Previewing the Milwaukee Brewers 2012 starting line-up

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Over the last decade or so, the Milwaukee Brewers have been one of the best offensive teams in the MLB. With that said, they’ve also been a team on the rise which finally culminated with the squad capturing their division title for the first time in twenty five years last season.

Even though the team has lost slugger Prince Fielder, they remain in the hitter-friendly Miller Park and covet the NL’s reigning MVP in Ryan Braun.

Let’s take a look at the rest of the Brewers’ projected starting line-up in 2012.

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Plenty of Depth, Lack of Pizzazz Defines Cubs’ Farm System

Anthony Rizzo

“As the Cubs’ draft went on, we were sitting around in our draft room and we could tell what they were doing. We said ‘hey, they get it, they’re finally getting it’….That got my attention, the attention of a lot of other people in the game.”

Those words, spoken by Theo Epstein at his introductory news conference in Chicago in October of last year, speak volumes about the state of the Cubs’ farm system. Obviously, there is an element of intrigue there, with the Cubs’ drafting of a very strong class last year. They got several big prospects, and they were able to sign a big chunk of them, spending more in bonuses than they had in the previous two drafts combined.

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Big Questions in Cubdom: Should the Cubs Re-sign Kerry Wood?

In a tumultuous off-season for the Chicago Cubs, there have been a slew of players who have found themselves on the outside looking in with the new regime of Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer doing some serious housecleaning. Aramis Ramirez has departed to Milwaukee, Carlos Pena won’t be brought back by the club, and Carlos Zambrano, Tyler Colvin, Sean Marshall, and Andrew Cashner have all been dealt away. One free agent, however, has Cubs fans torn between their loyalty to him and their willingness to allow the new baseball brain trust to shape the team as they see fit.

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Cubs Trade Tyler Colvin to Colorado Rockies for Ian Stewart

Before leaving Dallas and the Winter Meetings on Thursday, Chicago Cubs President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein and General Manager Jed Hoyer did manage to make one move. No, it wasn’t signing Albert Pujols or CJ Wilson (both of whom signed with the Angels), but instead it was a trade, acquiring third baseman Ian Stewart from the Colorado Rockies. They also acquired minor league pitcher Casey Weathers in the deal.

In exchange, the Cubs sent outfielder Tyler Colvin and infielder DJ LeMahieu to Denver.

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Theo Epstein Talks at Winter Meetings, Reveals Plans for Cubs

In what historically is a fun event for fans of trades and free agent signings, the Winter Meetings are taking place next week in Dallas, Texas, and GM’s of various teams are already starting to talk to the media. Theo Epstein, the Cubs’ new President of Baseball Operations, took some time to talk to ESPN.com’s Bruce Levine on Thursday, and he had some interesting comments for the noted baseball scribe.

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New Era in Cubdom: Five Ideas for Theo Epstein

After weeks of speculation and several years of futility, a new era finally began in Chicago baseball on Tuesday as the Chicago Cubs named Theo Epstein their new President of Baseball Operations. He brings with him the obvious pedigree of winning two championships as GM of the Boston Red Sox, but perhaps more importantly, he has shown an ability to make moves that may not seem genius at face value but sell them to a rabid fanbase and end up making them work out in the end. This is a trait that he will need to bring with him to Chicago as he takes on the challenge of what will probably go down in history as the longest championship drought in American sports, but from what we’ve seen early on in his tenure, he seems to be up to the task. [Read more…]

The Chicago Cubs season is like the Cubs … almost over

lou-piniella-crosstown cup

I am catching everyone a bit off-guard here on Friday, but it is always good to change things up a little bit, right? Just like the Cubs are going to need to change things up more than a little bit when it comes to their 2012 roster.

So, let’s get going and starting rambling, and maybe even start talking about next year a little bit.

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The Chicago Cubs are NOT GOOD at baseball

Hello, good day, hope you are all doing fantastic. It is Friday, and as well all know, that means it is time for some ramblings. It is time to just throw some thoughts out there, see what sticks, then ask some hopefully intriguing questions and create some debate. That is what we do here, so let’s get it on. The trade deadline is Sunday, and a certain third baseman might be changing his tune.

So, without further ado …

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The Chicago Cubs didn’t lose yesterday!!

cub-fans

Hey, everybody, the Cubs didn’t lose yesterday! That is right. They didn’t lose yesterday. Man, what a great feeling.

Yep, that is what this season has become. I am happy because they couldn’t lose. That is awful. But we move forward because that is what Cubs fans do.

And what is the treat we get for moving forward? The Cubs get to play three straight games against the only team that is actually worse than them! Woo-hoo. Bring on Hunter Pence and Wandy Rodriguez. What a weekend at Wrigley it will be!

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Chicago Cubs WIN! And Rod Blagojevich is hoping to as well!

Good morning and happy Friday. I hope each and every one of you out there among the Cubs Faithful is having a wonderful start to the day. Or middle of the day. Or in two days, basically whenever you read this.

I have spent my fair share of time, as well as many others’ fair share of time, inside Wrigley Field, and there were only one or two times the weather made the experience more miserable than it did on Tuesday and Wednesday night. It was horrible. Call it committed or just plain stupid, either way, it was COLD.

So, with that out of the way, let’s start throwing out some random and obvious thoughts and see what sticks against the wall. So, here we go …

• Hey, I can’t see to well … was that just series victory? Really, the Cubs won a series?

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Some Cubbies Ramblings During a Deep Freeze

Hello again, everybody. We are a week removed from the Cubs Convention, and like they say, there is never really an off-season when the hot stove is sizzling.

More moves, more thoughts, more rumors, and more pontificating from the masses … just another week for the Cubs.

It is cold in Chicago. When it was 20 degrees warmer it is was freezing. Now it is mind numbing, bone-chilling ridiculousness.

So, with all that said, let’s ramble a little bit. Let’s just have the random stream of consciousness coming flying out on paper, or more accurately, an electronic screen.

By: Brian McCabe

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Cubs must equal Holliday trade with internal improvements

Aramis Ramirez

By Anthony Zilis

The acquisition of Matt Holliday seems to make the St. Louis Cardinals the popular favorites in the National League Central.

But after an extremely disappointing first half, where seemingly everything that could go wrong did go wrong for the Cubs, they find themselves in first place today, half a game ahead of St. Louis.

And while it seems that Cubs general manager Jim Hendry is tied up by the pending sale of the team as the trading deadline approaches, the Cubs have managed to improve without any major trades.

Aramis Ramirez is showing resemblance to his pre-injury form, (the third baseman is 9-for-16 in his last four games after struggling since coming back from a shoulder injury) which is equal to adding a frontline player like Holliday. Alfonso Soriano could have easily been replaced by an outfielder from the Tennessee Smokies in May and June without a dip in production, but he’s now swinging a hot bat. The left fielder raised his average 28 points in the last 15 games.

The Cubs also hope Rich Harden’s post All-Star break resurgence isn’t a mirage, as he’s allowed only two runs in his last three starts. His Sunday win over the Reds was his first at home since May 12 and his first during the day since April 21.

Couple these major additions with the solid pitching from rookies Randy Wells and Kevin Hart, who has had two solid starts filling in for Ryan Dempster and Ted Lilly, and the Cubs have managed to scrape themselves back to the top of the division.

But this resurgence isn’t merely a coup for the Cubs – it’s a must. In a year that should be labeled “World Series or bust,” the time is right for a long-awaited championship. Hendry has immobilized, if not handcuffed, this franchise for a few years by throwing around huge amounts of money to players like Soriano, Milton Bradley, Kosuke Fukudome, Ryan Dempster, and Carlos Zambrano.

So while it would be nice to trade for a Jake Peavy or a Roy Halladay, the Cubs are going to have to win with what they have. Their improvements have had to come internally and that looks like the case.

Cubs Bradley Baseball

Look next for a comeback by Milton Bradley, who has struggled mightily from the left side of the plate. If you remember, one reason Hendry insisted on signing the switch-hitting right fielder was to make his lineup more left-handed. Piniella has personally worked with Bradley over the last several days, so look for him to return to his 2008 form, when he was third in the American League in batting average.

If everything comes together for the Cubs like it has the last few weeks, look for all of the criticism from what was looking like a possible lost season to be washed away.

A fan base that has long been frustrated has tasted success over the last few years, and a World Series victory is expected.

If they can’t win a championship, look for heads to roll as new ownership comes in.

Think the Cardinals acquisition of Holliday puts them above the Cubs? Do the Cubs have what it takes to win in the playoffs if they get there? Does Jim Hendry have a job with the Cubs if they don’t win the World Series?