2014 NL Central: Rebuild the Cubs Workshop
The Fall Stars game in Arizona featured a couple of rising Cubs stars like Soler and Bryant. Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
The St. Louis Cardinals do not have to worry about the Cubs, yet. This is an organization which is in the middle of a painful process that will be over in a a couple of years when their prospects have developed.
Until then 2014 is going to be another season when games versus the Cubs are played for bragging rights instead of positioning in the standings.
Chicago is doing some great things in their front office which will be evident when they evolve into a terrifying threat as early as 2016. Sure this has all been said before, and the ‘wait till next year’ mantra gratifies no one on the North Side today. But with youngsters like Anthony Rizzo and Starlin Castro in the infield along with Junior Lake and Jorge Soler in the grass, time is relative for Theo Epstein and his Baby Bears.
Pitching is what will ruin the Cubbies this year. Yes, Jeff Samardzija is as good as it gets on the bump, but the rest of the rotation is going to have a long year both within their friendly confines and on the road. Hurlers like Edwin Jackson, James Russell and Travis Wood are not going to keep the ball in the ball park enough to win games.
What should be an advantage for Chicago is their defense, with Darwin Barney and Rizzo on the right side of the infield along with the talented Castro at short.
However last year was a mess defensively. 100 errors as a team does not just sound like a lot, it is a ton. In fact that is 25 errors more than STL. Castro had 22 errors and catcher Welington Castillo had 10. That is what must change for the Cubbies to be legitimate.
Jul 22, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Chicago Cubs shortstopStarlin Castro
(13) and shortstopJunior Lake
(21) collide and miss catching the ball during the sixth inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports