The Spring of Frustration: A Look Into the Chicago Cubs' Spring Training

Jake KarmelCorrespondent IIMarch 24, 2009

PHOENIX - OCTOBER 04:  Derrek Lee #25 of the Chicago Cubs looks on against the Arizona Diamondbacks during Game Two of the National League Divisional Series at Chase Field on October 4, 2007 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Diamondbacks defeated the Cubs 8-4 to take a 2-0 series lead.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

The picture just about sums up this spring so far for the Cubs this spring. With the Cubs struggling with an 11-12 record so far this spring, things are already looking down for the north side crew.

The biggest area of concern for the Cubs already is their hitting, Derrek Lee in particular.

Lee is hitting a disgusting .179 this spring with six strikeouts. In my opinion, Derrek is on the chopping block with Cubs fans. They are tired of Lee and his struggles.

Yes, he will occasionally win fans back for a short period of time with a game-winning home run like he has before with his walk-off versus the White Sox, but I know I am tired of his injuries and faults. He needs to be put on the block this season.

I would much rather see a young guy in Lee's position that can build up his experience then a veteran who is struggling. I would like to see someone like Hoffpauir take Lee's position. He is young, not nearly as great of a fielder, but can hit almost as well. (At least he's shown that.)

The pitching is another worry this spring. The bullpen has been a big let down so far. Young gun, Angel Guzman, expected to make the major league club until recently, as had a very rough spring. Guzman has an ERA of 9.00 with eight innings pitched and three walks.

Another pitcher having a rough spring is Chad Gaudin. Gaudin's ERA is 11.17 with six walks and only five strike outs! Gaudin has thrown 9.2 innings this spring and has had a rough time with figuring out his form.

Former Notre Dame standout, Jeff Samardizja has had the roughest spring of all in my opinion. In 11 innings, Jeff's ERA is an enormous 9.00 with 11 innings and four walks. His stats are not as bad as Gaudin's but it is the fact Samardizja was looked at as the favorite for the fifth starter position or at least a key bullpen position.

Now, things are not looking so great.

The Cubs will end up being okay this season but these are definitely things to be worried about. The Cubs will finish first in their division, but I do not think with a good record like last season.