Rise, bleacher bums. Rise, Ricketts family. Rise, all you North siders. This is your time. This is Cubs baseball time!
Sure, it’s been a little while since the Cubbies have won the NL Pennant, but I’m telling you, this is the year! The pieces are starting to come together, and it’s all happening with the pitching rotation.
Ryan Dempster is entering his fourth season as a Cubs starter. Dempster has been a consistent and reliable pitcher in most fantasy leagues, and there are no signs of this changing. His 208 strikeouts were 12th in the majors, and 15 wins were among the national league’s best.
However, Dempster has had control problems, and in 2010 he walked 86 batters, seventh most in all of baseball. The 2011 Cubbies should see more production with their offense, and starting pitchers will benefit. Dempster especially, who had the sixth most “tough losses” (losses in quality starts) with six games lost.
Dempster will have similar numbers in 2011. I think the arrival of Garza takes some pressure off of him as well. I see 16-8, 200 IP, 3.40 ERA, and 190 K for Dempster this season.
Matt Garza has packed his bags and will join the Cubs for his first season in the National League.