am going to write a new article about the Cubs every month of the 2006 Cubs season.
Here is issue #1.
It is nice to see Wood back. The first thing I think is how long he will be with the team this time. Ifigure he won't make it through the rest of the season without an injury. That is just how Kerry's career has been and will always be I figure. I don't think he will ever get more than 14 wins in any season. On May 29th, he had a solid start and even chipped in with a couple of hits. It looks like he might have turned the corner against a tough offense in the Reds. I hope he has no more setbacks and doesn't have any more starts bumped back. We will see.
Prior and Miller
We are still waiting for Prior and Wade Miller to return from injury. It seems like every season we are waiting for guys like this. And when they come back, will the season be pretty much over? If these guys come back strong, the rotation of Zambrano, Wood, Prior, Maddux, and Miller looks pretty solid on paper. Will it turn into wins for the boys in blue? Quite possibly. The big question that has been on our mind is will they all stay healthly for the remainder of the year. Miller has not reached 30 starts since his 2003 season with the Astros. He suffers from similar problems as Wood - people in the know say his mechanics put too much strain on his arm.
No offense Cubs but we have no offense. The offense has had big trouble in this losing stretch. They are pretty much last in the leauge in most categories and we can't blame all this trouble on the loss of Lee. I sit here and watch all the games and have to remind myself how teams score runs. They get guys to go around the bases or they hit homers. I forge this because it seems like whole games go by with the Cubs failing to do this. Who should we point the finger at? It is easy to say Juan Pierre or Aramis. I don't like finger pointing so let me tell you who has made me happy this year. Murton, Jacque Jones, Walker, and Cedeno have had good seasons so far. The other guys hopefully will come around and Lee will be back soon.
We are at the point where we have to decide if this season is still salvageable. Sportswriters have recently said that the Cubs will have to go 70-40 or so to be in playoff contention. That doesn't seem possible with the way things have gone so far this year but you never know. I think the bats will come around but the main question will be if our starting pitching holds up. With Wood, Miller and Prior entering the rotation, the odds of them staying healthy are slim and the remainder of our season hinges on the weak thread of those guys.
What should management do?
Henry has a lot of decisions to make until the tread deadline. There also is rumor that he is waiting for the right time to offer an extension to Baker. Let me just say that I support Hendry and Baker. Every time I get pissed at them I think of the alternatives out there and I think that I still would rather have these guys. That being said, what should Hendry do? Trade Wood, Rusch, Scott Williams, all of the minor league starters inluding Ryu, Hill, Jerome Williams, and Guzman. Take whatever you can get for them. Do whatever we can do to land a power hitting shortstop. Don't get me wrong, I love Cedeno. I like his speed and approach at the plate but I think they should take another look at the plan before the season started. Get another shortstop - a big time bat like Tejada, and move Cedeno to second base. OK that is it. if Hendry follows my plan the Cubs will be playing in October this year.