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Chicago Cubs 2013 Outlook12.26.12: What will the rotation look like?


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#1 dzemens

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 05:56 PM

Not much to speak of as far as the lineup is concerned. Can Castro improve and actually take a walk? Will Anthony Rizzo maximize his potential with a full year in the bigs? Lots of uninspiring names outside of those two.

However, with the signing of Anibal Sanchez (reported) the Cubs actually have a decent rotation in place Anibal Sanchez, Matt Garza, Jeff Samardzija, Baker, Wood. You could do far worse and one would hope they at least have a chance to not be the worst team in the league as a result.
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#2 baltimore_boy

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 06:41 PM

They have potential, but I still don't think they are ready to compete yet. The rotation should be solid, but the bullpen is still a question mark. Marmol is a very shaky reliever and other than him and Fujikawa, they are basically a AAA bullpen. 2B, 3B, and RF are all questionable too right now. Barmey is great defensively, but leaves a lot to be desired with the bat. The Stewart/Valbuena combination isn't going to scare anyone and Sappelt has never been in the majors. The windmill Brett Jackson is also sketchy.

The Cubs have the players that could let them compete, but I don't think it happens for another year or 2. I think they finish 3rd in the Central behind the Reds and Cardinals.

Edited by baltimore_boy, 13 December 2012 - 06:42 PM.

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#3 RotoRaysfan

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 07:57 PM

2013?  Don't see it...but they're definitely headed the right way for the future.  They have huge-ceiling prospects 3B/1B/OF with Vogelbach, Baez & Almora (even if Vogelbach does his best tub of goo impression - he & Matt Adams are bringing back the softball-beer-guzzling 1B skill set back, baby!), so there's actual hope, plus a couple of raw but huge ceiling bats in A-ball that have huge potential (Candelario, could be a huge breakout year MILB wise for him).  Theo & co. are making progress.

In 2-3 years, they could have a killer lineup if only half those guys pan out - with Rizzo & Castro forming the core.    Pitching is a little behind, but with Jed Hoyer & Epstein at the helm, there's real tangible progress for sure.
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#4 Nick Mitchell

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 07:41 PM

Both Villanueva and Jackson have now signed with the Cubs.

Just on the best-case scenario here... the candidates for the 2013 rotation, as thind stand today, would go as follows (with some obviously being locks if they are not traded or injured):

- Samardjiza
- Garza
- Jackson
- Feldman
- Wood?
- Villanueva??
- Baker (once healthy)???...


For what Baker and Feldman are going to make, one would think the plan is to insert them both into the rotation upon first chance, but with Villanueva wanting 30 starts from the Jays, will he really settle for a pen-role in Chicago? (And personally, I would like to see him crack the rotation as a Cubs fan.)

What does this do to fantasy value for a guy like, say, Matt Garza though? Does it make it more than likely he is dealt prior to the start of the year now?

I still look at the Cubs' team and their lineup, and in my opinion, I envision what they may be thinking is this: hope you can get off to a nice start and maintain, and if you do, aim for the 2nd wildcard and hope you can pull off something like the A's did last season, doing so with a surplus of pitching and hopefully getting big years out of guys like Rizzo and others on the offensive end of things to help the cause. 2015 is a long way off to Cubs fans, and Theo & Hoyer obviously realize this. Signing guys like Jackson & Villanueva after signing Baker & Feldman only confuses me because the rotation seems overcrowded now, and it makes me wonder if there is a trade in the works.

Are the Cubs on Justin Upton's 10-team no-trade list? I always felt and still feel he would be a decent get, and that glaring hole in RF on their depth chart right now....
--

Back to the topic at hand (and I apologize for my rambling, but I didn't know where else to post something like this for discussion- do feel free to move it to the correct forum if this is the wrong place)....

How will this impact the bigger fish in this situation, more specifically Garza than anyone else, but also how do people envision Villanueva beginning the year now? I saw him as a nice sleeper no matter where he signed, but especially if he somehow re-upped in Toronto and cracked their rotation after they made their plethora of moves (or wiggled his way into a CL role or something random like that)... but obviously the acquisition of Dickey made that damn-near impossible to happen, even if he got a chance to compete for a role in the 5-man.

I don't think this changes Shark's value much, if at all. Maybe he can slot lower in the 5-man and it will give him some easier pitching match ups, but other than that...

Wood and Baker are huge question marks to me now, and Wood also seems like a candidate to be traded. He pitched very well at the end of the season (from what I watched & followed), and I think he'd be fine anywhere as a #3-#5 given the team he is pitching for. Does he even have options left? Beginning the year at AAA seems ridiculous at this point, but I can see that happening if he blows up in spring training.


And for those in keeper leagues, Arodys Vizcaino's short-term value is also dampened by this. While I still think he can pitch out of the pen and possibly work his way into a late-inning role by mid- to late-season, I doubt he gets a crack at the rotation anytime soon (unless he has been moved to the pen permanently, which I apologize for speaking as if he has a chance at cracking the rotation next year or something).

Thoughts, anyone?
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#5 Red Sox Nation

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 09:17 PM

Villanueva came off of a very good season and just got paid $5 million per year to be a starter. He'll be in the rotation with ease. It'll be Garza, Samardzija, EJax, Villanueva..then whoever wins the job out of spring training.

#6 Nick Mitchell

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Posted 21 December 2012 - 03:01 AM

I understand that, and I fully hope that may be the case. But Feldman was just brought over and paid 6 million for 2013 with the incentive to earn an extra million. If 5$ is the reason for Villanueva being a lock, then that debunks the case in my opinion.

I also believe Feldman could be someone who could benefit from pitching in the NL Central, and he has put up decent peripherals- each better in different years, never being able to put it all together over a full season. Still so, if he winds up in the pen or a long reliever, that's a LOT of money to pay a 6th (potential 7th)/insurance starter to mop-up.

And Scott Baker is making 5.5 million in 2013 with the incentives to push it to an even 7 mil. That's starting-5 money....

All of this when the Cubs had/have a #4/5 in Travis Wood. So I guess I just don't really understand how Feldman or Baker will fit in unless at least someone is moved, likely Garza.

Any other thoughts?

Edited by Nick Mitchell, 21 December 2012 - 03:02 AM.

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#7 PRoSPx

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 11:34 AM

Pierce Johnson and Arodys Vizcaino may crack the rotation at some point this year.

#8 Tryptamine

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 03:31 PM

The rotation is going to be Garza/Samardzija/Jackson/Baker/Feldman if Baker is ready by the start of the season. Both Baker and Feldman were promised they were being brought in as starters. The Cubs currently only have one lefty reliever after letting go of Beliveau which means Wood to the pen. Villanueva has performance bonuses based both on games started and games finished so it's pretty clear he's going to start the year in the pen and then become a full time starter when Baker and Feldman are moved. Then again if Garza, Wood or Samadzija are traded things change. Supposedly the Cubs are getting a ton of calls about Samardzija since the EJax and Villanueva signings.
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#9 brockpapersizer

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 03:56 PM

doubt they trade Samradjza

Also, Vilnanueva was really solid as a starter in the AL East, I don think they have 5 better starting options than him.
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#10 Tryptamine

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 06:14 PM

View Postbrockpapersizer, on 26 December 2012 - 03:56 PM, said:

doubt they trade Samradjza

Also, Vilnanueva was really solid as a starter in the AL East, I don think they have 5 better starting options than him.

They're not actively shopping him, just getting a lot of calls. So unless they're blown away, you're right he's not going anywhere.
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OF: Braun(1),Zobrist(7),Moss(15),Byrd(FA),Calhoun(FA)
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RP: Britton($1),Betances($1),W.Davis($1)

#11 rollobobo

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 02:09 AM

I really think they are going to move one of their starting pitchers...probably Garza for some nice prospects OR potentially in a major league ready player a la Justin Upton. I am not saying its going to be Upton, but I honestly think Theo has a solid plan and I could see the Cubs hovering around .500 this year in their win loss record. I think they have a nice core in Castro and Rizzo and Barney is adequate right now. They certainly could use a 3B and their OF is decent. I wouldn't be surprised at all to see Soriano get shipped off as well as Marmol. I think we may see a few moves coming in the near future before the season starts.

#12 calzonesays

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 02:19 AM

View Postrollobobo, on 02 January 2013 - 02:09 AM, said:

I really think they are going to move one of their starting pitchers...probably Garza for some nice prospects OR potentially in a major league ready player a la Justin Upton. I am not saying its going to be Upton, but I honestly think Theo has a solid plan and I could see the Cubs hovering around .500 this year in their win loss record. I think they have a nice core in Castro and Rizzo and Barney is adequate right now. They certainly could use a 3B and their OF is decent. I wouldn't be surprised at all to see Soriano get shipped off as well as Marmol. I think we may see a few moves coming in the near future before the season starts.

I agree there will be a trade market for Garza, but Upton isn't anyone near the Cubs radar.  Arizona has tons of pitching, they need a SS and there is no chance in Hell the Cubs would give up Castro.

#13 Richard Kimble

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 10:30 PM

View PostNick Mitchell, on 20 December 2012 - 07:41 PM, said:



Are the Cubs on Justin Upton's 10-team no-trade list? I always felt and still feel he would be a decent get, and that glaring hole in RF on their depth chart right now....
--


After Upton rejected the trade to the Mariners, it was reported that his 4-team list includes Seattle, Boston, Toronto, and the Cubs. That's a bit of an insult, when you think about it-Pittsburgh and Miami are ok? Read into as much as you like, I think he doesn't want to play under the pressure in Boston, and thinks the Cubs are a lost cause. We'll show 'em some day...here's the thing, I don't see this regime pulling off a move like that. They've built up all this organizational depth, at least to the casual observer, but it is going to take the emergence of some of the prospects over several years for Theo & co. to start trading for big names. The strategy so far has clearly been to bolster the starting staff, which they have done, and wait for someone to emerge. Who that will be, I have no clue, it clearly isn't Jackson or Vitters, so I guess plan B, huh?  
Time to suck it up, even though they lost 100+ last season, things are only going to get worse without the Astros to look down at, these are going to be some lean years. I guess we should all be rooting for a trade of anyone on the roster not named Rizzo or Castro, right?

#14 parrothead

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 11:58 PM

View PostRichard Kimble, on 10 January 2013 - 10:30 PM, said:

View PostNick Mitchell, on 20 December 2012 - 07:41 PM, said:



Are the Cubs on Justin Upton's 10-team no-trade list? I always felt and still feel he would be a decent get, and that glaring hole in RF on their depth chart right now....
--


After Upton rejected the trade to the Mariners, it was reported that his 4-team list includes Seattle, Boston, Toronto, and the Cubs. That's a bit of an insult, when you think about it-Pittsburgh and Miami are ok? Read into as much as you like, I think he doesn't want to play under the pressure in Boston, and thinks the Cubs are a lost cause. We'll show 'em some day...here's the thing, I don't see this regime pulling off a move like that. They've built up all this organizational depth, at least to the casual observer, but it is going to take the emergence of some of the prospects over several years for Theo & co. to start trading for big names. The strategy so far has clearly been to bolster the starting staff, which they have done, and wait for someone to emerge. Who that will be, I have no clue, it clearly isn't Jackson or Vitters, so I guess plan B, huh?  
Time to suck it up, even though they lost 100+ last season, things are only going to get worse without the Astros to look down at, these are going to be some lean years. I guess we should all be rooting for a trade of anyone on the roster not named Rizzo or Castro, right?
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#15 2ndCitySox

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 01:16 AM

Rotation deep. Lacks an ace but no apparent bums.
Bullpen nerve racking.
Offense?
C - Castillo...could be a good one
1b- Rizzo...star potential
2b - Barney. Good D, slap hitter
SS- Castro...pretty solid. Taking a walk now and then couldn't hurt
3B- Stewart. Icky
OF- Soriano...cubs are hoping he has a repeat of last year and hope they can deal him.
DeJesus...fine.
Jackson? Needs to stop hacking.

I think the ceiling is 75 Wins....not bad. I think they reach 70 this year.

Cubs fans won't be happy with the current product, but they seem to moving in the right direstion
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DH- Eddie Murray

SP- Nolan Ryan
SP- Orel Herschiser
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#16 ipstaff

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 07:16 PM

This season, I can't imagine it's anything but what famed Chicago native Mr. T predicted as Clubber Lang:



Too many holes in the lineup.  Only three guys who can do real damage: Rizzo, Castro (who fell off in a somewhat concerning way late last season), and Soriano (who is likely gone as soon as they can get any kind of deal done for him).

Rotation has lots of options, but no real ace (Garza's more a good solid two; Samardzija has potential but isn't there yet; the other guys are yeomanlike but not spectacular).  Bullpen isn't bad with Marmol (also a likely trade candidate) and Fujikawa, but not super deep either.

On net: pitching improved from last season (only HOU and COL were worse in the NL), but offense still lacking (and only MIA and HOU were worse).  And no Houston to kick around in division games anymore with them in the AL now.

They're still probably a year away from being anything better than a 90 loss team.

Edited by ipstaff, 14 January 2013 - 07:25 PM.


#17 ipstaff

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 07:39 PM

...accidentally left EJax out of that list on pitching.  Another guy who makes for a solid rotation, but not a guy you talk about as an ace.

Rotation should be able to compete with the Pirates and Brewers.  Still well shy of the Cardinal/Red level for the NL Central.  Offense still below the Pirates and Reds and well below the Cards/Brewers.

Anything outside of last place in the NL Central would have to be considered "above expectations" this season.

#18 brockpapersizer

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 09:14 PM

people have poo pooed the edwin jackson deal but I disagree.... think it was good for them. Their rotation is weak, and while they did overpay... not every contract is one where you get amazing value.   The Cubs don't have a lot of commitments, they arent overspending... solid middle of the rotation guy to have and they need one. I could see them also making a play for one of the Dodgers extra pitchers like Capuano.
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#19 crazy47larry

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Posted 23 July 2013 - 08:53 AM

Anybody know anything about Chris Rusin? His AAA numbers are good, especially after you realize he's been pitching in the hitter friendly PCL. Can he get big league hitters out on a consistent basis?

#20 Posting In The Clutch

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Posted 23 July 2013 - 10:22 AM

View Postcrazy47larry, on 23 July 2013 - 08:53 AM, said:

Anybody know anything about Chris Rusin? His AAA numbers are good, especially after you realize he's been pitching in the hitter friendly PCL. Can he get big league hitters out on a consistent basis?

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