2010 Chicago Cubs Season Preview
Another year of baseball for the Chicago Cubs, another season where fans will dream that a World Series title will finally find a home at historic Wrigley Field.
After a monumental meltdown in the 2008 playoffs, the Cubs seemed to let it affect their play during last year's disappointing, 83-win season.
As always, high hopes are abound in the Windy City for their loveable Cubbies, and rightly so. This team doesn't lack for talent, although they weren't particularly active in the free agent market.
One of the few moves the team made this winter was actually losing a player, and it may be a case of addition by subtraction. The Cubs were able to deal away disgruntled outfielder Milton Bradley and his big contract for virtually nothing, which was just fine by them.
Bradley was a big problem in the clubhouse and was a major distraction, often calling out the manager and teammates. There was also the time he flipped the ball into the stands after a fly-ball thinking the inning was over when it wasn't, allowing a run to score.
The starting rotation is still anchored by Carlos Zambrano, who has had his share of mental meltdowns as well. He's also had some injury issues, and the Cubs wouldn't be opposed to trading away his big contract as well.
The rest of the rotation is very solid. Ryan Dempster has come a long way since his early years, and Ted Lilly has great stuff. Sean Marshall has shown promise while Carlos Silva, who the Cubs got in the Bradley trade, could really benefit from a switch to the National League.
The bullpen has been a trouble spot, and it seems as if the Cubs are comfortable with Carlos Marmol as their closer. Don't be surprised if they are looking for bullpen help well before the July 31 trade deadline.
The lineup doesn't have a lot of home run hitters, but outfielder Alfonso Soriano and first baseman Derrick Lee both have the ability to drive in a lot of runs. The team really needs both to bounce back from down years in 2009.
Third baseman Aramis Ramirez can also be a big run producer, and hopefully he is healthy after missing time with an injury last year.
The Cubs certainly have enough talent to reach the postseason, but they will have to either take down the St. Louis Cardinals in the National League Central or grab the lone wild card spot.