Lineups and Roster Changes
While I do still welcome any comments on my previous post (or additions to the collective anger/frustration), Lazlo's comment brought up some lineup discussions in mind.
I wanted to revisit an earlier post regarding our current roster, and given that the heat is rising on the Free Agency and Trading season, what do we need to do, realistically, to improve our current standing? Nothing revolutionary, perhaps, but there are small-world, Epstein-like fixes that our front office could make.
For the purposes of easy reference and not to appear condescending, I'll list the "steady" lineup as well as our "normal" pitching rotation and "regular" bullpen (as they would appear in a perfect world). That will just help with aiding the discussion.
According to ESPN.com, our most recent lineups have shaped like this.
1 - Neifi Perez, SS
2 - Corey Patterson, CF
3 - Derrek Lee, 1B
4 - Jeromy Burnitz, RF
5 - Aramis Ramirez, 3B
6 - Todd Walker, 2B
7 - Todd Hollandsworth, LF
8 - Michael Barrett, C
9 - Pitcher
Our bench consists of the following:
Henry Blanco, C
Jerry Hairston Jr., 2B/SS/CF
Jose Macias, ANYWHERE
Jason Dubois, LF
Enrique Wilson, 2B
Our steady pitching rotation would be:
On the fringe:
I have heard/read the following trade rumours and/or suggestions on a wide variety of media outlets involving the following players from elsewhere. Either these players have been implicitly linked with the Cubs or have suggested dissatisfaction at their current club, thus leading to the possibility that the Cubs could be interested if they were traded:
Gary Sheffield, RF - New York Yankees
Austin Kearns, RF - Cincinnati Reds
Adam Dunn, LF - Cincinnati Reds
Joe Kennedy, SP - Colorado Rockies
Preston Wilson, CF - Colorado Rockies
Kirk Rueter, SP - San Francisco Giants
There are also a number of teams considering putting players up on the trading block, all of it spun through rumors of course, and an assortment of those guys include:
Orlando Hudson, 2B - Toronto Blue Jays
Rafael Furcal, SS - Atlanta Braves
Miguel Batista, CP - Toronto Blue Jays
Jay Payton, CF - Boston Red Sox
Gabe Kapler, OF - Japan (!)
Mike Sweeney, 1B - Kansas City Chiefs
Aubrey Huff, 1B/3B/OF - Tampa Bay Devil Rays
I have seen stories suggesting that the Cubs might try and unload Borowski at some point, either attempting a trade or designating him for assignment given his 85mph+ fastball and uncanny ability to give up home runs immediately upon entering a game.
So, these names, I'm sure, are merely the tip of the iceberg. It is obvious that talk like this will escalate as the season grows, so what do we think?
1. What roster moves/acquisitions/trades could we make?
2. Who from our current roster could be considered a good trade bait/expendable?
3. Which players around the League could be worth pursuing?
4. What lineup moves (without trades) could help out the team?
5. What minor leaguers do we have progressing well at the moment who could be worth calling up? I've heard people murmuring about Ryan Harvey and Corey's younger brother, Eric, but is there anyone else out there who could be tasting Wrigley before the season is out?
Please, any conjecture, speculation, rumor-churning, and insight is welcomed. Let's discuss the Cubs. Answer any and all of these questions as you see fit.
MIL: RHP Tomo Ohka • 4-3, 3.33 ERA in 2005 • Did not face CHC in 2004
CHC: RHP Greg Maddux • 5-4, 4.68 ERA in 2005 • 0-0, 5.73 ERA vs. MIL in 2005