How The Cubs ‘Right The Ship’ In 2012

(WSCR) When baseball resumes on Thursday, Cubs fans will have to face the the reality of watching their team, most likely, struggle through the final 70 games of the season. And after that, comes an offseason where they’ll demand significant change.

The majority of those changes are focused on sending overpaid veterans out the door.

“Most of these big contracts are going to fall off naturally anyway,” Gordon Wittenmeyer, of the Chicago Sun-Times, said on the Mully and Hanley Show. “And then there’s just a few other big ones, and [Alfonso] Soriano is about the only one left, other than the ones that are going to fall off naturally, unless you’re talking about the pitchers. I don’t think you trade the pitchers.”

Since coming to the Cubs prior to the 2007 season, Soriano has a .270 batting average with 120 home runs and 320 RBI. He still has three more years on his contract that will pay him roughly $19 million per year.

LISTEN: Gordon Wittenmeyer On The Mully And Hanley Show

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“If you can move him, now’s the time to do it,” Wittenmeyer said.

“But going forward, you don’t move the pitchers. Because if this team can catch the ball next year, they get a few young guys up, they’re generally better defensively all the way around and the don’t hit a whole lot better, they will win if they can pitch. … If [Carlos] Zambrano is healthy and [Ryan] Dempster is not the Dempster we saw in April [they’ll be OK], and you’ve got [Matt] Garza back next year.”

Wittenmeyer feels that the club has at least one in-house pitcher who can fill in as a starting pitcher. That would leave, in Wittenmeyer’s opinion, one more starting pitcher and a “depth guy” on the Cubs shopping list this offseason.

“Now you go to spring training next year and you have a chance to turn this thing, at least, into a winning situation again,” Wittenmeyer said. “You have a chance to do that. But you have to catch the ball, and you have to pitch. They had the bullpen [this year], they’re probably going to keep that largely intact, except for, you know, a guy like maybe John Grabow. But you need another starting pitcher or two. That right there alone should be enough to at least right the ship and, you know, bring it to sea level.”

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  • jack

    Yes, DUMP SORIANO – has yet to have the year that carries the otherwise anemic offense – and in regards his defense – jogging to cut off a line drive is getting tiring – best bet is Campana in left – speed on bases and most importantly in the field….the other best bet was Sam Fuld – but we let him go

  • Howey

    Campana seems like a Patch, not a fix. We need an overhaul of this roster…

    Hendry just need to go away, its that simple.

  • G

    Quade needs to go too…

  • Jake from da burbs

    If you’re not going to make any change with Hendry and Quade (because that would be the quickest way to “right the ship”), the the first area of change to quickly right the ship would be starting pitching… then defense. It ALWAYS is.

    Pitching is the only thing that actively decides the outcome of the game. A starting pitcher can determine the outcome of a game over any other singular player. If the Cubs want “right the ship,” it starts with starting pitching.

    Garza has the most potential of all the starters going forward. Wells could be a fit as well. BEtween Dempster and Zambrano, moving one of them this offseason would be a priority because with the money and ineffectiveness of both, they are killing this staff. That’s 3 guys who could work for 2012. We still need another front line pitcher and an Innings eater. The Cubs simply do not have guys who can eat innings while keeping his team in the ball game.

    Next I’d start with defense and adding speed. Defense is a starting pitcher’s best friend. The Cubs have ZERO defensive stars on this team long term. The one thing you had with Hak Ju Lee was a great glove but that”s gone now. Cubs have next to zero starting lineup speed as well. We need guys who can put pressure on the opposing pitchers and defenses and who might be able to manufacture and force runs.

    Let me save you all the trouble though… Hendry is not the man to do this job. He doesn’t have a clue. Not one iota of how to assemble a complete team. Holding onto guys like Pena, Marshall, Marmol like they are precious commodities. If a great offer comes along, no one is untouchable with maybe only Castro as the exception.

  • Lou

    Look if CJ Wilson is available–that should be the Cubs top priority, not Fielder. Keep Pena for his defensive abilities.

  • Joakim's bong

    The Cubs cant really afford to go after a Fielder or Albert pujols, they need to start with pitching.

  • Taxpayer 2

    The Chicago Cubs did well in the early years. First change the colors in their uniforms. Then start with start and relief pitching. Thirdly, defense baby.

    God bless.

  • Bob R-Jeff Park

    How about learning simple FUNDAMENTAL baseball first, then pitching, then relief staff. There were many games where there mental focus and baseball fundamentals failed the team because they failed to execute with baserunning blunders or missing cutoff men. Year in and year out this story grows old but their losing ways can be explained each and every time with the failure to execute on the field. Good teams always have their fundamentals down where losing teams like the cubs become the BAD NEWS BEARS of the MLB. At least attendance is way down which means fans are really starting to care now.

  • george

    watching the yankees, dodgers and cubs do poorly is what makes life worth living… please, please, please…. do not change anhything…

  • Will

    You saved me a lot of hssale just now.

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