The Cubbies went 75-87 in 2010 and finished fifth in the Central, but things are looking up...a little.
The Cubs went out and got a shiny new toy in Carlos Pena, but it cost them a pretty penny. Pena had a down 2010 posting a sub-.200 batting average. However, he posted a good number of home runs his stock did not go down.
Pena has a career average of about .250, and if he stays healthy this I fully expect a bounce back in 2011, but he is not worth the $10 million the Cubs are paying him.
Pena is an example of a bad signing, another of which would be Alfonso Soriano.
Soriano and Pena combined are not what they used to be, and they will not be enough to carry the Cubs.
So how does Chicago post a .500 record? It’s because of their pitching and Geovany Soto.
The Cubs have Dempster, Garza and Zambrano as their 1-2-3. These three guys are all good and can post some surprising numbers if given the run-support.
The other part is Soto. He has shown that he’s got Big League skill, and if he can demonstrate it in 2010 again, he can combine with Pena and Soriano (who are still pretty good, just not as good as they are paid for) to try to give their pitchers what they need to win.
Overall, I would say that this season is a win for the Cubs and their morale, but if they hang on to guys who have peaked they’ll be in trouble down the road.
Prediction: Chicago will make a small move at the deadline to compete, and they will end up with a pretty good record but a poor finish in the division.