It’s hard to tell whether this will be a celebration or a mourning period for our North Side heroes. There’s a lot of positives to take away from this season but let’s face it, there will be some holes to plug in the off season. There’s pitching.
“Once you reach a point where you have a pretty good team, you approach the offseason in two ways,” Theo Epstein said. “One is looking for ways to get better. And the second is trying to anticipate everything that could go wrong that will get in the way of you being really good again the next year or even better the next year.”
In a five man rotation, the Cubs have two solid starters in Jon Lester and Jake Arrieta. This we know and they’re not going anywhere. However, Jason Hammel, Kyle Hendricks and Dan Haren weren’t exactly “Lights out” material.
“Some good things are happening with the pitching,” Epstein said of the organization, “but we have to continue to be aggressive and add as we did last winter.”
Dan Haren will more than likely be moving on, but what to do with Hammel and Hendricks? The way I look at and it’s based on logic and logic alone is the Cubs had two pitchers who can do lights out magic on any given day. In order to sweep a season series, a team needs at least three victories so a team needs three aces on the roster. The Cubs lacked that in 2015. Hammer and Hendricks weren’t terrible but they struggled. I hear Zack Greinke will be available but at what cost?
Aside from pitching, there’s a lot of players that will either get a raise or be shuffled along like Dexter Fowler. The Cubs will decide his fate. Of course I’d like to see him stay with the team but if the Cubs are going to land a high priced ace, they’ll have to part ways with Fowler.
The Starlin Castro saga will continue. Javier Baez could fill that role and Addison Russell will be back. Starlin redeemed himself in September but still, the Cubs’ depth in the infield is staggering and I think won’t be back.
Whatever the Cubs choose, we know that 2016 is going to get even better.
How would you improve the team?