Monday, April 6, 2009


I can see it now...

So what if the Sox home opener has to get moved a day? BASEBALL IS OFFICIALLY HERE. I am so stoked to see what our local chokejobs can do. Here are a few things to keep your eye on this season:


How long until Clayton Richard is starting?
Contreras and Colon have the last two spots sewn up...for now. How long will it take for one of them to get hurt or lose the job to Richard? Only time will tell...

How long will Wise bat leadoff? I say 3 weeks, max. If Getz hits at the major league level, they'll try and move him up. Lord knows Wise can't maintain a decent OBP (career pinch runner? Yes, please).

Will Alexei repeat? A lot of signs point to "no" - especially the "I swing at everything and walking is for sissies" mentality that worked for him last season. I'm still hoping he can somehow hit .300 with single-digit walks.

Bullpen?! We have a lot of names - from Linebrink to Dotel to Carrasco to MacDougal - but nothing that screams "dependable." Our best bets are Thornton (good for one inning max) and Jenks, so here's hoping the 7th inning guys get it together.


More rotation question marks.
Between Zambrano, Dempster, Lilly and Harden, you've got the potential for 80 wins...or 30 wins as the result of injuries and inconsistency. Zambrano is about 1,000 pitches overdue for a surgery, and Harden lives his life on the DL (plus he came from Oakland). On the flip side, Lilly is about two seasons overdue for his usual collapse. Here's hoping.

Can Fukudome rebound? Some experiment he turned out to be, huh? Reed Johnson hit better, Gathright fields better, and Bradley has taken over RF. If he's going to rebound, he's going to have to do it in spurts, because he's not going to get the chance to be an everyday OF. Even so, I think he's got serious potential to put up solid numbers (.280 AVG, 18 HR) given the chance. He could be (and should be) the leadoff hitter the Cubs have been looking for.

Depth? With DeRosa gone, an injury to Ramirez could be fatal. Likewise, Bradley is injury prone and the Cubs should take care in using him in a non-DH league (not every day play). Oh, and an injury to Soto takes a big bat out of the lineup as well. Given that information, depth could very well be their undoing.

Who closes? Marmol lost the job...sorta. You had better believe that there's going to be a controversy if Gregg shows the slightest signs of trouble. Throw in the fact that Marmol has been prepping for this role FOREVER, and things could get interesting in a month.

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