According to Patrick Mooney, the Cubs are thinking about getting some offensive help for next year.
That could be big on two levels. Firstly, it is time for this rebuild to kick into another gear. The last two years patience has been asked for, and I believe received, from the fan base. If 2014 was another stinker, I think that tide would change.
You get a lot of sunshine here in these parts. However, let’s be honest. This front office is far from infallible. There are many who still want to see what Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer can do without the big market resources they anticipated.
They inherited a mess, and the cupboard was mostly bare. There was one core player they found (Starlin Castro) lying around, and now some around the league think they messed him up.
They quickly added another in Anthony Rizzo. They gave these two core players some financial security almost immediately. Where the front office failed them in my opinion is they have left them exposed to immense expectations.
The secondary benefit of adding offensive help is pointed in the direction of Castro and Rizzo. They are nice players, certainly capable of being all-stars and having an impact on a winning team. However, with the fan base clamoring for something to cling to, too much has been heaped on their young shoulders.
Additions like Shin-Soo Choo could go a long way in protecting the younger players in the line up and taking some of that pressure off.
“We’re going to take a pretty hard look at our offense this offseason, for sure,” general manager Jed Hoyer said. “We have a lot of young offensive talent coming. But we can’t just rely on the young guys. We have to figure out how we can be a more efficient offensive team.”
Most of the Cubs top prospects are right handed hitters. Javier Baez, Jorge Soler, Albert Almora and Kris Bryant could all use some left-handed hitting compliments. Nate Schierholtz has been a nice addition but the Cubs need more. They have yet to throw out a major league third baseman during this regime.
I think the timing is right for the organization to add some insulation into the building for the young kids to benefit from.
"You bring up a guy like Rizzo and bat him third every game as a pro, Castro ever since day one is batting top of the order, I think it's a difficult thing as a young player," Hoyer said Monday. "Your assimilation process is more difficult when you're the guy they're focused on getting out as opposed to hitting seventh in the order.
"Kolten Wong comes up for the Cardinals and he bats seventh and he's a nice player to have, but everyone's focused on other guys. It's a difficult thing for guys to break into a team that doesn't have a lot of offensive depth."
So now the Cubs try and take some pressure off Rizzo by batting him in the two hole last night. He responds with a two home run, three hit night (never mind the TOOTBLAN to end the game). Could you imagine Rizzo and Castro having the security of a line up like the Cardinals to grow and prosper within?
I’m not expecting anything like that for 2014. However, my wife and I spent the month of July getting ready for our newborn. We wanted to make sure the house was ready for her in every way.
Theo and Jed need to make sure their new kids come into a secure environment as well.
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