Archive for 2017

Should Kris Bryant hit leadoff in 2018?

Should Kris Bryant hit leadoff in 2018?
Last season, Cubs manager Joe Maddon made a bold move with his lineup with established leadoff hitter Dexter Fowler in St. Louis. He hit young slugger Kyle Schwarber leadoff to begin 2017. Schwarber’s mix of power and on base skills (16 homers with a .355 OBP in 69 games his rookie year) made him an... Read more »

Assessing the Competition: The Milwaukee Brewers

Assessing the Competition: The Milwaukee Brewers
In hindsight, the Cubs won the NL Central with far less drama than we probably expected. Personally, I had visions of a race with the Brewers that went right up to the final weekend. Instead, the Cubs clinched in St. Louis almost a week before the close of the regular season, and by then they... Read more »

2017-18 Offseason Cubs Prospect Rankings

2017-18 Offseason Cubs Prospect Rankings
I write this first installment of the Cubs Den Offseason Prospect Rankings series with a heavy heart. John graciously accepted my input over the past three years when compiling these lists and even allowed me to write some of the reports. As Cubs Den expanded and more writers have joined the site, John migrated more... Read more »
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What the Cubs Have in Jose Quintana

What the Cubs Have in Jose Quintana
The starting rotation still feels like there’s a hole to fill, but while we wait to see if the team will address that need this winter or hold off until next July, it’s good to spend a few minutes taking stock of the arm the Cubs acquired this past summer. Jose Quintana, a steady piece... Read more »

Almora vs. Happ: The Eye Test vs. the Metrics

Almora vs. Happ: The Eye Test vs. the Metrics
It was a surprise to many of us — myself included — to see that Ian Happ rated better as a center fielder than Albert Almora, Jr. in many ways last season. Removed from the statistics laid out on the computer screen, I don’t expect that anyone who watched the two play in the outfield... Read more »

Winter Leagues Report: Week 11

Winter Leagues Report: Week 11
Happy Holidays to all! In this past week, the Dominican Winter League finished it’s regular season, with both the Mexican Pacific League and the Venezuelan Winter League entering their last week of regular season play. With teams jockeying for playoffs spots and a chance to represent their country in the Caribbean World Series, some Cubs... Read more »
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Merry Christmas from Cubs Den

Merry Christmas from Cubs Den
Happy Holidays, Denizens. With just over a week left of 2017, we’re taking a couple of days off around Christmas to slow down and reflect a little. It’s been a monumental time for us, not just as site, but as people. We lost not only the founder of Cubs Den, but a friend, mentor, and... Read more »

Small Ways the Cubs Can Improve in 2018: Defense

Small Ways the Cubs Can Improve in 2018: Defense
Previously, I have looked at where the Cubs might improve for 2018 in terms of their pitching and plate discipline, and for the last piece of this mini-puzzle, it’s time to focus on defense. The Cubs were historically good in 2016, so some retreat this season in their defensive performance was inevitable, but they were still... Read more »

If Not Yu, Who?

If Not Yu, Who?
On Monday, I wrongly predicted to a few friends that the Cubs would be announcing their signing of Yu Darvish by the end of the day on Wednesday. Such is the confidence sprung from the front office flying to Texas to meet with him and his sort of cryptic tweet afterward. But the day after... Read more »
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Baseball Biomechanics

Baseball Biomechanics
As the off-season moves away from the winter meetings and the ever-pounding drumbeat of the rumor mill, the thoughts of many turn to preparing for the upcoming 2018 season. When you ask baseball followers about off-season training, it often conjures images of players in endless lines of teammates playing long toss, coaches with a stream... Read more »