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Cubs Continue to Search for Sleepers: Add Former Red Sox C Lavarnway

December 22nd, 2014 at 3:00 PM
By Tim Duxbury

Following in the footsteps of low-cost, high-upside acquisitions like Mike Olt, Jacob Turner and Felix Doubront, the Chicago Cubs claimed C Ryan Lavarnway off waivers last week. Lavarnway, 27, was once one of the Boston Red Sox’ top prospects, but after significant trouble adjusting to major league pitching, he worked his way out of the team’s plans. Lavarnway has hit just .201 with five home runs in 97 big leagues games spanning parts of four seasons, but he was once a dominant minor league bat just like Mike Olt, Brett Jackson and Josh Vitters.

Year

Level

.ave

.obp

.slg

HR

RBI

2009

A+

.285

.367

.540

21

87

2010

A+, AA

.288

.393

.489

22

102

2011

AA, AA

.290

.376

.563

32

93

(Stats per Cubs.com)

Lavarnway is yet another pick-up by Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer who has/had tremendous upside and is known by the duo from their days with the Boston Red Sox. Lavarnway will most likely be assigned to the Iowa Cubs (AAA) in 2015 but if he is able to find his swing again and improve defensively he could prove to be a valuable piece off the bench for the Chicago Cubs.

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Bold Predictions: Cubs We Will Never See Again

December 22nd, 2014 at 3:00 AM
By Tim Duxbury

Making it in baseball is harder than making it in any other professional sport. Baseball’s extensive minor league system allows teams to shuffle young player in and out at will, almost; there is always someone waiting in the wings. The Chicago Cubs used 48 hitters and 27 pitchers in 2014, including 10 total rookies, and we will never see a large number of them in a Cubs’ uniform again. Today’s bold prediction is that RHP Dallas Beeler, C Rafael Lopez, 3B Mike Olt, RHP Dan Straily, OF Matt Szczur, and Logan Watkins will never wear a Chicago Cubs uniform again.

These seven players will never play for the Cubs at the major league level again, but it won’t necessarily be because they aren’t good enough. Much like the real working world, baseball is all about who you know and what others have invested in you. Unfortunately for these seven kids, the Chicago Cubs don’t have much invested in them; they’re not top prospects, or making a lot of money, nor did they cost the Cubs a whole lot to acquire them.

Player

.ave

.obp

.slg

HR

RBI

SB

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Sunday Spotlight: Cubs Vs. Sox 2015

December 21st, 2014 at 3:00 AM
By Tim Duxbury

The off-season is only half over and already the Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox have made tremendous improvements to their roster. The two Chicago teams are being viewed among the most improved teams in baseball and for good reason. 2015 could be the first time since 2008 that both the Cubs and Sox have a winning record. Lets take a look at what their lineups would look like if the season started today:

Miguel Montero

Catcher

Tyler Flowers

Anthony Rizzo

First Base

Jose Abreu

Javier Baez

Second Base

Carlos Sanchez

Luis Valbuena

Third Base

Connor Gillaspie

Starlin Castro

Shortstop

Alexi Ramirez

Chris Coghlan

Leftfield

Melky Cabrera

Arismendy Alcantara

Centerfield

Adam Eaton

Jorge Soler

Rightfield

Dayan Viciedo

-

DH

Adam LaRoche

(Bold indicates new addition)

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Cubs Sign Ross Amid Mixed Reports, Develop Catching Logjam

December 20th, 2014 at 3:00 AM
By Tim Duxbury

According to Jon Heyman the San Diego Padres snatched David Ross away from the Chicago Cubs yesterday afternoon thus putting a damper our morning article about Ross’ ability to get the most out of Jon Lester. However, later in the day that report was shot down and, per Carrie Muskat, David Ross agreed to a two-year, five million dollar contract with the Cubs. The signing is clearly a move to help Jon Lester’s production, as Ross doesn’t add much offensively or defensively, but more importantly, it raises in interesting problem in regards to the Cubs’ catching situation.

A few weeks ago we made the bold prediction that Welington Castillo would remain with the Chicago Cubs as the starter but with the additions of Miguel Montero and David Ross it appears as though Castillo is probably on his way out of town.

Catcher

.ave

.obp

.slg

oWAR

dWAR

CS%

ERA

Castillo

.237

.296

.389

1.3

1.2

33%

4.20

Montero

.243

.329

.370

1.6

-0.0

29%

4.34

Ross

.184

.260

.368

0.2

-0.1

22%

4.04

(Stats per baseball-reference.com)

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Fan of the Week: It’s Finally Our Year

December 19th, 2014 at 3:00 PM
By Tim Duxbury

It has been a busy week in Chicago with the Chicago Cubs making a number of moves to better the roster in preparation of 2015, and now that it’s finally Friday it’s time for our Fan of the Week. This week’s Fan of the Week has been a supporter since the very beginning; congratulations to Jim David on being name this week’s Fan of the Week! Here is Jim’s paragraph of airtime:

Well, I'm not much of a blog writer or reader, I tend to disagree too much on most peoples opinions. So lets just say I'm very excited about the BUZZ in Wrigleyville right now and the upcoming summer. There will be a lot of expectations at Clark & Addison but with all the excitement there will be disappointment along the way too! I believe the tears will be less and the laughs and cheers will dominate most discussions. Theo has created, or started creating, a positive atmosphere with the players and most important of all the Cubs Fans!! So lets enjoy it while we can because we are the Ultimate Sports Fans!!! LETS GET SOME RUNS!!!

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