The Future Looks Bright
While many fans were excited by the arrival of Theo Epstein, most still believe the team is a long way away from becoming a contender again. 2012 has signified a new way of doing business for the Cubs.
The team didn’t spend money on big names in the off season. Instead, Epstein worked to dump some of the big contracts. Carlos Zambrano, Aramis Ramirez, Kosuke Fukudome, and other large contract eaters are gone. If the team could find someone to take Alfonso Soriano, they would most definitely dump him.
So far this season, the sub-500 Cubs are showing some bright spots. Hot hitting Bryan LaHair is outperforming stars like Albert Pujols batting .384 with 8 homers and 18 RBI’s. Starlin Castro is off to a hot start batting .347 with 11 stolen bases and 15 runs in 31 games. Tony Campana’s speed has dazzled, while he’s hitting for a .320 average.
As for the pitchers, Jeff Samardzija has followed up a solid 2011 season as a reliever and had a great start to 2012 as a starter with 4 wins and a 3.03 ERA. Matt Garza and Ryan Dempster have also put together great starts.
The Cubs also have prospects that will soon be joining the team. The Cubs top prospect, Brett Jackson, will most likely join the team sometime in 2012. This could make things interesting in center field if Tony Campana continues to play well.
Anthony Rizzo is also likely to join the team since he’s been tearing it up in the minors early this season. That will also be an interesting situation since Rizzo plays first base, which Bryan LaHair currently plays.
While 2012 may not lead to the playoffs or division championships, the roadmap has been mapped and the Cubs are developing their talent.