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Defense Wins Championships

Posted By Paul Jackson On Mar 11 2011 @ 2:02 pm In Chicago Cubs | 2 Comments

As I speak… err, type, the Cubs are getting set to open up the second half of Spring Training facing the South-Siders. I’m left wondering why it is so difficult these days to catch a Spring Training game. There are streams online, video and audio I know, but is it just me or was it way easier ten or fifteen years ago to follow the MLB’s exhibition season? I know it doesn’t really matter; Spring Training, but I’d still enjoy a baseball game this time of year. We’re almost there ya know? Throw us a bone and start Sunday Night Baseball in March.

Thanks for allowing me to rant a little bit. Now I’ll get to the always-scrutinized Chicago Cubs. Not one week into Training and there’s a dugout skirmish caused by Carlos Silva and Aramis Ramirez. A-Ram committed an error in Silva’s first start that saw Carlos giving up two home runs and the Cubs committing four errors. Since Quade pulled a team meeting in the aftermath, the Cubs have been playing better defensively. I’m afraid the inefficiencies on defense are just a few questions of many that will be answered before we see where Chicago ends up in October. Castro is still only 20 years old and struggling with routine throws. Soto can’t seem to throw out a runner (something I saw a lot last year too). Pena and Ramirez are good on the corners, Fukudome and Byrd are solid in the Outfield but Dewitt is average, Colvin is looking better at First Base than he is in Right Field and Soriano is… well, we all know what Soriano can (or cannot) do defensively.

The good news is the Cubs are about as healthy as they can be (knock on wood and pet your rabbit’s foot or bald friend’s head). The two spot in the lineup will belong to Starlin Castro and the four will remain Ramirez’s spot. Marlon Byrd is doing nothing but great things this Spring (batting .650 in the three spot). That leaves leadoff, which will most likely be Fukudome’s spot in the early going as all Cubs fans will tell you he can tear up the baseball in April and May. I see Soriano falling into the five, Pena at six, Soto in the seven hole and Dewitt batting eighth in the lineup.

The team has been hitting well overall, but not for power. Mike Quade is just pleased to be healthy and managing a team who he says has a great work ethic so far this March. I’ll check back in next week with an update on the rotation.

Go Cubs!

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