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Cubs Spring Training 2014: Daily Updates, Scores, News and Analysis

February 28, 2014 by R. Cory Smith · Leave a Comment 

Following a 66-96 season, the Chicago Cubs are in desperate need of a turnaround season. But in the middle of a deep division that includes the St. Louis Cardinals, Pittsburgh Pirates and Cincinnati Reds, the Cubs have a ridiculously tough road to hoe. Chicago has a plethora of young talent like Anthony Rizzo, Darwin Barney and Starlin Castro hoping to erase the memories of last year's failure. For that reason in particular, the Cubs have a glimmer of hope heading into spring training. Though Jeff Samardzija avoided arbitration during the offseason, the 29-year-old ace for the Cubs knows his time might be limited, ...

Top 5 Things Chicago Cubs Fans Want to See This Spring Training

February 21, 2014 by Jacob Kornhauser · Leave a Comment 

Spring training is like a great awakening across Arizona and Florida as teams build hope and expectations for the year to come. Luckily, the Cubs aren't trying to fool anyone into thinking they'll contend this year.  However, for Cubs fans, there are still several things to look forward to this spring training. This is such a vital development time for young and talented players, something the Cubs have a lot of, and to see that development firsthand is pretty exciting.  Everyone has their own opinion of what they are most looking forward to in spring training whether it be position battles, talented ...

Will Javier Baez-Kris Bryant-Albert Almora Trio Pull the Cubs out of Dark Age?

February 21, 2014 by Mike Rosenbaum · Leave a Comment 

The last half-decade has been rough for the Chicago Cubs. The franchise owns a 356-453 overall record since its last playoff berth in 2008, recording only one winning season (2009) during that span. And if that wasn’t bad enough, the Cubs are coming off back-to-back dismal seasons in which they combined for 197 losses. However, help is on the way. If you’ve seen my top 100 prospects and farm system rankings for 2014, then you probably already know that the Cubs’ collection of prospects is among the best in baseball. Specifically, the organization placed seven players in the top 100, with three ranking ...

Which Aspects Must Starlin Castro Improve Upon in 2014?

February 16, 2014 by Jason S. Parini · Leave a Comment 

After two consecutive All-Star seasons, Starlin Castro's production drastically decreased in 2013. Because of his struggles, Castro has been the topic of much criticism of late. Though he is signed through 2019 with a team option in 2020, Castro's future with the Cubs may be in jeopardy due to the team's arsenal of young infielders in the minors. Ranked as the No. 7 overall prospect for 2014 by MLB.com, shortstop Javier Baez could overtake Starlin Castro's job in the future. However, Castro's future lies in his own hands. As Phil Rogers of MLB.com reported on Thursday, Castro's job is safe while the team develops ...

Chicago Cubs: 5 Potential Breakout Stars to Watch in Spring Training

February 15, 2014 by Jacob Kornhauser · Leave a Comment 

Every spring training defined storylines are set. However, as it progresses, some unexpected developments take place and change everything fans had assumed. Breakout stars emerge and other “sure things” disappoint. This year will be no different, and the Cubs have as much uncertainty at the major league level as any team in baseball. That’s why this spring training could be so interesting for the North Siders. Some unexpected contributors could crack the Opening Day roster and some role players could end up with bigger roles than expected. While there are plenty of moving pieces as the Cubs try to figure out their ...

Cubs Players on Roster Bubble Who Will Have a Tough Time Making the Cut

February 15, 2014 by John Altamura · Leave a Comment 

The 2014 Chicago Cubs broke camp in Mesa, Ariz. this week with several unanswered questions in regard to their final 25-man roster. There are several position battles which will involve players who are on the cusp of making the major league squad.  Which players currently on the roster bubble are going to have a tough time making the team? Let's take a few moments to examine the players that project to be locks to make the team.  Starting Pitchers: (Spots 1-4)  2013 Stats W L ERA GS IP H BB SO Jeff Samardzija 8 13 4.34 33 213.2 210 78 214 Travis Wood 9 12 3.11 32 200.0 163 66 144 Edwin Jackson 8 18 4.98 31 175.1 197 59 135 Jason Hammel 7 8 4.97 23 139.1 155 48 96 The first four roster spots will be allocated to the rotation. Samardzija, Wood and Jackson are no-brainers. Hammel ...

What Must Happen for the 2014 Cubs Season to Be Deemed a Success?

February 13, 2014 by Jason S. Parini · Leave a Comment 

Despite the foot of snow blanketing the ground in Chicago, Cubs season is officially upon us. Pitchers and catchers formally report on Thursday, and there will be much activity from the start. Many pitchers will be vying for a spot on the roster, including Jake Arrieta and Jason Hammel. After losing 197 games combined in the last two seasons, the Cubs must begin to make improvements. However, with a very young team and an emphasis on patience for development, the Cubs are not expected to go from last to contender anytime soon. So what must the Cubs do in order for 2014 ...

Chicago Cubs Hitting Prospects and Their MLB Comparisons

February 11, 2014 by Jacob Kornhauser · Leave a Comment 

Whenever prospects get hyped up enough without reaching their ceiling or realizing their potential yet, people will want to compare them to current or former major league players. While it’s not an exact science, having someone who is in the middle of or has completed their MLB career as a comparison can sometimes give fans a better idea of the type of player that prospect may become. Before getting into the current and former players the Chicago Cubs’ plethora of hitting talent resembles, it’s important to remember that just because they are similar to a player doesn’t mean their careers will ...

Complete Chicago Cubs 2014 Spring Training Preview

February 10, 2014 by Joel Reuter · Leave a Comment 

The Chicago Cubs are set to kick off year three of their rebuilding efforts under Theo Epstein and Co., and while it could be another long season on the North Side, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. The team has stockpiled one of the best farm systems in all of baseball, and 2015 has been pointed to as a potential turning point for the franchise for several years now. That will all hinge on the continued development of prized prospects Javier Baez, Kris Bryant, Albert Almora, Jorge Soler and others, however. In the meantime, the team will continue ...

Chicago Cubs’ Top 10 Prospects Heading into Spring Training

February 8, 2014 by Jacob Kornhauser · Leave a Comment 

In the recently released list of top farm systems in baseball by Keith Law (subscription required) the Cubs check in at No. 4. This high ranking is indicative of the hard work President Theo Epstein and general manager Jed Hoyer have put into the extensive rebuild. While a top farm system certainly doesn't ensure a top major league team, the Cubs are certainly headed in the right direction. That direction won't necessarily be forward until at least 2015, but it doesn't hurt to look at the players likely to contribute to future success in Chicago. Many top prospects are more popular in ...

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