Road to Opening Day: #4

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The Cubs got destroyed by the Arizona Diamondbacks on Wednesday afternoon because Chris Rusin decided to throw batting practice:

baseballbugsanimated

 

It’s okay, because things happened in the land of roster moves.  Maybe that means Rusin will go somewhere far away and Carlos Villanueva will keep the seat warm for Jake Arrieta.

The Cubs play their last game of the preseason in Cubs Park against the White Sox on Thursday.  It’s an earlier start, 2:05 PM Central, possibly because the Sox have to go somewhere soon after.  The Cubs will end spring training with two exhibitions against the Diamondbacks at Chase Field before flying to Pittsburgh for Opening Day.  The game can be heard on WGN.

Lineup per Carrie Muskat:

SS Bonifacio
RF Kalish
1B Rizzo
DH Olt
CF Sweeney
C Castillo
LF Ruggiano
3B Valbuena
2B Barney

P Wood

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The Big Four Prospects

Or maybe there’s five, depending on where you decide to rank C.J. Edwards and Jorge Soler.  Either way, it’s a fun little problem to have.  Thanks to Theo Epstein and the new Cubs front office, the Cubs farm system has transformed from one of the worst into one of the best in MLB.

Jim Callis heaped some love on the Cubs earlier this winter (will it never end?).  It wasn’t just Jim either, as many experts and baseball publications ranked the Cubs prospects, including Edwards, Soler, Javier Baez, Kris Bryant and Albert Almora, very highly, mostly in the top 50.  We generally agree with these rankings and made up our own.

Of course, all the prospects have stuff to work on.  Edwards showed some nerves (especially since he hasn’t pitched past High-A yet) against major league batters in his start against the Padres.  Both Javier Baez and Kris Bryant, who are considered advanced prospects, have been striking out a ton lately.  I’m not saying that they’ll bust, but there is some development to be done and that’s why we shouldn’t freak out too much that Baez has to start the season at Iowa as expected.

At some point, all franchises must rely on prospects, either as trade currency or as a pipeline of internal talent.  It’s good to know that the Cubs have so much talent now that both avenues are possible.

FOUR more sleeps!

About Rice Cube

Rice Cube is the executive vice president of snark at World Series Dreaming. He loves all things Cubs, with notable exceptions (specifically, the part of Cubs fandom that pisses him off). Follow on Twitter at cubicsnarkonia

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