Blog Entry

GM For a Day Part Tres: Cubs Offense

Posted on: November 15, 2008 12:03 am

I decided to save the best for last, basically just to make sure that Jim Hendry didn't do something crazy like we're used to seeing.  The offense was the part of the team that was under the biggest scrutiny after it completely failed to show up in the playoffs.  There are so many options to what the Cubs could do with their offense this offseason, and I'm sure that my suggestions are going to be heavily scrutinized.

For the most part I think that Cubs fans will agree with me that the Cubs need a true lead-off hitter and a middle-of-the-lineup lefty, preferably a corner outfielder.  There have been many names thrown out for both spots, ranging from Brian Roberts (the man who's name is brought up more in Chicago than Baltimore) to Rafael Furcal (the man they should've gotten instead of Juan Pierre three years ago).  For the big lefty, names like Milton Bradley, Bobby Abreu, Raul Ibanez, and Adam Dunn.

Most Cubs fans tend to forget about what happened in the regular season though.  The Cubs still had the most dangerous offense, leading the entire major leagues in runs.  However, we have to go to the postseason to see where the tweaking needs to begin.  The Dodgers didn't even think about throwing a lefty the entire series, pretty much because our most vaunted lefty was Jim Edmonds.

So, here is what I would do to our offense (and remember, I'm not actually Jim Hendry, so I have no control over these moves).

I would start by including Derrick Lee in a trade with the Orioles to finally aquire Brian Roberts.  He's a lefty who has speed.  He can cause havoc on the basepaths as a true base stealer, which the Cubs haven't had since getting rid of Pierre.  The only problem with this move is the Derrick Lee part.  He would have to waive his no-trade clause in order to leave, and I have a feeling that Baltimore wouldn't be fit enough for him to waive it.  However, we will metaphorically say that he is now an Oriole.

Next, I would sign Milton Bradley.  His troubles in the past are one thing to look at, but notice that he stays pretty quiet when he or his team are doing well.  Also, I think that his attitude would bring a different type of flare to the dugout.

Another option would be to get Adam Dunn.  I wouldn't mind having the free-swinging Dunn come to Wrigley.  Yeah the guy strikes out a lot, but he will be that lefty that would force teams to bring a lefty out of the bullpen to try and match him.  Plus, who wouldn't love seeing mammouth shots out onto Sheffield with him actually being on OUR team?  The horrible downside to having Dunn would be the horrific defense that our outfield would have.  Dunn would play right, while Soriano would be in left.  At least we could now have Fukudome in center, and maybe he'd be able to run down all of the balls hit to the outfield?

With the departure of Lee, I would fill that void with Micah Hoffpauir.  I would start by having Hoffpauir hit lower in the order, just to see how he can play in an everyday spot.  You could also move Adam Dunn to first base and move Hoffpauir to the outfield, depending on how Hoffpauir progresses this offseason.  With moving Hoffpauir to the starting line-up, you now add a power hitting lefty who could end up in the middle of the line-up without having to spend any extra money.  The downfall to this is that Hoffpauir hasn't had a full year in the bigs and you never know what kind of player he will end up becoming.

As for the bench, I would try to retain Henry Blanco.  The Cubs have already said that they have a spot in the minors for him when he retires.  He's a great back-up catcher who gave us clutch hits off the bench last year.  He's always a solid defensive catcher, and I think he could still teach Geo a thing or two about handling a pitching staff.

These are all of the moves that I would make.  I think that adding three lefties, with only having to open up enough cash space for one (departure of Lee and the promotion of Hoffpauir) would be the most beneficial to a team that is still searching for an owner.  These lefties will finally give the Cubs line-up a diverse look, and would force teams to strategize more late in games.

So, SFH2's projected 2009 Chicago Cubs Offense:

1. Brian Roberts 2B
2. Ryan Theriot SS
3. Milton Bradley RF
4. Aramis Ramirez 3B
5. Alfonso Soriano LF
6. Geovany Soto C
7. Micah Hoffpauir 1B
8. Reed Johnson/Kosuke Fukudome CF


Mark DeRosa Util.
Mike Fontenot 2B
Henry Blanco C
Reed Johnson/Kosuke Fukudome CF
Ronny Cedeno (If not traded) IF

Go ahead and chew me up sportsliners!!


Since: Jul 3, 2007
Posted on: November 15, 2008 5:42 pm

GM For a Day Part Tres: Cubs Offense

I'm aware that you're used to watching coolers fly. Here's what you're also used to-- losing. So, go ahead and add more of what isn't working, that's a good idea.

Since: Jul 3, 2007
Posted on: November 15, 2008 5:40 pm

GM For a Day Part Tres: Cubs Offense

Oh, and whoever suggested getting Dunn and putting him at first, you really need to reconsider. Have you watched him play left? I have watched 85% of all Reds games in the last 4 years and can tell you that there is nothing that would make me think Dunn wouldn't be the worst defensive first baseman in the league. And if you guys don't think Derek Lee is clutch, just sit back and enjoy Dunn hitting 450 foot bombs onto Sheffield Avenue in 9-1 games, to bring your beloved Cubbies back to within 7. Just wait til he's up in a clutch situation, and you'll really enjoy those big bubbles he blows with his gum in the batter's box as the lefty specialist blows back to back fastballs by him at the letters before tossing up a slider that makes Dunn look silly. "There was no Joy in Chi-Town, Mighty Dunner has struck out."

Since: Jul 7, 2008
Posted on: November 15, 2008 5:40 pm

GM For a Day Part Tres: Cubs Offense

We're already used to water cooler's flying everywhere and catcher's getting black eyes.  We know how it is, I just think he would mesh if he was put on a good team.

Since: Jul 3, 2007
Posted on: November 15, 2008 5:33 pm

GM For a Day Part Tres: Cubs Offense

As a Reds fan, I want nothing more than to see the Cubs fall flat on their faces. Therefore, I will wholeheartedly back your moves, because you have managed to make the Cubs worse. Trading your gold glove first baseman and middle of the order bat? The defense is defintely downgraded with Lee gone, and you have replaced his very consistent bat with the most inconsistent and streaky hitter in baseball in Milton Bradley. Plus, what you call flair, most people call tension, which is not something that is good for locker rooms. Enter, Milton Bradley. Enjoy watching Gatorade coolers fly out of the dugout and torn ACLs from call-arguing. I really hope Hendry reads your post and follows through. Reds '09, baby.

Since: Jul 7, 2008
Posted on: November 15, 2008 3:11 pm

GM For a Day Part Tres: Cubs Offense

Trust me, I hated putting DeRosa on the bench, but in order to play Bradley and Roberts, it would be nearly impossible.  I did bring one thing up a while back about DeRosa.  He played shortstop in college and I thought that he could go back there.  His range won't be nearly as good as Theriot, but his arm would be a ton better.  Also, if not at short, we could make a sort of platoon at first with Hoffpauir, while also using DeRosa as a utility man, giving him spot starts when others need rest.

Since: Sep 27, 2006
Posted on: November 15, 2008 1:25 pm

GM For a Day Part Tres: Cubs Offense

I like what you're saying, but if we god adam dunn, then we could play him at 1b and put derosa in RF..... making our lineup

Roberts 2B
Theriot SS
Ramirez 3B
Dunn 1B
Soriano LF
Soto C
Derosa RF
Johnson/Fukudome CF

Also, I put Ramirez at 3 to break up the righties... also, i think that Soto is going to have a monster year so, he may end up hitting higher by the end of the year....

Since: Jan 11, 2007
Posted on: November 15, 2008 9:23 am

GM For a Day Part Tres: Cubs Offense

DeRosa on the bench? How could you demote DeRosa? I know he has been our UTIL extroadinaire over the last few seasons but after the year he had last year I would be more inclined to officially start him somewhere and slowly ease him in to other positions as the season progresses and roles are defined. Assuming we get Roberts, DeRosa  is either our starting RF, !B. No doubt.

Also, bye bye Derrick Lee. Lee can't carry a team on his back, he doesn't have very much pop to his bat, he is soft spoken and he was a part of the 2003 Marlins. He had one great year with the Cubs, that is it. He is not in the top 10of 1B in the Majors. He needs to go. I will name the 1st basebam that are better.

Pujols, Berkman, Fielder, Howard, Cabrera, Texeira, Morneau, Gonzalez, Delgado, Pena

Don't get me wrong, I respect the guy and all he has done, his time has just come. 181 hits, 120 k's. Yes he hit 40 doubles and had nice line drive/alley power but his k's and double play balls in EVERY big situation was inexcusable.

Fix some minor problems that are actually major internal problems. By changing Lee, I think you help change the psyche of this team, the other players look to him as a leader and he is not. Let someone else take the reigns of the team

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