At 75-87, the Chicago Cubs gave their fans yet another disappointing season in 2010, as the team continued its long and storied tradition of losing.
The year started out with an ominous beginning, as the volatile Carlos Zambrano and manager Lou Pinella had a well publicized feud over Zambrano’s struggles on the mound.
The team’s struggles continued, as the pitching staff was ineffective and the offense struggled to score runs. Lou Pinella announced his retirement midseason, and the team subsequently traded Derrek Lee to the Braves for prospects.
In hopes of reversing its fortune, the organization was active this offseason by trading for starting pitcher Matt Garza and signing free agents Carlos Pena and Kerry Wood.
Only time will tell if the moves will be enough to compete against the Reds and Cardinals in the highly competitive NL Central.
Who to Target
Although the Cubs lack a top-tier fantasy player to target in the early rounds of drafts, the team does have a few second-tier players that will grace fantasy rosters this season.
Aramis Ramirez, Matt Garza, Alfonso Soriano and Carlos Pena should be targeted in the mid to late rounds of drafts. None of these players will be blue chip additions to a fantasy roster—however, they all should be owned it both mixed and NL only leagues.
Perhaps the most valuable fantasy player on the Cubs is Carlos Marmol, the club’s nasty closer who might possibly have the filthiest stuff in the league. He is a strikeout closer who should be taken in the top five of closers this season.
As the first player born in the 90’s to play in the major leagues, Starlin Castro made quite an impression on Cubs fans by hitting a three run home run in his first major league at bat.
Although he only hit two more homers over the course of the season, the young shortstop did show some flashes of brilliance by hitting .300 with only 71 strikeouts in 506 plate appearances.
I anticipate that Castro will improve his power numbers and fielding percentage in 2011, two things that lacked in his rookie season. If he can continue to bat .300 and increase his power and steals, Castro would be an excellent sleeper in 2011.
This article was originally published on www.kramericasports.com, the home of free fantasy news, rankings and advice.