A huge part of the problem for the Cubs in 2009 was the lack of offense in what was supposed to be a stacked lineup.
The team as a whole finished 26th in batting average, 16th in on base percentage, 19th in slugging percentage, and 22nd in runs scored.
Kosuke Fukudome hit .259, Alfonso Soriano hit .241, Mike Fontenot hit .236, Geovany Soto hit .218, and Milton Bradley hit .257.
Where the problem may lie for 2010 is that the lineup remains largely unchanged.
This isn't necessarily a bad thing, though. After all, it is quite possible that Jim Hendry and Lou Piniella are right in thinking that 2009 was simply a season of offensive underperformance by most of the lineup.
If so, the guys just need to bounce back to the levels that their capable of performing at and have performed at in the past.
This spring, the first four of the previously listed players hit .259, .259, .355, and .216, respectively.
Marlon Byrd, Tyler Colvin, and Xavier Nady, all of whom are replacing Bradley to some extent, hit .302, .468, and .176 this spring.
Although spring training stats aren't always indicative of true progression (or regression), they might provide some insight into which way the players are trending up to this point.
As you can tell, most of the averages are an improvement over last season, with only a few staying the same or regressing.
If Derrek Lee and Aramis Ramirez perform like they did last year stay healthy the whole season, the rest of the division will be sweating.
In truth, the entire offense could see a sizable surge in production if everyone else were to improve slightly and these two were to stay healthy all season.
Maybe there's hope or maybe I'm building a false sense of security.
Only time will tell which way is true.