Well, I had so much fun doing this the first time (by the way, feel free to check it out...shameless self-promotion) that I wanted to do it again.
With the second half underway, I want to share my current thoughts about this current roster.
Before I begin, I wanted to point out how messy this current roster is:
There is only one catcher (Koyie Hill).
There are only really four outfielders (Alfonso Soriano, Kosuke Fukudome, Milton Bradley, Reed Johnson).
There are eight infielders (too many to name at the moment).
I can't remember a time when the roster was so, for lack of a better word, unorganized. Granted, injuries continue to add up for the Cubs, but this collection of players is not what any Cubs fan would have envisioned for late July.
Several players (Kevin Hart, Jeff Stevens, Jeff Baker, Andres Blanco) were not even on the radar of many Cubs fans in spring training.
Nevertheless, here's how I feel about the current 25-man roster:
Koyie Hill, Catcher
I won't make fun of his first name, but I will make fun of his .204 average. Koyie, your average is terrible.
Derrek Lee, First Base
He's back to his old form. As the weather heated up, so did Lee. He is the MVP of this offense so far.
Mike Fontenot, Second Base
He has played better of late, likely due to the fact that he is no longer playing third base, but has not been what I expected.
Ryan Theriot, Shortstop
A .300 average and a slugging percentage 60 points higher than 2008 make Theriot a solid bat in a not-so-solid lineup.
Aramis Ramirez, Third Base
Welcome back. The Cubs' offense was slightly better than a minor league team in your absence.
Alfonso Soriano, Left Field
BleacherReport is a family-friendly Web site, so my comments about Soriano should not be typed.
Kosuke Fukudome, Center Field
50 walks against only 55 strike outs. Those are leadoff hitter numbers. I'm glad someone finally realized this.
Milton Bradley, Right Field
Raul Ibanez would sure look good in his place. So would Adam Dunn. Bobby Abreu as well. Remember, the Cubs wanted a big, left-handed bat. Bradley's .201 average as a lefty makes me think that Tuffy Rhodes would be a better option for the Cubs in right.
Jeff Baker, Infielder:
Honestly, Jeff, I have no comment for you. I'm sorry.
Andres Blanco, Infielder:
He has a very good glove, but a very bad bat. His role is simply this: The Cubs needed a Blanco on the roster to honor Henry Blanco from 2007 and 2008. Andres fills the void, and fills it well.
Jake Fox, DH
He still doesn't have an actual position (it's a joke to think that he could serve as the Cubs' backup catcher), so what to do with him? We have no DH in this league, Jake, but you sure know how to hit.
Micah Hoffpauir, First Base
He is a solid lefty bat off the bench. Not much else to say.
Reed Johnson, Outfielder
His injuries this season have prevented him from getting in any sort of groove, not to mention any consistency with his at-bats.
Ted Lilly, Starting Pitcher:
The Cubs' lone All-Star, after having 75 make the team last year. What a difference a year makes.
Carlos Zambrano, Starting Pitcher
Carlos is putting together another solid season (6-4, 3.36 ERA). With Ryan Dempster currently on the DL, there is no room for any shenanigans, Carlos.
Rich Harden, Starting Pitcher:
Pitch him on the road (4-1, 2.17 ERA) and/or at night (5-1, 2.41 ERA). His 5.06 ERA overall should give you an indication as to how he fares in day games at Wrigley Field. The first pitcher I have ever referred to as "inconvenient."
Randy Wells, Starting Pitcher
Thank you, Randy. You have helped keep the Cubs' rotation afloat even with the DL stints of Zambrano, Harden, and Ryan Dempster.
Kevin Hart, Starting Pitcher
Don't get too comfortable in the rotation, Kevin. Dempster threw a pain-free bullpen session yesterday and should be back in a couple of weeks.
Kevin Gregg, Closer
I want to apologize for being so critical of you earlier in the year. Your 0.75 ERA over the last 28 days has been remarkable. Wait, I just found out your middle name is Marschall...I withdraw my apology.
Angel Guzman, Relief Pitcher
Healthy again and solid as a rock. Guzman has been the catalyst to the rebirth of the Cubs' bullpen.
Aaron Heilman, Relief Pitcher
You're lucky I'm a huge Notre Dame fan, Aaron, because otherwise your comment would not be so mild.
Carlos Marmol, Relief Pitcher
48 K's against 43 walks issued. His ERA in the mid-threes does not paint an accurate picture of Marmol.
Sean Marshall, Relief Pitcher
He is an expert at stranding runners. A very solid bullpen man who probably would be starting for most National League teams.
Jeff Samardzija, Relief Pitcher
See the comment I left for Heilman, Jeff.
Jeff Stevens, Relief Pitcher
Stevens was acquired in the infamous Mark DeRosa trade, so a nice year out of him will help ease Cubs' fans pain of losing Mark the Magnificent.
Keep in mind the Ryan Dempster, Geovany Soto, and Aaron Miles have no comments at this time, because they are currently not on the active 25-man roster.
My one overall comment for this team: No comment.
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