I've been a Chicago Cub fan for a very long time, and for the first time I've noticed there's almost a separation of our awesome fan base. So I created a name on this site to do something I rarely do, blog or post.
The fan base is made up of those who don't believe in the rebuild and those that do.
When in reality I think it's really a separation of those who are unaware of how much front offices have changed in the last decade, and how stuck in the 80s Jim Hendry and co. were, and those who understand that in order to compete with our division we've got to have top echelon talent, year in and year out without having to spend way too much on players that have no chemistry with the current ball club.
So here is some undeniable facts I believe that show, we can already see the plan working, and by this time next year the fanbase should be reunited.
10. Jake Arrieta is a boss. Pay no attention to Arrieta's early career struggles, he's got Lincecum or Kershaw type stuff. He's made a lot of adjustments on how he uses his stuff, how he approaches his starts, recovers, and trains in between since he's been with the Cubs, and it appears to be working. Good Major League hitters are swinging and missing against him and then looking back at him as if they aren't sure where the ball came from. He's got stuff, and he's learned how to use it. He's also not short of confidence which will rub off on our young pitchers.
9. Wrigley has had a increase of night games. David Ortiz said something Fergie Jenkins said a long time ago, the season is too long to play at 1:20 or 3:05 for 80% of your home games. Especially when your competition doesn't. If the Cubs contend next year, and the first part of renovations go smoothly, look for more night games to be pushed for, while optimism is in the air, it's a huge difference getting to the ballpark before noon as opposed to early afternoon and playing in cooler nighttime air.
8. Castro and Rizzo. Whether it was just youth or Dale Svuem, the Cubs FO had to be more than a little nervous with their production from their two core parts at the top of the organization last year. They're both All Stars and are really coming along in big spots. Sure they have still struggled, but their success will take some pressure of Javy, Kris, and Mendy who are far more skilled than our two All Stars. They are proving to be a good foundation.
7. The Samardzija distraction is over. I loved Shark, I did, but one thing that worried me about giving him even Homer Bailey money(and I'm pretty sure he wanted more than that) is that you don't give guys that money who have not accumulated big time postseason success. That is why Theo and Jed wouldn't, and why for Shark and his agent, it's great he's gone! He will get it this year and possibly next year. I thought it was brilliant to trade him and get it over with, Shark needed to go, for his own good, he's come along way, let's root for him to do well in Oakland and then Theo can get him in free agency assuming he continues to climb to 5yr/100m plus money that Shark wants. Hey, not a fact, but possible folks.
6. Addison Russell. This kid is good guys, packs a whole lotta glove and the perfect complement at the plate batting after Alcantara and will see so many good pitches hitting in front of Castro, Rizzo, Baez, and Bryant in no particular order there. Pitchers are never going to be able to breathe.That is an unbelievable lineup, but one prediction I do have that makes having this kid a lot better than my fact posted above is he could help 2015 have a 1. Alcantara 2. Castro 3. STANTON 4. Rizzo 5. Bryant 6. Baez top part of the order by next June.
5. Jorge Soler. This guy is beast mode as some might say, but I mainly mention him because I think he is the most likely of all the prospects other than Russell to be dealt. You are kidding yourselves if you think Stanton resigns with Miami, and Miami will probably trade him for someone's shortstop and more, which we know now Houston won't deal Correa to them, so why not offer to the ole Cubbies who I'd say could use a damn outfielder, right? so Soler, Russell, and Dan Vogelbach head east for Stanton this offseason in my mind, and hey if not, we'll live. Soler will more than likely end this year in AAA and be in the bigs next year, he's no Stanton, YET.
4. The Cubs have all kinds of room and money for pitching. I said I'd use facts, so that's why I start 4 this way, but I'll make this point quick. Jon Lester will be a Cub. Why you ask? Theo annnnnnd McCleod who still keeps in touch with Lester's parents. Where there's smoke there's fire, and Lester put smoke in the air when the Cubs visited Fenway. Oh yeah, and I'm pretty sure Theo needs to redeem himself for Edwin. As good as his Arrieta and Ramirez steals have been, sheesh Edwin is turning into a cuss word in my household. (Anyone else think he should cut his cornrows?)C'mon Theo, uda man, let's go, make it rain all on that Lester fire!
3. Theo is here. Yes that was a segway. The rebuild is going to work because it's being done the right way. Scouting. Some of you may not know, but the Tribune company was not friendly to scouting because they never had any elite ones, because they wouldn't pay for them. We have scouting now, McCleod as the top dog, and that is part of the 29th ranked farm system being turned to 4th from 2012 to 2014 spring training. Coaching. We have coaching from top to bottom in the Minors, and I love the big league staff. Mueller has an uphill battle, but I love Bosio, who's done well with everyone, but that cuss word I mentioned, but I'm not sure Leo Mazzone could cure that. Theo's track record speaks for itself, and he is leading this train, and the next two facts he has a lot to do with.
2. Kris Bryant! MAN! How exciting!? How can you not be? I for one think he'll be up in September, but I don't think it matters either way. He'll be there opening day 2015 because he's not too young, and boy do we need hitting. I don't care at what position, he'll be able to play anything. He is going to be dominate because he has put in the work, Bryant gets his homers the same way Manny, Bonds, and the A's version of Giambi did, making you throw a pitch in the zone, and when you do, putting a perfect fluid from legs to arms swing on a 90mph plus pitch and letting it go! He's for real, and is years ahead of guys with his plate approach and still growing physically.
1. Javier Baez. I'm no fool, Schwarber, Bryant, Almora, Soler, Russell, those are some good prospects who've had some good stretches, but Baez has something none of them have, and it can't be taught, bat speed with a burst. Baez ceiling is very high to scouts and a bunch of pitchers, because there isn't a pitch, that he can't take yard. His decrease in BA this year in AAA comes from his ankle injury in April as well as, AAA pitchers weren't throwing him strikes, and Javy, like most 21 year old sluggers, don't go up there to walk. His at bats without a homer has lowered though since Bryant entered the lineup which is why he's still in AAA. I believe Baez is ready, but I think Bryant may need another month and possibly 2 before another promotion, and Theo and co want to bring them up the same day or week or same series. Which I give Theo kudos for, it's called developing prospects and really patience, which as my mother taught me is a good virtue. They'll be a two headed monster for awhile, but make no mistake, Baez is the rare unique gem, that will terrify pitchers before they even get to Chicago or he comes to town. He'll make them afraid to throw their best pitch, while afraid to not miss in his zone which is a huge zone, and Javy will hurt them. Baez will be the buzz of baseball, he's got Sheffield bat speed with a Pujols work ethic, get ready guys, it's gonna happen.
Some will agree, some won't, and I think that states my case with my opening argument, but patience shouldn't be anything new for Cub fans, and I'd encourage you to travel to spring training or to a minor league game if you need a pick me up.