Thursday, February 4, 2010

What exactly will the 2010 Cubs look like? Part 1

It's February, and you know what that means: We're finally able to talk about baseball as much as we want. With Cubs' pitchers and catchers reporting in just 13 short days, we can talk about the roster, the schedule, Xavier Nady's next Tommy John surgery--pretty much whatever we feel like.

Today and tomorrow, I'm going to take a look at how the roster is shaping up as we head into spring training. Jim Hendry would definitely tell you that it's not yet complete--he's hoping to sign a veteran reliever to double the number of veteran relievers on the team (with John Grabow currently holding down the fort). But for the most part, we already know who will be playing where and which spots will remain up for grabs when the spring schedule begins on March 4.

Starting infield: Derrek Lee, Jeff Baker/Mike Fontenot, Ryan Theriot, Aramis Ramirez

Bench: Jeff Baker/Mike Fontenot

Spots available: 1 or 2

Possible IF bench players: Micah Hoffpauir, Andres Blanco, Chad Tracy, Kevin Millar, Starlin Castro, Bobby Scales

Early Prediction: Hoffpauir and Blanco. Hoffpauir provides a lefty bat (and, as you will see, the Cubs are very right-handed) and can play both infield and outfield. I could be wrong about Blanco, but I've been on the Andres Blanco train for a while and I'm not getting off now. He plays outstanding defense and could probably match the production of Mike Fontenot (with a few less home runs).

While it's unlikely that top prospect Starlin Castro will break camp with the big club, keep an eye out for him this summer. The Cubs would love to have him at short, enabling Ryan Theriot to move to second--a position from which his throws to first would actually reach Derrek Lee's glove in less than seven seconds.

Starting outfield: Alfonso Soriano, Marlon Byrd, Kosuke Fukudome

Bench: Xavier Nady

Spots available: 1 or 2

Possible outfield bench players: Sam Fuld, Tyler Colvin, Brett Jackson, James Adduci, Brad Snyder

Early prediction: Sam Fuld. Another lefty. Plus, he piled up 97 at-bats last season and batted .299 with a .409 OBP and two RBI. Okay, the two RBI aren't that impressive, but he had a .409 OBP!

Starting catcher: Geovany Soto

Bench: Koyie Hill

Spots available: 0 or 1

Possible back-up catcher: Wellington Castillo

Early prediction: Despite the notable awesomeness of Wellington Castillo's name, it doesn't seem likely that the Cubs will have three catchers on their opening day roster.

1 comment:

  1. I'm having a hard time expressing my tremedous level of excitement without sounding like a giddy school girl.

    Hoooooraaayyyy for Cubs baseball!