Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Opening Day is 4 weeks away

Both the Chicago Cubs and White Sox opening days are 4 weeks away from yesterday and I'm getting excited about baseball season again. Granted, nothing has happened during spring training on other side of town that has me super optimistic and in fact I have all the reason in the world to a bit pessimistic about everything.

The Cubs camp has not gotten off to the greatest of starts on the health beat. With starting, as of now, second baseman Mark DeRosa still on the mend from heart surgery, LF Alfonso Soriano with a broken finger that will keep him out of the lineup till the weekend and 3B Aramis Ramirez nursing a bum shoulder, its safe to say that the Cubs need people to get healthy and quick. There is still talk of the Cubs trying to acquire 2B Brian Roberts from the Baltimore Orioles for two pitchers and SS Ronny Cedeno and that would move DeRosa to a utility role, which would actually make the Cubs a stronger team. DeRosa can back up at 2B, 3B, LF, RF and possibly SS. That could still give him 2 or 3 starts a week and having someone who can hit about .280 in that role would be good. Of course, the Cubs have also been talking to the Red Sox about CF Coco Crisp in case that CF Felix Pie doesn't have the spring training the Cubs hope and believe he will. But unless the Cubs can unload P Jason Marquis' salary in that deal, it doesn't feel like the trade would actually be worth it. I think Crisp would be an ideal CF for the Cubs, I just don't think that the Cubs are likely to find anyone else willing to take Marquis off their hands too.

Last year for the White Sox was an all around mess. They had no hitting, no pitching and no managing. So far this spring they have been able to get some hitting, especially from trade bait 3B Joe Crede and cuban import 2B Alexi Ramirez. Not to mention new OF Nick Swisher and his two bombs. But the White Sox will live and die this season by their pitching and quite frankly, they don't have very many good members on their staff. Their 4 and 5 starters are very, very suspect and not to mention they haven't improved their bullpen very much, despite what they might tell you. MR's Scott Linebrink and Octavio Dotel aren't going to pan out the way the expected and with not much else able to get the ball to closer Bobby Jenks for a 9th inning save, I think that Sox might find themselves out of it by the end of June and GM Kenny Williams looking for any takers on 1B Paul Konerko.

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