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MLB Preview 2011: Projecting the Chicago Cubs’ Starting Lineup

February 28, 2011 by Alex Geshwind · Leave a Comment 

The last time the Chicago Cubs won a World Series, Teddy Roosevelt was president and World War I was six years in the future. Yeah, it's been a while.Three years ago the Cubs made a run at the playoffs, but a couple of bad seasons and a strong NL Central have pushed the lovable losers to the back burner of Major League Baseball.A lot has happened since their last playoff appearance, though, and a new ownership group coupled with a new manager may offer Cubs fans some hope.While this team may be a year—and one future Hall of Famer—away from making ...

Fantasy Baseball Verdict: Targeting Carlos Marmol, Don’t Let the Ks Distract You

February 27, 2011 by Eric Stashin · Leave a Comment 

Carlos Marmol brings an exceptional strikeout rate to the closers role.  There is no arguing that fact, but that shouldn’t cause us to overlook the warts that do come with selecting him.  Can he be one of the elite closers in the game in 2011?  Absolutely, but there is also the chance that he completely falls flat.  Which will it be?  Let’s start by taking a look at his 2010 performance: 2 Wins38 Saves77.2 Innings2.55 ERA1.18 WHIP138 Strikeouts (15.99 K/9)52 Walks (6.03 BB/9).293 BABIP  The strikeouts are exceptional, but can we really expect him to be able to replicate it?  Yes, he should ...

Fantasy Baseball Sleeper: Chicago Cubs’ Tyler Colvin

February 25, 2011 by Fantasy Knuckleheads · Leave a Comment 

Tyler Colvin, a former first-round pick by the Cubs, has never received too much hype, only cracking the Baseball America Top 100 Prospects list once, before the 2008 season. He hardly scratched the top 80. Maybe this lack of hype was earned, because while Colvin never exactly struggled in the minor leagues, he also failed to impress, finishing with a middle of the road .277/.320/.465/.785 OPS line and 56 home runs and 44 steals in 1,716 at-bats. He did display a decent combination of power and speed, as he regularly demonstrated that he is a threat to finish with double digits in ...

Chicago Cubs: The ‘New Big Z’ Should Be Himself Without Restraint

February 24, 2011 by Kevin Fiddler · Leave a Comment 

Carlos Zambrano has been to the mountaintop and back. He has braved the treacherous climb, studied with the celebrated Dharma bums in the Himalayas, found inner peace with the spirit of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and even spent a few months in the swamps of Dagobah under Jedi master Yoda. He is ready. Of course, Luke Skywalker also thought he was ready and then hurried off only to have his hand cut off by his asthma-bound father Darth Vader at Cloud City. While I’m pretty sure Zambrano’s appendages are safe, he still controls much of the Chicago Cubs’ density—I mean, destiny—this season. Sure, he may ...

Adam Wainwright Injured: Who Is Now the Favorite in the NL Central?

February 24, 2011 by Trevor Lowry · Leave a Comment 

With Adam Wainwright going down, the St. Louis Cardinals are no longer the favorite in the National League Central Division.Wainwright has made a Cy Young case in his last two seasons, with a combined 39 wins. Without Adam, the Cardinals' team is just not the same. With this said, there is a new favorite team to win the NL Central. This team is the Chicago Cubs.Before anyone starts questioning the Cubs right off the bat, listen to what they have going for them in the 2011 season. Begin Slideshow

Chicago Cubs 3B Aramis Ramirez Is the Key To 2011 Success

February 22, 2011 by Charlie Weinman · Leave a Comment 

After two consecutive seasons of disappointment, the 2011 Chicago Cubs have a different look going into Opening Day. Derrek Lee is no longer starting at first base; his position now belongs to Carlos Pena. Ted Lilly is no longer in the rotation; he has been replaced by Matt Garza. Sweet Lou is no longer managing the Northsiders; Mike Quade is now the skipper. These three changes are all going to play important roles in the Cubbies' new season, but the key player to watch this season is the long-serving Cubs' third baseman, Aramis Ramirez. Aramis Ramirez joined the Cubs in the middle of ...

Albert Pujols The Next Alfonso Soriano? Cubs Prepare To Dish Out Maximum Funds

February 21, 2011 by Steven Elonich · Leave a Comment 

Chicago is spinning with excitement for next off-season, and they haven't even been eliminated yet. Albert Pujols will become a free agent after the conclusion of this season, and some clubs have the rival right in their cross hairs. The Cardinals were unable to strike a deal with their current face of the organization and will now have to compete for his work. Pujols was reportedly seeking a 10-year, 300-million dollar contract and the Cardinals were unwilling to match it. Should the Cubs do what the Cardinals didn't? Think back a few years, Cub fans. Does this ring a bell? Middle-aged ...

Mike Quade Sets the Tone for Cubs by Naming Ryan Dempster Opening Day Starter

February 21, 2011 by Bob Warja · Leave a Comment 

Ryan Dempster, who is no more than a number two or three on most contending teams, will be the Cubs opening day starter on April 1st at home against the Pittsburgh Pirates. No, this is not an April Fool's joke. In truth, this decision by Mike Quade is less of an endorsement for Dempster as a true number one than it is recognition of the fact that the starter with the most talent is a head case. Still, it is fitting that the manager the Cubs decided to hire, Quade, would tab another good guy and  consistent performer in Dempster. They both may ...

Does Albert Pujols Project To Be Major League Baseball’s Best Hitter Ever?

February 21, 2011 by David Rush · Leave a Comment 

St. Louis muscleman Albert Pujols has done a pretty good job of imprinting himself on Major League Baseball's collective consciousness these past several months as followers of the grand old game have been compelled to consider a radical change of venue for the stand-out Cardinal first baseman.  The numbers being bandied about are pretty heady, as Pujols, at least for now, seems intent on becoming the games highest paid player — something in the area of $25-30 million per year with the only possible harbinger being there are but a handful of clubs who could possibly consider crunching that number. ...

Albert Pujols MLB Rumors: What The Chicago Cubs Can Learn From Theo Epstein

February 21, 2011 by Matt Trueblood · Leave a Comment 

Boston Red Sox GM Theo Epstein made a remark late last week that likely drew less attention than it deserved, especially as the world gears up for Albert Pujols to hit free agency after the 2011 season. In discussing the tactics that helped Boston sign free-agent Carl Crawford in December—despite rumors that Crawford would go to the Angels—Epstein mentioned that Boston scouted Crawford exhaustively throughout "the last three, four months of the season at the ballpark, away from the ballpark."That is a significant thing to admit, and although I confess to a lack of intimate knowledge about the behind-the-scenes world of ...

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