It’s been a while since any of us really blogged and it’s partly because we’re in a waiting game for the prospects to come up and trades to get done. A good chunk of it is also because the Cubs suck. We know that there have been some injuries to the battery (guys like Carlos Marmol and Geovany Soto are out, as well as Steve Clevenger), the relief corps has been anything but, and Pat Listach keeps sending runners at third base to their doom. What is there to look forward to? Well, glad you asked…
Unfortunately the avoiding-shutout streak was ended by the White Sox and the Cubs were shut out again by the Pirates earlier this weekend. So we don’t have that. But we do have our next foil for a top ten list!
Top Ten List: Ten Silver Linings
10. At least Starlin Castro‘s defense has improved!
There used to be a counter for the number of errors Castro makes, but he hasn’t actually made a recorded miscue in quite a while. In fact, he’s looked much more composed, confident and competent in the field, turning and starting double plays and showing off his range and arm. There were a couple of throws and plays I observed where he did throw the ball away but those were backed up and weren’t scored as errors. I’ve been pleased with the defense lately, for sure.
9. David DeJesus is a decent leadoff hitter.
He makes quite a few first-pitch outs (that annoys the crap out of me) but he does rank in the top 40 of pitches seen per plate appearance. As a leadoff hitter, the goal is to make the pitcher work and allow the team to see all the pitches that the leadoff guy sees, and to get on base. DeJesus is just behind Bryan LaHair for best on-base percentage among Cubs with more than 100 plate appearances. He takes walks, puts the ball in play regularly and gets into deep counts which probably tires and frustrates opposing pitchers. All the TOOTBLANs are annoying, but whatcha gonna do, Dale Sveum wants aggressive baserunning. With a team friendly contract and skills that transcend the dollar amounts, DeJesus should be a healthy trade commodity.
8. Alfonso Soriano is heating up…maybe.
Soriano has started hitting for power right as the league figured out LaHair. If you want him off the team, look forward to Soriano continuing his hot streak so the Cubs can send him to a contender for something…anything…
It’s amazing how much Samardzija doesn’t suck.
6. June 22-ish or interleague play, or whatever the Cubs decide…
5. How well Travis Wood is going to do…
Since everyone’s still annoyed that our bullpen sucks because Sean Marshall is gone, you might as well check in and see how the major trade piece the Cubs got in return does. So far, two solid starts. Not bad for a guy who got shelled in spring training.
4. Tony Campana.
He occasionally does some incredibly stupid shit on the bases, but he is still fun to watch even if we don’t want him in the lineup everyday. Given how crappy the offense is right now, though, why not?
3. The trade deadline.
After the draft, the Cubs are likely going to focus on roster moves and try to move as many of the coveted veterans as they can. Guys like DeJesus, Geovany Soto and even Ryan Dempster (should he decide to waive his no-trade rights) may be saying farewell to Chicago, and it will be fun to see what the Theo Epstein brain trust can get in return.
2. Cheaper tickets.
Since a lot of Cubs fans have tuned out this team already and Wrigley Field looks half empty most of the time, now is a good opportunity for you to go out and take advantage of scalpers. I can’t remember the last time I spent more than $2 for a ticket to a Cubs game this season, but I also have some hookups.
1. The quest for the #1 pick.
Too bad the Minnesota Twins won’t start winning whenever the Cubs lose, but for now Minnesota and Chicago of the North are tied for the worst record in MLB. This means the Twins have the #1 pick and the Cubs #2 for 2013’s amateur draft as Minnesota sucked even worse than the Cubs last year and they hold the tiebreaker. For those of you who care about the White Sox for whatever reason, that’s another reason for you to root for the Twins against the Sox. No offense to any Sox fans reading this; we need that top pick more than you need to barely miss the postseason.