Not So Bad

There’s an old cliche that says, “They’re great on paper.”  This applies to the Chicago Cubs.  It’s funny you know, the Toronto Blue Jays on paper have an Ok team, but this year, they’re exceeding expectations.  The Cubs on the other hand, for some reason can’t get it together.  They have one good game followed by a really poor one and then climb out of the woodwork and pull together an amazing game.  That’s baseball.

The Cubs are seven games back.  A few years ago they were ten games back at the start of August and came back to win their division.  That’s also baseball.

There have been some outstanding performances this year like Darwin Barney and Starlin Castro who should have no problem making it to the Allstar game.  There havy been some great surprises like Tony Campana and returning stars like Kerry Wood and Reed Johnson.

To be fair, Andrew Cashner has been injured and now Marlon Byrd so injuries have played a crucial part in this year’s fluctuation.  I’m confident the team will turn around.  I think after the Allstar break, we’re going to see a much better Cubs team.  No, a more consistent team.

—Mark Gauthier

Cubs Charm the Snakes…again

I’ve been waiting to use that one.  Tyler Colvin played first base and got a two run home run.  Andrew Cashner showed he’s got the tools in the making of becoming a Cubs legend and Starlin Castro added to his future Hall of Fame numbers.  All right, I may be jumping the gun just a bit, but those are just a few reasons to get excited this year for the Chicago Cubs.

The Cubs not only came from behind to beat the Diamondbacks 6-5, but they did it with perceverance and hard work.  This team is really coming together.  It seems Opening Day was all about the jitters.

There is a long road ahead still, but  so far so good. Although Cashner left the game with soreness in his shoulder, it looks like it is just day to day.

The Cubs are over .500, and the Boston Red Sox are 0-3.  Hmmn, I better check that Mayan calendar.

—Mark Gauthier

 

Cactus League is Done

Cactus League play wrapped up on Tuesday with a 15-8 victory for the Diamondbacks.  Matt Garza finished Spring Training with a 10.38 ERA.  Although, under ordinary circumstances that would be a disastrous number, this is Spring Training.  As I’ve said in previous posts, it’s a chance to get the kinks out(Carlos Silva), see the new players like Matt Garza and Carlos Pena and watch the rookies strut their stuff.

So, what am I looking forward to this year?

Andrew Cashner will join the rotation this year.  I’m excited about this rookie who compiled a 4.41 ERA.

Starlin Castro will follow up his stellar rookie season and become a great leader for the club.  I wouldn’t be surprised if he competes for MVP honours this year.

Marlon Byrd will anchor the club in the outfield.

Overall, I think the Cubs are in great shape for the season.  I’m predicting they’ll finish second in their division.

Ok, Let’s play Ball!!!

—Mark Gauthier

 

 

 

Carlos Silva Released

I’m sure everyone else is weighing in on the Carlos Silva situation.  I might as well too.  I like Silva and thought he pitched well last year, but as Spring Training 2011 has shown, there has been a lot more pitchers that are better than him.

Here’s the thing:  Carlos criticized the Cubs for the way they’ve handled him this spring.  Last year, Milton Bradley was made an example.  History repeats itself.

The Cubs have a business to run.  They have a World Series to win.  They have to provide quality entertainment for the millions of fans who lineup at the gates, tune in to the radio and tv and purchase all the memorabilia that their basements can fill.  That’s professional sports.

Carlos Silva is not acting professional.  There are plenty of kids who attend spring camps with hopes of wearing the same uniform as one of their heroes.  In this case, Silva was out played and underachieved.  Get over it, move on and play somewhere else.

I would rather have a young kid up on the mound proving to everyone and himself why he should be there.  If he loses, who cares?  As long as he tries, he will get better and he will earn the respect of the fans.

In this case, we have Cashner, Mateo and Coleman who want that job more badly than Silva and most importantly, they’re not whiners.

Jim Hendry said it best,”He seems to make a continual habit of blaming everybody but himself”

—Mark Gauthier

The First Cut…

Well, you know the song.  The Cubs have trimmed their roster by 18 players.  Most of the cuts haven’t been a surprise but young players like Josh Vitters, Bret Jackson and Jay Jackson have been somewhat of a surprise at least this early on.

A DAY OFF

So, what’s my verdict on the Cubs this spring? I think they’re doing all right.  A convincing win over the A’s and I’m confident that Cashner will secure a spot with the club this year.

I’m also really surprised with the play of Fukodome.  He must have been reading our blogs.  He’s still got to work on those strikeouts second with 11.

Starlin Castro has 2 stolen bases and although it’s only spring, I think this is a great sign and I’m hoping we’ll see more base running this season.  He also is leading the team in RBI’s with 9.  I love that stat.  So, I don’t think Castro will suffer any sophomore jinx this season and will lead the team.

Go Cubs Go!

—Mark Gauthier

 

Andrew Cashner

A few weeks ago, a great blog Strictly Cubs Baseball  made a post regarding Andrew Cashner and you can find it here.  It was a good article and lately I’ve been thinking about that article because of the way Andrew Cashner has been playing.

Why not put him in the starting rotation.

1. Ryan Dempster

2. Matt Garza

3. Carlos Zambrano

4. Carlos Silva

5. Andrew Cashner

 

Yup.  I think it’s time to give the young guy the nod.  The Cubs have had great success with their young talent so they should keep that up.

I was thinking Jeff Samardzija, but now it’s Andrew that needs to fill that spot.

—Mark Gauthier