IlliniGuy76

Chicago Cubs 2019 Outlook

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This offseason is going to be AWFULLY interesting for the Cubs going into 2019.  You could tell that Theo wasn't remotely pleased with how the season ended and there will be some pretty significant changes this offseason.  

 

1)  They (as Theo also said) need to determine out of the Contreras/Schwarber/Happ/Russel/Almora bunch who is going to still take that next step.  Why haven't some of these players progressed?  That's the #1 key to this offseason is making that determination.

 

2)  The need to find one or two guys who can get on base.  It was painfully obvious watching this past season.

 

3)  Morrow as your closer or not?  Do you go after something like Cody Allen or Andrew Miller?

 

4)  Lastly:  Kris Bryant needs to be 100% healthy and hitting as a middle of the order producer.   Such a huge key for the 2019 team!

 

I don't think they're far off, at all - just need some tweaks to the major league lineup to compete again for a WS title.

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Joe Maddon being a lame duck is an added twist to the 2019 season. I don't think Joe's style jives with Theo's, and coming off a year where a manager making $600k won the world series, Cubs brass might be happy letting Joe ride off into the sunset and finding some value elsewhere. 

 

Maddon is a great people manger, but perhaps the cubs are now a mature enough team to not need that? 

 

Still they are a great team that should reach 95 wins +, even as is. 

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Could it be a case where the manager is getting more credit than the Front Office and the Front Office wants more of the credit?

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On 11/19/2018 at 2:39 PM, Low and Away said:

Could it be a case where the manager is getting more credit than the Front Office and the Front Office wants more of the credit?

I doubt it. Theo basically walks on water. I just think Maddon's a tad goofy for the current Epstein/Hoyer regime.

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On 11/19/2018 at 11:26 AM, 2ndCitySox said:

Joe Maddon being a lame duck is an added twist to the 2019 season. I don't think Joe's style jives with Theo's, and coming off a year where a manager making $600k won the world series, Cubs brass might be happy letting Joe ride off into the sunset and finding some value elsewhere. 

 

Maddon is a great people manger, but perhaps the cubs are now a mature enough team to not need that? 

 

Still they are a great team that should reach 95 wins +, even as is. 

honestly, I don't see cubs winning 95 games as is right now. They needed someone in the bullpen, I also am not a huge fan of their SP but it does have some depth. Darvish and Bryant need to be healthy. They have issues making contact as well. 

 

Cardinals , reds , improved and brewers are reining NL Central champs. 

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On 11/21/2018 at 9:25 PM, 2ndCitySox said:

I doubt it. Theo basically walks on water. I just think Maddon's a tad goofy for the current Epstein/Hoyer regime.

The discussion with the Cubs is always about Maddon or Theo\hoyer and how they are all the best ever and the reason for the Cubs success. BS. Complete BS. 

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2 hours ago, zstlj said:

The discussion with the Cubs is always about Maddon or Theo\hoyer and how they are all the best ever and the reason for the Cubs success. BS. Complete BS. 

 

In fairness, as critical as I am about several Cubs elements including Maddon, Theo Epstein might damn well be the best ever. 

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2 hours ago, taobball said:

 

In fairness, as critical as I am about several Cubs elements including Maddon, Theo Epstein might damn well be the best ever. 

No doubt Theo is or very close to best . My point was more that I hear about them more than the team.  They win the WS- Theo and Joe are MVP..... cubs hit a HR- Theo is unreal , maddon has the team rolling.  It's all the time and annoying. 

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3 hours ago, zstlj said:

No doubt Theo is or very close to best . My point was more that I hear about them more than the team.  They win the WS- Theo and Joe are MVP..... cubs hit a HR- Theo is unreal , maddon has the team rolling.  It's all the time and annoying. 

Theo definitely gets an unusual amount of praise. But that comes with breaking two very lengthy and very famous "curses" of two historically popular teams. 

 

Joe's goofiness gets him a lot of love and press when things are good, and a lot of flames and pitchforks when not. 

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9 hours ago, zstlj said:

honestly, I don't see cubs winning 95 games as is right now. They needed someone in the bullpen, I also am not a huge fan of their SP but it does have some depth. Darvish and Bryant need to be healthy. They have issues making contact as well. 

 

Cardinals , reds , improved and brewers are reining NL Central champs. 

Agreed. I think the Cubs are fading out. Very little in the way of reserves on the farm and a meh bullpen. Really like what the Cards have done this off-season and think it's a two horse race between them and Crew for the central.

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2 hours ago, ST. STEVEN said:

Agreed. I think the Cubs are fading out. Very little in the way of reserves on the farm and a meh bullpen. Really like what the Cards have done this off-season and think it's a two horse race between them and Crew for the central.

I wish I had more faith in the brewers pitching. If jimmy Nelson can come back strong, they are contenders to win their division again.

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7 minutes ago, 2ndCitySox said:

I wish I had more faith in the brewers pitching. If jimmy Nelson can come back strong, they are contenders to win their division again.

I think they really took it slow with him after 1 setback...

Burnes will be in rotation and Freddy too. IF they bring back Miley, that is plenty enough when they have that kind of pen.

I know, I had a ton of doubts last year, but they continued to make it work. Great defense and amazing pen can do wonders...not to mentions a few mashers

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8 hours ago, 2ndCitySox said:

I wish I had more faith in the brewers pitching. If jimmy Nelson can come back strong, they are contenders to win their division again.

Non biased ,

I really think the cardinals are best all around Central team. I'm someone whos been very critical of the cards also with 3 straight 83-88  win seasons.  They look really solid on paper right now, but it's baseball.

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The Cubs are still an incredibly young team given their success over the last few years - meaning it's very logical to think that many of their players still have that leap to take (Russell - ugh, Schwarber, Contreras).  Those of you thinking that the Cards have somehow leapfrogged over them might be gravely mistaken.  

 

The Brewers?  No doubt they have a talented roster.  The issue with the Brewers still is, and has been, starting pitching.   The Brewers won the division on the heels of an exceptional bullpen.

 

If Darvish comes back to "Darvish levels" the Cubs are going to be very hard to beat in the Central - I really do believe he's the key to next season for the Cubs  The Cubs also aren't done this offseason - Epstein isn't dumb.. he knows they have to get a bullpen arm or two (and I'd bet he's waiting for the market to settle some - both free agent and trade market).

 

The offseason is far from over.

Edited by IlliniGuy76
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14 minutes ago, IlliniGuy76 said:

The Cubs are still an incredibly young team given their success over the last few years - meaning it's very logical to think that many of their players still have that leap to take (Russell - ugh, Schwarber, Contreras).  Those of you thinking that the Cards have somehow leapfrogged over them might be gravely mistaken.  

 

The Brewers?  No doubt they have a talented roster.  The issue with the Brewers still is, and has been, starting pitching.   The Brewers won the division on the heels of an exceptional bullpen.

 

If Darvish comes back to "Darvish levels" the Cubs are going to be very hard to beat in the Central - I really do believe he's the key to next season for the Cubs  The Cubs also aren't done this offseason - Epstein isn't dumb.. he knows they have to get a bullpen arm or two (and I'd bet he's waiting for the market to settle some - both free agent and trade market).

 

The offseason is far from over.

Yeah there's a lot of big dominoes yet to fall...Cubs sound like they are on periphery of Harper too.

Still, I disagree about them in general. Russell is a nothing. Schwar is very mediocre in this new era of baseball. Contreras is good for a catcher but he's nothing special. Nobody is taking any kind of big leap of that group at their age. I'd argue Happ is the only one that really could, but Madden continues to jerk him around. Baez is a regression candidate. Rizzo is a rock, at least. The rotation is good enough with health, the pen is a mess. They have a bottom 3rd farm system after the years of purging for win now players--and it worked, they have their title...but it's a winding road back and the farm is not helping any time soon.

 

I'd much rather bet on the Cards and even the Crew this year. Brewers won on the strength of the pen, so I am not sure that they can count on that again...that tends to be the most cyclical thing, and year to year it's very hard to predict. Their starters are very meh compared to Cards and Cubs...big weakness for them.

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17 minutes ago, ST. STEVEN said:

Yeah there's a lot of big dominoes yet to fall...Cubs sound like they are on periphery of Harper too.

Still, I disagree about them in general. Russell is a nothing. Schwar is very mediocre in this new era of baseball. Contreras is good for a catcher but he's nothing special. Nobody is taking any kind of big leap of that group at their age. I'd argue Happ is the only one that really could, but Madden continues to jerk him around. Baez is a regression candidate. Rizzo is a rock, at least. The rotation is good enough with health, the pen is a mess. They have a bottom 3rd farm system after the years of purging for win now players--and it worked, they have their title...but it's a winding road back and the farm is not helping any time soon.

 

I'd much rather bet on the Cards and even the Crew this year. Brewers won on the strength of the pen, so I am not sure that they can count on that again...that tends to be the most cyclical thing, and year to year it's very hard to predict. Their starters are very meh compared to Cards and Cubs...big weakness for them.

 

Baez is a regression candidate... why?  Because he did what young/talented players do often... take a jump to elite status?

 

Why is Contreras - who absolutely has the minor league (and even major league) pedigree - do substantially better than he did in the second half of last year... why can't a 26 y/o catcher improve?

 

Schwarber is a left handed hitter capable of hitting 35-40 homers - in today's baseball power is a wanted commodity, left handed power even more.  What Schwarber needs to do is cut down on his strikeouts and become more effective against left handed pitchers.  Both things young players can do. 

 

I loved what Theo said the day or two after the season ended.  Part of this offseason was evaluating those players they felt will never take the next step and getting rid of them.  I still think you see some trades upcoming as a result of that very statement.

 

Why is their pen a mess?  Right now the only thing holding the Cubs back from having an upper tiered pen is either a healthy Morrow or signing a closer (something I wouldn't be surprised if they did).  I'd be floored if Theo went into this upcoming season with an unknown in Morrow and the "hope" that someone can fill in as a closer.  Again.. he's not stupid.

 

People are all aboard the Cards train - they won 88 games last year and had multitudes of roster issues (inclusive of age issues, overall talent & injuries).  They've traded for a (soon to be) 32 y/o who many scouts thought for half the season last year was done & a relief pitcher who turns 34 coming off of a multitude of injuries (and the very reason he only got a 2 year deal on the open market - teams are skeptical that Miller has anything left).

Edited by IlliniGuy76
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9 minutes ago, IlliniGuy76 said:

 

Baez is a regression candidate... why?  Because he did what young/talented players do often... take a jump to elite status?

 

Because he has terrible plate discipline and pitch recognition still. But even still, the argument that "Young/talented players" make a jump to elite status "often," is kind've ridiculous. Far more often than not people have career years and settle a bit south of that. 

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2 minutes ago, taobball said:

 

Because he has terrible plate discipline and pitch recognition still. But even still, the argument that "Young/talented players" make a jump to elite status "often," is kind've ridiculous. Far more often than not people have career years and settle a bit south of that. 

 

I agree with you on the term "often" - you're right.. young players don't "often" make a jump to elite status.  I stand corrected on using that term.

 

FYI:  Baez can settle a "bit south" of what he did this past season and still be one of the most talented players in all of baseball. Let's say he's a .275/.280... 25/90 hitter with the type of middle infield glove (and flexibility) he has... he's still an elite player in the league.

Edited by IlliniGuy76

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Just now, IlliniGuy76 said:

 

I agree with you on the term "often" - you're right.. young players don't "often" make a jump to elite status.  I stand corrected on using that term.

 

FYI:  Baez can settle a "bit south" of what he did this past season and still be one of the most talented players in all of baseball.

 

Sure. But the last two seasons we've seen incredible years by terrible PD hitters followed by huge years of regressions. Odor in 2016 and Schoop in 2017. I'm not saying Baez follows suit, but pretending that he doesn't have a few pitfalls in his approach I think is ignoring one side of the coin. s

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Baez wouldn't know the difference between a slider off the plate and a fastball on the corner even if he swung twice at it

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Apparently the pitching staff is going to rock a 1.00 era the rest of the year. Wish I had just drafted cubs pitching. 

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5 minutes ago, 2ndCitySox said:

Apparently the pitching staff is going to rock a 1.00 era the rest of the year. Wish I had just drafted cubs pitching sans Darvish. 

FTFY

 

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11 minutes ago, jb_power said:

FTFY

 

Even with Darvish. But I know you're a true Chicago fan since you focused on  the negative. I understand 

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I’ve been a fan for 32 years and I cannot stand watching D**vish “pitch”. Nibble nibble nibble.  Walk. Walk. Give up double. Wash, rinse, repeat. 

Id rather watch a 48 year old Steve Trachsel come out of retirement on 1/4th Speed broadcast than a D**vish start at this point. 

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