Cubs Facing Decisions

MLB: Spring Training-Los Angeles Angels at Chicago Cubs

Rick Renteria has got his work cut out for him that’s for sure. Yesterday’s late inning collapse against the Angels wasn’t the thing he had planned for even though Junior Lake powered his fifth home run of the spring season. The Cubs had the Angels on the ropes up until the ninth and well, that’s when the inexperience kicked in and cost them the win.

The Cubs and the Padres came to a draw in the late game. Which really didn’t equate to much being the “prospect” game. A chance to see what will be in a couple of years or next, who knows?

The three players I believe will make the biggest impact this year are Mike Olt, Justin Ruggiano and Emilio Bonifacio. Third base is a wide open position with it coming down to Luis Valbuena and Olt. The Cubs would make a huge mistake not putting Olt at third. Nobody’s expecting much from the Cubs this season(except for me), so Olt needs to get into the frying pan. Valbuena could be the utility guy.

Emilio Bonifacio is going to be a Jose Reyes type of player. He’s got the speed and he’s going to get the Cubs the runs. if he’s hitting in front of Starlin Castro, this could be a very good one-two punch situation. I liked Starlin in the leadoff but Emilio would be well suited in the role. It’s highly unlikely that Starlin is going to have another year like he did last season.

Here’s the thing; it’s foolish to think that the Cubs will be as bad as they might look, but it’s also foolish to believe they’re going to finish at the top of the Central. It’s just a damn hard division. However, this is not just any ordinary season. This is 2014 and Wrigley Field is 100 years old. There’ll be plenty of off field celebrating but there very well could be some enthusiasm on the field too. Javier Baez will be playing sometime or another and players like Anthony Rizzo(who I did pick in my Fantasy League) are going to bring their bats this year because they have nothing to lose. The Cubs can’t afford to coast through the season and wait until next year, they have to prove that they’re the team of the future.

2015 is going to be huge for them. How huge? A lot of the young guys will be up and playing but for now, this season is all about teaching them how to win.

The Cubs won’t be as bad as the Brewers. Junior Lake is on a hot streak. Mike Olt has something to prove and so does Castro so how could the Cubs lose this year?

Believe me when I say that the Cubs could be a Wild Card team.

—Mark

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