Cubs Den Staff 2013 Season Predictions

With Opening Day right around the corner we thought it’d be fun to give you our predictions for the 2013 season.  We came up with 10 questions for the season.

Too bad we didn’t have a category for first new injury because it appears that is Darwin Barney, who will miss Opening Day after slamming his knee against a concrete slab while chasing a pop fly.  He will require 5 stitches and may go on the DL — primarily because the Cubs aren’t sure the injury can heal while he plays.  Knowing the way Barney approaches the game, I think it’s a safe bet that they need to keep him off the field.

Anyway, here are our answers…

1. What will the Cubs record be?

  • Fels: 75-87
  • Tom: 79-83
  • John: 77-84

2. Which Cub or Cubs will be All-Stars?

  • Fels: Samardzija, Soriano, Castro
  • Tom: Anthony Rizzo, Starlin Castro
  • John: Starlin Castro, Anthony Rizzo

3. Who will be the first veteran traded?

  • Fels: Carlos Villanueva
  • Tom: David DeJesus
  • John: David DeJesus

4. Which Cubs will win a Gold Glove?

  • Fels: Anthony Rizzo
  • Tom: Darwin Barney
  • John: Darwin Barney, Anthony Rizzo.  I also think Travis Wood can be a top fielder but doesn’t have the rep to win the award.

5. Who will be the Cubs surprise/breakthrough player?

  • Fels: Welington Castillo
  • Tom: Rizzo will establish himself as a bona fide slugger, also could see Junior Lake making an impact later in year.
  • John: Nate Schierholtz. I think the Cubs will put him in a position to succeed and he’ll put up career numbers.

6. Who will be the Cubs surprise/breakthrough pitcher?

  • Fels: Matt Garza
  • Tom: Carlos Villanueva will prove to be dependable, but Chris Rusin could make impact out of the pen.
  • John: Travis Wood
7. Who will be the Cubs top rookie?
  • Fels: Umm…..Hopefully Brett Jackson
  • Tom: Junior Lake
  • John: Brett Jackson, but a bullpen arm may get the chance to come up sooner and make a bigger impact this season.

8. Who will be the Cubs core players by the end of the season?

  • Fels: Rizzo, Castro, Shark,Castillo and Vizcaino
  • Tom: Rizzo, Samardzija, Castro, Barney, B Jackson
  • John: Castro, Rizzo, Samardzija, Barney, Castillo, Travis Wood may establish himself as a low cost #4 SP, Mike Olt (fingers crossed)

9. What is one improvement you’d most like to see the Cubs make?

  • Fels: Cubs sign deal with Half-Acre Brewery to sell beer at Wrigley. Oh and Epstoyer acquires more power for the Cubs lineup.
  • Tom: Starting pitching keeping team in games
  • John: I’d like to see them improve their ABs, especially the core players.  Grind out ABs, better OBP, and run up pitch counts.

10. Which prospect(s) are you most excited to see?

  • Fels: Dan Voglebach.  But this year……At Wrigley?…hmm….Trey McNutt
  • Tom: This year maybe Arodys Vizcaino
  • John: As far as literally seeing them, I’m excited about seeing Albert Almora at Kane. In the majors, I’m most excited to see Vizcaino.

What are your predictions???

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  • I am downgrading my record prediction to 74-75. I think the setbacks with Baker and Garza have cost them a couple wins.

    I also think Shark and Schierholtz will break out. Fangraph's 2013 bold predictions has been all about Shark. He is going to be a fringe ace.

    I also make a bold prediction and say that Logan Watkins comes up and plays solid defense at nearly every position and is the most productive rookie.

  • In reply to Mitchener:

    I almost picked Watkins too.

  • Win 75, trade Garza and have a good prospect on team by Aug. 1

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    I could live with that.

  • 1. 71-91
    2. Starlin Castro
    3. Carlos Marmol if he's not a disaster; otherwise, DDJ.
    4. (going out on a limb here) Barney
    5. Big years from Rizzo and Castro (800+ OPS/500+ SLG); Vizcaino and Castillo will post OPSs in the mid 700's, which will surprise some people. Agree with John's Schierholtz prediction. Sappelt may surprise some people who don't expect much from him.
    6. No major *good* surprises in rotation (Villanueva will be okay); Fujikawa will be good; Rondon will be surprisingly good for a Rule V pick; bullpen overall greatly improved compared to last year.
    7. Fujikawa will be top rookie; I don't see any significant hitters as rookies, other than Jackson--and his bum shoulder could yet derail his 2013 season. Dolis might be okay in second half if they leave him alone at Iowa in the first half.
    8. Castro, Rizzo, Samardzija, B.Jackson (if healthy), Barney (sort of); if you count relievers, then Fujikawa, Bowden and Rondon; plus any good young guys they bring back in trades--could be one or two... I don't expect anything positive at MLB level from Vizcaino this year, or really until late 2014.
    9. Team OBP.
    10. Fujikawa, Rondon and Jackson at MLB level. In minors, it's the underdogs like Saunders, Andreoli, Rogers, Wang, del Valle, Antigua, Jokisch, etc., that I'm excited to follow--along with the elite guys of course. Also intrigued by Paniagua.

  • In reply to SVAZCUB:

    I guess we all didn't consider Fujikawa as a rookie, even though he obviously is in the MLB sense. I would have to say he's probably the best choice.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Oops, meant to say Valbuena, not Vizcaino under #5.

  • 69-93

    With Garza (and Baker) sidelined, I'm afraid they'll start off slowly. Then I think they will sell off in July and give up several wins in the process.

  • In reply to MrBillySir:

    Something like that sounds very plausible to me too.

  • In reply to MrBillySir:

    I'm thinking along those same lines MrBilly - No better than 70-75 wins after a fairly slow start, and a mid-season set of veterans traded.

    I would be shocked to see Hariston, DeJesus (although I like the guy), Garza (if not signed to a team friendly extension), and Stewart still with the Cubs come August. Others could be moved as well - including Marmol if he is fairly consistent and a playoff contender needs a set-up/closer guy.

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    1. 60-102

    2. Castro. Shark will deserve it but get snubbed.

    3. Garza

    4. N/A

    5. N/A

    6. Feldman

    7. N/A

    8. Rizzo/Castro/Shark

    9. hit the ball with the bat

    10. The question doesn't specify playing in the MLB so I'll go Baez, with Almora, Soler, Vogelbach hot on his heels.

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    I actually think the Cubs will surpass expectations on offense. Granted, those expectations aren't all that high.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    I'm expecting Epstein to find some teams for Soriano/DeJesus after a bad start puts the ki-bosh on being "in it" at the deadline.

    I'm also knida anticipating a sophomore slump from Rizzo. (nothing Hosmer-esque, just some struggles, and on a team with as few bats as we have, it'll ju make bad worse)

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    I consider my 77 win season somewhat pessimistic in the sense that the Cubs will surprise just enough to miss out on getting a top draft pick. I'll be okay with it if it's progress by core players but they really need to keep adding impact talent through the draft.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    OH, and I should also mention that I would've projested higher but with Baker and Garza battling i juries, I no longer have super-high hopes the rotation can save us.

    I read a projection somewhere the other day that worst case scenario was Shark needing something that rhymed with "Shmommy-Shmon".
    I nearly fainted thinking about it. The wheels would come completely off that wagon.

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    I think the argument for a sub 70 win season is probably the most realistic, even if the team stays healthy. But I have a weird feeling they'll play over their heads before the break and then won't fall far enough to win less than 70.

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    That's pretty pessimistic. I haven't seen any projections that low. Even last years team had a 65-97 win Pythagorean.

    IMO if the team loses 100 games again the front office is going to get a lot of heat even in a rebuild.

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    76-86. I think this team will have a chance at an okay record, but I feel like 2-3 guys helping them win will be unloaded at the trade deadline and we will see a bad August record. Unless of course Lake, Watkins, Jackson, etc come up then and help the team.

  • In reply to Bill Newton:

    I can picture that scenario as well.

  • 1. 55-107
    2. Starlin Castro
    3. David DeJesus
    4. None
    5. Welington Castillo
    6. Nobody
    7. Nobody
    8. Rizzo, Castro
    9. Develop or trade for a core starting pitcher
    10. Arodys Vizcaino

  • In reply to Jimmy Greenfield:

    Ouch! 55 wins? That's going to be a painful year. I'd be very, very happy if #9 happened.

  • If its for a short while bring up Logan or a wavier claim

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    I think it will be short and you can make an argument for calling up Watkins as long as you plan on sending him down again once Barney is healthy.

  • I don't recognize too many of the names here, but after 68 year of disappointment I expect very little from this roster. If they finish 10 under .500 I'd call it a success.

  • In reply to BLOOMIE1937:

    I agree.

  • Wins are what its all about, I want to see lots of improvement
    in the all around play of their game. Have the young core
    players improve their game for the future.

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    Bring in some power, make the season interesting.

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    In reply to Dave Noel:

    From where? Where is this phantom power coming from?

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    Would have to come from within and from multiple sources. An extra 5 from Castro, Maybe 15 total from Castillo. Schierholtz/Hairston will upgrade the power in RF. There are a lot of sources to add power, actually.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    well, my comment was more concerning the that he said "bring in" some power. I assumed he meant from the open market.

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    If by open market, you include trades, then it's quite possible for the Cubs to "bring in" some power. There is a possibility the Cubs could trade for a 3B with power. From within, Jackson provides the greatest likelihood of adding power to the line-up. Best case scenario, Jackson figures it out and becomes a 20 HR CFer. That would be a big improvement over what DeJesus would give you.

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    In reply to Quedub:

    Any trades the Cubs would involve in would likely be for prospects, which does not translate to an increase in power on the major league team.

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    He wanted the Cubs to "bring in" some power. I agree it is likely that many of the players acquired wouldn't be added to the 25-man roster, but it doesn't mean it can't happen. It's possible to acquire a young AAA 3B who is blocked at the major league level and would be an improvement in the power department. Someone the Cubs have been previously rumored to be after. From the Rangers organization. Mentioned in the article above. Hmm, who could that be?

    And there are lots of other possibilities that he might like to see join the Cubs via trade who are already at the major league level or ready to join blocked or not. Nolan Arenado will be in AAA this season. Anthony Rendon is blocked and could very well see time in AAA this season. It's debatable whether he would see the bigs this season, though. Jedd Gyorko would provide power. And this doesn't even cover the possible trades the Cubs could make for established major leaguers. Giancarlo Stanton? Chase Headley?

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    In reply to Quedub:

    Olt would spend the year at AAA even if we acquired him today. Brendon too.

    To the best of my knowledge, the Cubs aren't interested in Headley. And the Marlins are looking for a handful of blue-chip prospects for Stanton (as well they should). The Cubs only have a few prospects that rate that high and they're not letting them go.

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    I am sticking with 73 wins. I think the addition of Jackson and more rotational depth, along with good platoon guys like Schierholtz and Hairston should make the team 12 wins better. 73 wins should still secure the Cubs a guaranteed top-10 pick (9 teams, including the Cubs had records equal to or less than 73 wins), if the current top-10 picks are signed this year.

  • 1. 71-91
    2. Samardzija, Castro,
    3. Marmol
    4. None
    5. Scheirholtz
    6. Samardzija(again)
    7. Christian Villeneueva
    8. Samardzija, Rizzo, Castro, Castillo, Schierholtz
    9. See John above
    10. Villaneueva

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    John, which ex-Cub is the better player right now - Sam Fuld or Tony Campana? Paul Maholm or Ryan Dempster?

  • In reply to Jim Pedigo:

    Fuld is better than Campana, though both are fringe players. I think Dempster is the better pitcher overall but I think Maholm will have the better year.

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    1. 63 wins. 2. Castro. 3. DeJesus. 4. No Gold Gloves. 5. Schierholtz. 6. Villanueva. 7. Jackson. 8. Castro. 9. Win more games. 10. None.

  • #1......88 - 74 (Wild Card)

    #2......Castro , W. Castillo



    #5.....Junior Lake


    #7.....Junior Lake

    #8......Those who are not traded by end of July

    #9......Announce they will move out of Wrigleyville into a new stadium by 2019 & have their own TV Network.

    #10......Those coming in trades in July.

    Cubs lost 58 games from pitchers who are not with this team this 30 of those games this year, which is not asking too much, and T Woods have a good year, we can reach around 88 wins or maybe more.

    Cardinals are not that good....Dusty will blow out the Reds arms....his job is on the line and will panic.....forget the Brewers and Pirates......we might be a Wild Card team this year.

  • In reply to CubsTalk:

    I like your optimism,... wish I shared it. Woudn't hurt my feelings to see you are mostly on the mark though.

  • Lets also hope that Lake and Logan are ready by Aug. 1
    if not sooner

  • If we don't trade away the team, 80 wins. With expected trades 70 wins. I think the Cubs will surprise a few teams and I expect a near .500 record at the trade deadline. Look for JS to have a breakout year along with Castro. Rizzo will be solid but next year is his breakout. I think a player at AAA will come up in May/June and surprise. (I am thinking Rusin)

  • Wow. A lot of love from the staff on predictions. If they win 75 Theo, Jed and Sveum need to win awards.

    70 is realistic. Garza and Baker are huge question marks. Barney is already going to miss 2 weeks meaning Valbuena and Lillibridge are going to be half of our infield.

    Samardjiza has promise for sure, but lets not expect him to be more than he can be.

    I agree with John on Travis Wood. He is only 25/26 this year and could take another step and ultimately be a solid 4 starter.

    Holding out for Brett JAckson as well.

  • 1. What will the Cubs record be?

    72-90 (5th pick in the draft)

    2. Which Cub or Cubs will be All-Stars?


    3. Who will be the first veteran traded?


    4. Which Cubs will win a Gold Glove?


    5. Who will be the Cubs surprise/breakthrough player?


    6. Who will be the Cubs surprise/breakthrough pitcher?


    7. Who will be the Cubs top rookie?

    Technically, Fujikawa. Otherwise, Jackson.

    8. Who will be the Cubs core players by the end of the season?

    Castro, Rizzo, Samardzija, Wood. We won't see enough from Vizcaino as a starter to consider him core for sure, but we will be optimistic that he will become that in 2014.

    9. What is one improvement you'd most like to see the Cubs make?

    I'd really like to see the improvements to Wrigley get approved. As far as on the field, I'd like to see improved starting pitching and higher OBP.

    10. Which prospect(s) are you most excited to see?

    At Wrigley, Brett Jackson and Arodys Vizcaino.

    Overall, the list is long. I'm a prospect-o-phile so Baez, Soler, Almora, Vogelbach, Underwood, Lake, Alcantara, Maples, Candelario, Amaya, Blackburn, Paniagua, and Scott.

    And by see, I mean follow and see how they do. Little different than the question asked, I guess...

  • I think all the predictions in the proe
    Jettison range we've seen are optimistic. All of the projections put out by FanGraphs and the like assume that the team will stay intact all year, correct?

    Theo himself has said if they're out of it, they'll ship out players. By July, Garza, Soriano, Marmol and DeJesus will almost surely be gone. And they could lose another starting pitcher too.

    I'll say 70 wins, after the front office (correctly) eviscerates this team at the deadline.

  • In reply to TulaneCubs:

    Marmol, Garza, and Dejesus will likely be traded. I think 2 of 3 replacements will be ok. Jackson could be an upgrade and really marmol isn't that great anyways. Garzas replacement might be a big downgrade.

    Soriano is still a big question mark. I wouldn't hold my breath, he seems comfortable playing for rebuilding team.

  • Yeah Im not sure what possessed me to say 79 wins, I think 74 is more realistic but just call it a hunch they have some break out years from younger players.

  • 1. 75 wins
    2. Rizzo, Castro, E. Jackson
    4. Barney, Rizzo
    5. W. Castillo
    6. Rondon
    7.B. Jackson
    8. Samardzija, E. Jackson, Castro, Barney, Rizzo, Castillo, Russell
    9 the playoffs
    10. Watkins, B. Jackson, J. Lake, A. Cabrera and McNutt with Cubs and Vogelbach at Kane County

  • Predictions, hmmmm… flirting with .500 till the break. Soriano wont want to leave. Several trades nearing the deadline. DeJesus first. Maybe for the Competitive balance pick of some contender would be nice. Castro's the all-star. No Gold glover this year. Wood and Castillo add themselves to the core. Marmol does the Jekkyl/Hyde thing again this year so we can't get anything good for him before the deadline. Best rookie under 30 will be called up due to injury. Hope it's BJax. Cubs will have at least 10 prospects in the top 100 this time next year. I'm excited to see how all of them perform.

  • This year:

    3 home games Rangers and Astros
    2 home games and 2 road games with Angles
    3 road games with Oakland
    3 road games with Mariners

  • fb_avatar

    1) Record - 76-86

    2) All-Stars - Jeff Samardzija, Starlin Castro, and Anthony Rizzo (mainly because the NL 1B field is lacking and Rizzo is prime to break-out)

    3) 1st veteran traded - Carlos Marmol

    4) Gold Gloves - Darwin Barney, Rizzo, Castro (sleeper)

    5) Surprise/Breakthrough Player- Welington Castillo

    6) Surprise/Breakthrough Pitcher - Travis Wood

    7) Rookie - Junior Lake

    8) Core - Rizzo, Castro, Samardzija, Castillo, Kyuji Fujikawa

    9) Improvement - Improve starting pitching. Go after Bud Norris if and when the Astros make him available. He is entering his prime years and could make that big jump this year. He also has two cost-controlled years of service. Dan Voglebach is obviously a DH and with the Astros now in the AL and not in our division anymore everyone can be happy. This trade will give the Cubs a potential #2 or #3 starter and the Astros get a slugger they so desperately need. And if we have to include Barney then so be it (see below).

    10) Most excited prospect to succeed - Anyone of the 2B prospects to really excel or transition Javier Baez to 2B and he would be the guy I'm most excited about (which he really is anyway but I'm working a theory). I feel if someone like a Logan Watkins makes a huge leap then Darwin Barney becomes expendable. Trading him now while his value is high would benefit the Cubs greatly. Barney's value is suspectible to slip even if he makes just a few errors because he can't hit. Even something small like 5 errors would highly dimish his value. Now if the Cubs move Baez to 2B then I could care less if the other 2B progress greatly. Getting a slugging 3B in the draft or trade would be easier than finding a slugging 2B or maybe even Junior Lake plays out of his mind in a call-up assignment.

  • In reply to Kenny Dangerous:

    If Vogelbomb lives up to his potential, I don't want a stiff like Bud Norris. I want a David Price. Otherwise, we keep him. Power like that is hard to replace.

  • fb_avatar

    I think our luck is improving.

    If Barney had slid into the wall when Hendry was GM, it would have been Bill Mueller all over again.

  • 1. 80-82. I think this is a team that can hover around .500 this year. If you do that, all it takes is a 7 out of 10 stretch in mid to late September and you're the wild card. Right? I will say this though...I won't be shocked if they're 70-92 either.

    2. All Stars: Castro, Soriano. Rizzo has a shot. Samardzija has a shot. Fujikawa has an outside shot at an all star game too if he has a great first half and is getting hyped as a "sensation".

    3. Veteran Traded: David DeJesus. I would hate to see him go but he certainly could help a team for "cheap" down the stretch a la Reed Johnson.

    4. Gold Glove: Barney. Rizzo has the skill set to win one. If the Nats are good again it'll be hard to wrest the trophy from LaRoche, especially if he puts up 30/100. Rizzo 2014!

    5. Surprise: Luis Valbuena. I think there's a chance he takes his opportunity and runs with it and has a fine little year. Not out of the realm of possibility for him to hit .276 with fifteen bombs and really good defense. I think that would qualify as a pleasant surprise to everyone.
    Breakout: Nate Shierholtz. Don't sleep on him flirting with .300 with 15 bombs and good defense. He's a good player. Another guy with an opportunity.

    6. Surprise: Hector Rondon. He's had a really nice spring and he likely won't pitch a lot of innings in the early going, thus keeping his arm relatively fresh. Another opportunity guy. This is his big shot and if he can go out there and throw strikes he's capable of having a nice year. Sometimes guys blow their first shot by walking guys like Rafael Dolis. Throw strikes, Hector. Nobody's expecting much out of you!
    Breakthrough: Edwin Jackson. He's got really good stuff and I'm hoping he "figures it out" and has his best season to date. How about 210 innings, 190 strikeouts, and a 3.65 ERA?? That's not unreasonable. He's capable of even better than that though. That's the scary part. One time, EJ! Step up, Man!

    7. Top Rookie: Official answer is Fujikawa. I like his chances of having a really good year and turning into a free agent gem. No guarantees in a bullpen...but I like his chances.
    Real answer...Brett Jackson. I like everything about the guy except one thing. Strikeouts obviously. You know what though? How many guys out there do you like everything about? There are lots of guys who we dislike more than one thing about too! The guy's a good baseball player who will help a major league team win baseball games for a decade or so. He's a hard worker who'll make enough adjustments to have a career.

    8. Core: Castro, Rizzo, Barney, Castillo (hopefully), Samardzija, E Jackson. Fujikawa and B Jackson too provided they have good seasons. If Brett Jackson is our 4th outfielder of the future then we're in good shape.

    9. Improvements: Walk fewer guys and draw more walks.

    10. Most excited to see Junior Lake. Vizcaino as well. Sleeper: Jorge Soler. Probably not but don't sleep on him getting a September call up if he's having a big year. He looks like the kind of guy that has big years. DEEP Sleeper: Mark Appel/Johnathan Gray. Again, deep sleeper. BUT if the Cubs somehow find themselves in a pennant race in September it never hurts to have a guy come in and throw 100 for 20 pitches or so in the cold weather. That's happened before.

    Best blog in the world. Go Cubs! Enjoy the Holiday weekend everyone!

  • In reply to Ben20:

    I think Fuji will be a big surprise, at least for the first time thru the league. Throws a little harder than Nomo or Sasake did, seems to have fairly good control.

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    1) 68-94 -- the selloff at the trade deadline will cut deep.
    2) Samardzija (NL Starter), Castro
    3) DDJ
    4) No one
    5) Dioner Navarro (surprise -- will earn a starting job on a another team at trade deadline)
    6) Samardzija -- finishes second to Kershaw in NL Cy Young
    7) Brett Jackson
    8) Castro, Rizzo, Samardzija, Appel, Jackson, Castillo (I came very close to leaving Rizzo off)
    9) I'd like to see PPPA increase throughout the system.
    10) Junior Lake and Vizcaino

  • 1 - 70-92
    2 - Starlin Castro, Jeff Samardzija
    3 - David DeJesus
    4 - Darwin Barney
    5 - Nate Schierholtz
    6 - Travis Wood
    7 - Kuji Fujikawa (he does count as a rookie) or maybe Hector Rondon.
    8 - Castro, Samardzija, Rizzo, Travis Wood, Castillo.
    9 - Improvement on obp and better at bats and more young impact starters.
    10 - I'm excited to see Soler and Baez at Daytona, but in the majors, Vizcaino.

    Good article, guys.

  • Very fun reading everyone's predictions. Thanks for chiming in!

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    As long as we see improvement in both our 3 current core guys (Castro, Samardzija, and Rizzo) and our upper tier prospects, trade away several of these veteran place holders for more prospects, AND still lose 95-102 games... I'll be happy.

    We won't contend in 2013, so therefore ~100 losses is greater than ~85 losses in the grand scheme of it all.

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    Happy Easter all my Cub brethren.

    1. Cubs Record: 73-89
    2. All Stars: Castro, Samardzija
    3. Veteran Traded: I think DDJ could be the first position player off the board but will sure miss him. I hope Garza (but I'll believe it when I see it) is the first pitcher traded but he must return to health and then we might receive some value for him.
    4. Gold Glove: Hope for Barney to repeat.
    5. Surprise/Break Through Player: I would love to see Rizzo gain lots of confidence and continue to be an annual All Star.
    6. Surprise/Break Through Pitcher: I would also like to see Vizcaino come up for the last 2 months and dominate.
    7. Top Rookie: Yes I must agree that I think Fugikawa will be our official ROY but that is pretty boring. Who might be our young player to be the sparkle of our eye for the second half of the season? We all hope Jackson shows enough to be a complement for years to come but I hope we see super sub Logan Watkins come up and flash that OBP and become a real pain to other teams.
    8. Core Players: Castro, Rizzo, Castillo, Samardzija, Baker (I can wish, right?), Appel and Olt (I'll hope with you John).
    9. Improvements: Fill the coffers with pitchers and hitters who can give us some hope. Can't remember being so unexcited for a season to start.
    10. Most excited to see: Who will we draft with that 2nd pick? I keep going back and forth between hitter and pitcher but hope this one will not disappoint like Mark Pryor. Minnesota Twins were right to pick the catcher.

    Enjoyed this article John, Tom, Fellz. It's fun to take a moment and put some thoughts together. Go Cubs. Look forward to seeing these surprises develop this year.

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    John. Over/Under for you about Starlin Castro:
    O/U 20 Home Runs
    O/U 300 Batting Average
    O/U 350 On Base %

  • I lean into the 75 win category, and I wouldn't be surprised if the Cubs start slowly an d improve as the year goes on. Im not sold yet on Villanueva, Wood and Feldman as starters. Castro and Rizzo will be the top hitters, I still wouldn't be surrpsied if Sori puts up a 25/90 yr if he gets 500 abs. Hairston/Nate S , about a .260BA 20hr/80rbi combined. Dejesus the first vet to get traded.

  • I'm leaning towards 75-76 wins as well. Castro and Rizzo will be the best hitters. If Garza shows he's healthy and has 8-10 good starts, he will be the traded. However DeJesus will be the first guy traded though

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    1. 75-87
    2. Castro, Rizzo, and Shark
    3. Marmol
    4. Barney and Rizzo
    5. Shierholtz
    6. Travis Wood
    7. Brett Jackson
    8. Castro, Rizzo, Castillo, Samardzija, and BJax
    9. Grind out AB's and improve OBP
    10. Baez and Soler (those are shockers)

    I think this team can surprise some people but they have a tough schedule down the stretch. Theo/Jed are going to have some tough decisions to make if they're close to contending after the All Star break because of the schedule. If they're even a couple games out of the last wild card spot then I would say you have to sell even though you're close. If they're not in it, then sell and that record could get worse, which is ok this year.

  • Wanted to get this on record:
    - Expect continued improvement from Castro, Rizzo, Samardzija
    - Expect regression for Barney, Soriano
    - Expect same old Castillo, Wood, Jackson, DeJesus
    - Expect nothing from Valbuena, Marmol, Feldman, Hairston, Baker
    - Looking for midseason boosts from Vizcaino, Garza, Jackson
    - Except no major trades which land top prospects. Will net only minor returns for Schierholz, Hairston, and Marmol
    - Will finish the season with Soriano and Garza
    - My over/under is 72 wins.

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