Today's game will give a glimpse of the future, which looks pretty bright right now. Keith Law, Buster Olney, and Jim Bowden of ESPN ranked the Cubs 6th today in their future power ratings. They get high marks for their minor league system, management, finance, and mobility. Only the state of their present team brought them down. There isn't a whole lot to build on, of course.
They're in good company. The teams rated ahead of them are the Cardinals, Rangers, Rays, Nationals, and Yankees. Other rebuilding teams, such as the Astros and Mets are much further behind in the process. In fact, the Cubs are the only true rebuilding team in the top 15. The Red Sox and Diamondbacks are also in the top 15 but they just had one bad season, tough to put them in the same category as the Cubs.
Jon Heyman also raves about Cubs future here.
On with the preview...
Cubs vs. A's today and as usual, the game is scheduled for 2:05 CST. You can hear it on MLB.com.
The Cubs are facing a lefty today in Brett Anderson, so here is the Cubs lineup:
CF Dave Sappelt
2B Darwin Barney
DH Scott Hairston
LF Darnell McDonald
RF Jorge Soler
C Dioner Navarro
SS Javier Baez
1B Brent Lillibridge
3B Junior Lake
Starting Pitcher: Scott Feldman
Scott Feldman has already secured a spot in the rotation to start the season so he's just getting his work in to build up for the season. We can expect a guy who throws strikes and has become better at missing bats.
5 Things to Watch...
- Javier Baez, because you'll never know when he'll do something that will leave you with your mouth agape.
- Jorge Soler (see #1)
- The Cubs have 3 of their most physically gifted players in the lineup today with the 3rd guy being Junior Lake, who I will profile later today.
- Brent Lillibridge at 1B? Keep the throws down today, Junior and Javy. Lillibridge has also worked out at 3B, where I expect he'll get a good amount of playing time if he makes the team.
- Really like seeing Dave Sappelt getting all this time in CF. It seems to indicate a platoon is in the cards in both CF and RF this year.
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