It’s always a dangerous thing making early predictions, but it’s also pretty darn cool to make them anyways.
One prediction that’s going to loom large over the Chicago Cubs this season is of course, Ernie Bank’s passing. The poignant part is that as the Cubs prepare to take a run at a post season birth and perhaps a World Series, “Mr. Cub” will be a part of it all. The Cubs will more than likely be wearing commemorative patches on their jerseys in tribute to this great man.
Here is an early version of the Cubs batting order which I’m predicting will be the Opening Day order:
- Dexter Fowler– Simply because of his OBP being .375 You figure it out.
- Javier Baez– Give him a break, he’s only 23 and last year he swung at more than he hit. This year will be different.
- Starlin Castro- Starlin matured last year into a hitting machine. I’m placing him ahead of our captain Anthony, because he got more doubles(33) Stay focused, and Starlin is a winner.
- Anthony Rizzo- He’s going to take 32 HR and turn them into 45. Wanna know why?
- Jorge Soler- Because Soler is going to hit 32 HR right behind our captain.
- Miguel Montero- New catcher on the block hit 72 RBI and a SLG of .370 playing for the Arizona GrassSnakes. Go ahead and say Boo Ya!
- Mike Olt- I still believe in the guy. He’s underrated. Don’t forget he managed 33 RBI’s in 89 games. Not too shabby.
- Arismendy Alcantara- Joe Maddon likes him, I like him and Arismendy will turn into that sabermetric machine that Epstein and Maddon love. You can quote me that.
- Chris Coghlan- He ‘ll be adjusting into Alcantara’s slot
If you’re wondering why I didn’t start Kris Bryant on Opening Day, well here’s my reasoning. If the Cubs can’t win April then they’re not going to be there in October. It just won’t happen. Mike Olt is their third baseman for now. Bryant will see action sometime in May, but why spook the kid and turn him into a Javier Baez? No, Mike has to start at third on Opening Day. There’s no doubt about that.
Are expectations too high for the Cubs this season or are predictions justified. Spring couldn’t get here quick enough to see the likes of Jon Lester, Joe Maddon and Anthony Rizzo.
On paper, the Cubs are going to have one of the most dynamic teams this season. In the outfield there’s Alcantara, Fowler and Soler. Mike Olt, Starlin Castro Javier Baez and Anthony Rizzo in the infield. A fantastic starting lineup. If there’s going to be any weakness in the Cubs organization, it’s their back up guys like Junior Lake and Welington Castillo. Where do they fit in this potent lineup. It’s a great problem the Cubs are going to have.
It’ll be bittersweet should the Cubs make the post season, but something tells me that the 2015 season is going to be one magical year.
Tomorrow, I break down the rotation.