Saturday, April 30, 2011

Catching Up After a Week Away

Sorry about the lack of posting on the site all week! Let's jump right in with a little discussion on what is going on in the world of Cubs baseball! Let's break things down into ten important questions for the Cubs to answer if they want to get back on the winning track.

  • Can Ryan Dempster perform as at least a middle of the rotation starter? The Cubs openeing day hurler has pitched poorly in nearly every outing this season. With two starters injured, the other three must step it up. The "ace" of this staff has not being doing that. He hit rock bottom in his last start allowing 7 runs in 1/3 of an inning.

  • Will Starlin Castro and Darwin Barney keep up this pace all season? Right now, the offense is depending on two of its youngest players to shoulder the load. The chances are that the Cubs fine middle infield duo will not be able to carry the team on its own.

  • Will Carlos Pena hit .200 once again?

  • Who is going to hit third? Marlon Byrd did not have a good first month, and he is not really a No. 3 hitter to begin with. The answer to this question seems to be Starlin Castro.

  • Who is going to hit lead-off? Mike Quade continues to shuffle around his lead-off men. Castro, Kosuke, Baker, DeWitt, Barney and Byrd have all seen time in the top spot this season. Could a Brett Jackson call-up be on the horizon?

  • Can starters go deeper into games? The Cubs bullpen has been taxed way too much early in the season. The James Russell rotation plan has failed. The Cubs need to find an arm that can eat some innings until Cashner and Wells return.

  • Will Wells and Cashner give this team a lift? The Cubs are hoping that both guys come back at nearly 100%. They are depending on Cash to prove himself in the rotation and Wells needs to bounce back from his sophomore slump.

  • Can Castro play defense? We know the kid can hit, but he must improve his glovework to help keep this team in some games.

  • Is Q the right guy? So far Mike Quade's managing has been mediocre at best. If the Cubs continue to lose, fans will become more and more vocal about the fact that they would have liked to see Ryne Sandberg get a shot.

  • Is Carlos Marmol the real deal? Going into the season, it seemed like the back end of the bullpen was the strength of this team. But they have already blown several games and have not been as strong and advertised. Hopefully Marmol can fix some of his control issues and pull it together as the closer.

Tomorrow we'll take a look at the good and the bad of the week in Cubs baseball.

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