A New Skipper, A Fresh Start, An End To A Curse?

If anyone has to wonder about the excitement I get from spring baseball, here it is:

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That is the scene from our backyard up here in the Great White North.

This is what’s happening now in Arizona:

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I see the difference, do you see the difference?

There’s no other way to describe it. It’s been a long drawn out winter up here. Some have said it’s been the most snow where we live in twenty years. Is this an omen? Perhaps.

There’s a certain excitement this year surrounding the Cubs. More so than any season in a long time. There’s no big free agent signings, no Soriano and most importantly; there’s nothing to lose.

We have a new manager in Rick Reinteria

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and a stable of young players waiting to strut their stuff. This truly is the best part of the season and I’m going to make a bold prediction on the starting lineup.

1. Starlin Castro
2. Luis Valbuena or Mike Olt
3. Nate Schierholtz
4. Anthony Rizzo
5. Junior Lake
6. Wellington Castillo
7. Ryan Sweeney
8. Darwin Barney

Of course this could and will change because nothing is secure at third base. That spot is wide open. We could see Kris Bryant this year. Hell, Albert Almora could see some action. Or, holy crap there’s Jorge Soler.

it’s unbelievable to think of the possibilities that could happen within the Cubs organization. I’m excited to see what the new skipper, Rick Reinteria can do. He’s the complete opposite from the reserved and let’s face it, Dale Sveum always appeared to be hung-over. Not to say I didn’t like him, I thought he did a fantastic job with what he had, but in order to succeed to the next level, the Cubs need a skip that is vocal, fresh and not battle scarred because folks, that’s what will happen in the major leagues.

Rick Reinteria is the man who will lead this franchise back into the post season. Maybe not this year, but I guarantee it will be next year. That’s a promise. Save me a seat behind the dugout, Rick. I’ll be there.

Should Starlin Castro hit lead off? You better believe it. Hitters want to hit. There’s no other way around it. If he’s going to get out of this slump that he’s in, Starlin Castro has to hit his way out of it.

I’m going to assume that Mike Olt will secure third base from Valbuena. He’s got a lot to prove and with a young club this is the guy to do it.

Nate Schierholtz had an OBP of .301 last year. His slugging percentage was .470 compared to Rizzo’s .419 He’ll hit above him.

There’s one guy who may suffer from the sophomore jinx and that is Junior Lake. Naw, I’m messing with you. He’s going to show Cubs fans the future.

Third on the team in OBP was Wellington Castillo. I’m putting him in the sixth spot at the start just to see how he’s going to do. I think Lake will get on base more this year but Castillo has got some pop so having him hit behind Junior will give him the confidence he’ll need. This spot will change.

Rounding out the order is Ryan Sweeney and Darwin Barney. I liked Ryan Sweeney a lot last year. He finished the season tied for third on the team in triples. This is a good statistic to have when you’re hitting lower in the order I would believe.

There’s one player other than Starlin Castro that has a lot to prove and that is Darwin Barney. A Gold Glove winner and a future team captain. He’s got to show everyone what he can do at the plate.

Tomorrow is a big game, Let’s Play Ball!

—Mark

2 comments

  1. Minoring In Baseball · February 26, 2014

    Hey, Mark, good to see you back! You backyard isn’t all that different from ours, though. I’m really looking forward to some warm weather and baseball. It’s about -20 here now, no kidding, the schools are already closed for tomorrow.
    I really hope the Cubs do well this season. I’d also love to take the kids to Wrigley this season for it’s 100th year, but we’ll see.
    -Mike

    Like

  2. The Cub Den · February 27, 2014

    We’ve had some closures too. I really do think this has been the worst winter in a long time. I’m hopeful the Cubs will do well, but they’ve got a little bit to go yet. it’s going to be an interesting season for sure. They could be like Boston was last year, who knows? They’re doing things right, that I know.

    Like

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