As I prepare to head down to the pool, I thought I'd take a page from Rock M Nation's playbook and pose five questions about the Cubs. So here they are, in no particular order. Feel free to leave your own answers in the comments.
1) Which offseason acquisition will have the biggest impact on the team?
2) What is your biggest concern going into the season?
3) How confident are you in Marmol's ability to close?
4) Who is your No. 5 starter?
5) What is your prediction for the Cubs this year?
1) This one is a no brainer. Aaron Miles. I kid. Bradley is the obvious choice here. If he can stay healthy and avoid attempting to murder a fan or ump, he could be the difference for this team. He can flat out stroke the ball and Wrigley is a perfect place for him to have a career year. That's a big if, though. He should at least be fun to watch.
2) The loss of DeRo. In terms of lineup options, the Cubs had a lot of flexibility last season. Not so much this year. When Bradley, Soriano and/or Aramis need the day off, the Cubs will be leaning heavily on a combination of Miles, Gathright, and a bench player to be names. Defensively, we should be fine, but I don't have a ton of confidence in that group at the plate. Strike that. I don't have any confidence in that group. None.
3) Not confident. He has been getting lit up this winter as the Dominican Republic's closer. That can't be a good sign. The fact that he is playing this winter is a worse sign. Lots of mileage on that arm going into spring training. What is he gonna have left come August? Or heaven forbid, October?
4) Sean Marshall. I would love to pick Samardzija here, but he's probably too distraught over Notre Dame's performance on the basketball court over the last month.
5) Cubs run away with the NL Central by mid-August and finish with the best record in baseball. Bradley and Aramis carry the club past the Dodgers to the NLDS where they lose to Jake Peavy and the Diamondbacks in seven games.
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