It is mid-January, only a month before pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training 2009.
The Chicago Cubs have won two straight National League Central Division Titles, but have only played six playoff games combined.
In 2008, their offense was a big part of their success.
This will be mostly the same in 2009.
With the trade of Mark DeRosa, Mike Fontenot will more than likely be the everyday second baseman.
Right field will also be manned by a new face, Milton Bradley, who brings a lot to the table.
The Cubs just need to stay away from freak injuries. We have seen Derrek Lee (making a tag) and Alfonso Soriano (hit by pitch) break their wrists over the past few seasons.
Neither of these players are injury-prone. They just suffered baseball injuries that you can't really avoid.
If the Cubs can stay away from these types of injuries, their offense will be strong throughout 2009. Couple that with a division that no longer has Ben Sheets or CC Sabathia, and this team could score a lot of runs.
Even with one of these players succumbing to injuries, the Cubs are strong enough to succeed. In 2008, the Cubs lost Soriano for 50 games and played over .500 (26-24) for that time.
The addition of Aaron Miles helps bridge the gap that DeRosa left when traded. He can hit .300 and plays both corner outfield spots, along with middle infield, and occasionally the corner infield spots.
His versatility is right along with what we expected with DeRosa. Miles just won’t hit for as much power.
Another big plus is that the Cubs are now a lot more balanced than they were in 2008. They needed a left-handed hitter for the middle of the lineup, and got that in Milton Bradley.
As long as he stays healthy, this team will likely be a contender for the National League Championship.