops in that category in all of baseball. So, yeah, really hard to know what the end game here is going to be.
Ameritrade Stock Pick of the Week: Sales of Punks dipped this week on word that no one wants you to be one.
Kubs Kalender: On Sunday, the first 5,000 kids will receive a Joe Maddon (knockoff Lego) dugout set. Hopefully they get an add-on set once they re-do the real dugouts.
East Coast Cubs: Julio Zuleta last played with the Cubs in 2001. He also played six seasons in Japan where hewas called "the Samurai" by Japanese fans for his perseverance. He was also awarded a ground-rule home run for hitting the ceiling of the Tokyo Dome, which only one other person has done. He is missed.
Over/Under: Number of games E-Jax will get into this week +/- 2.0. (He got into three games this week and one was in an actual win!)
Beachwood Sabermetrics: A complex algorithm performed by The Cub Factor staff using all historical data made available by Major League Baseball has determined that maybe even the Nationals are beatable.
* Touch 'em all: The Cub Factor archives.
* Know thy enemy: The White Sox Reports.
Marty Gangler is our man on the Cub. He welcomes your comments.
There has been virtually no criticism of hitting coach Todd Steverson. We'll see how long that lasts.Continue reading "Hitless Wonders" »
Posted on Apr 24, 2017