Found March 20, 2012 on
Boston Red Sox
RF - David DeJesus
SS - Starlin Castro
CF - Marlon Byrd
1B - Bryan LaHair
LF - Alfonso Soriano
C - Geovany Soto
3B - Ian Stewart
2B - Darwin Barney
SP - Matt Garza
SP - Ryan Dempster
SP - Paul Maholm
SP - Jeff Samardzija
SP - Chris Volstad/Randy Wells
CL - Carlos Marmol
Five things to think about:
- Castro is 32nd overall in my rankings, which is earlier than most people have him. He can hit for average, he steals bases, and his power is developing quickly. Castro is going to be a fantasy star, and he'll take another step toward that level in 2012.
- LaHair whiffs a lot, and his batting average might be just OK. But he's shown plenty of power, averaging 30 homers over the last three seasons in Triple A, and the Cubs seem committed to giving him a chance as their cleanup hitter. LaHair is an interesting late-game power source - think of him as Theo Epstein's latest, lefty version of Kevin Millar.
- Soriano can still sneak in as a fifth outfielder in standard mixed leagues. His batting average is slipping, but he's hit 50 homers over the last two seasons. If you need power late, he's still OK.
- Garza took to the National League in his first year at Wrigley, whiffing almost a batter per inning, posting a 3.32 ERA with a 1.26 WHIP, and increasing his ground-ball rate. He's a borderline SP2/SP3 for standard mixed leaguers.
- Dempster isn't great, but he's not as bad as last year's 4.80 ERA suggests. Look for him to rebound to the 3.75-4.00 range, with a top-30 strikeout total. Dempster isn't being drafted much in mixed leagues, so keep him on your free-agent radar in case your team suffers an early season injury.
- Odd man out: Other than the loser of the fifth-starter battle, 1B prospect Anthony Rizzo is expected to lose out to LaHair. However, if LaHair slumps, or moves to the outfield to replace someone else (Byrd?), Rizzo could become useful in NL-only leagues. He's a solid keeper league target, too.
- Farm system: Aside from Rizzo, top OF prospect Brett Jackson went 20-20 between Double A and Triple A last season, and could push for time in the Cubs' mediocre outfield. Catcher Welington Castillo isn't bad, but isn't likely to beat out Soto this season.
- Backup closer: Kerry Wood, who whiffed 57 batters in 51 innings last season, can still bring the gas. He offers the added benefit of backing up a closer who throws a strike about once every three days. Because of Marmol's wildness, Wood is a better closer handcuff than most.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
The Cubs signed DeJesus on November 30th to a 2-year guaranteed contract with a 3rd year option. He's guaranteed $10.5 million over the contract. I think a couple of the reasons the Cubs chose DeJesus is quite simple and I mentioned them in that article.
DeJesus played RF for 116 games last season and played 8 games in CF. He’s a damn good fielder so it’s not surprising...
Bryan LaHair singled, doubled, and tripled, scored two runs, and knocked-in two more, and Nate Samson had two hits, drove-in three runs and scored another, but it wasn’t anywhere near enough, as the Arkansas Travelers (Los Angeles Angels AA affiliate) took advantage of six errors to defeat the Tennessee Smokies 7-3 on Field #2, and the Salt Lake Bees (Angels AAA affiliate) outlasted...
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Weekend practice game roundup
Geovany Soto homered, doubled, and walked in Saturday's game, so it looks like he's feeling better from his groin injury. Steve Clevenger, Adrian Cardenas, and Joe Mather also homered this weekend. Tony Campana broke his hitless streak with a hit or two but is probably out of a spot on the roster at this point.
On the pitching side, both Jeff...
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Travis Wood sucks. He started the day with a 20.50 ERA. He was spotted a 7-0 lead before he took the mound. He left after allowing the game to be tied by the 3rd inning. His ERA now stands at 25.07.
Don't talk to me about small sample sizes. He blows.
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Practice Game(s) Recap
Dempster went six innings against the Rangers, allowing 2 runs on four hits and 2 walks and striking out three. Marmol had a scoreless 2/3 of the inning before leaving the game with some sort of hand injury. It was chalked up to cramps but he's getting an MRI anyway. The Cubs scored two runs on either side of a Blake DeWitt triple but were otherwise unable...
Jonny Gomes homered to start a three-run rally in the ninth, and the Oakland Athletics tied a Chicago Cubs' split squad 5-5 in 10 innings Tuesday.
Kila Ka'ahilue homered and doubled for the A's, playing their final spring training home game before heading to Japan for a season-opening, two-game series against Seattle in Tokyo next week.
Tony Campana doubled and scored...
A tidbit from the rumor mill.
The Red Sox are impressed with Chris Carpenter's live fastball but privately they are not happy with what they wound up getting in exchange for Theo Epstein.
The whole compensation for Theo business never made sense to me. I get that he's a contract employee, just like the players are contract employees, but you just can't quantify a GM...
No, not that Chris Carpenter. When the first tweets and headlines reported in February that the Red Sox had acquired pitcher Chris Carpenter from the Cubs as compensation for former general manager Theo Epstein, a few Boston fans probably thought, "That's great news!" After a minute of thinking, though, they probably said, "Wait a second, since when is Carpenter...