While I am paying attention to spring training I thought it would be a good time to predict the Cubs future. Many people see a Japanese superstar that can finally lead the team to a curse breaking season. I also see many holes in the Cubs pitching staff, mostly in the starting rotation. Finally, I will predict where the Cubs will finish.
First I am going to address the Cubs offense and Fukadome. Sadly I have to say the Cubs will have the best offense in the N.L. central. Now we will address Fukadome. Many see him as a savior and the missing piece to a Cubs World Series. I see a 31 year old player, with a wounded elbow, who has never seen a MLB pitch. Fukadome missed half of last years season with a shattered elbow. Not just a hurt elbow, a shattered elbow. So I think he will start off good, get hurt and not return to his all-star potential.
Now to the pitching staff. Many Cubs fans see Zambrano as one of the best pitchers in all of baseball. I will be the first to say that he is good, but not great. First he is in the National League so it is difficult to compare him to AL pitchers who have to pitch against far supieor hitters. Second he is too emotional. Remember his fight with Michael Barret? He is too easily swayed and affected by a bad day. WIth the rest of the starting rotation, personally I believe that it sucks. They have Lilly who is an average NL pitcher. Then after that it is complete garbage. Marquis, Marshall, Leiber, and finally the biggest joke Ryan Dempster. After Dumpster managed to blow win after win last season they decide to make him a starter. But the geniuses at the Cubs think, " Hmm, he can't pitch one inning effectively to win a game, lets have him pitch 5-6 innings because he will probably do better when he pitches more and his arm gets tired." And now they want Howry to replace him instead of Carlos Marmol. Remember Cubs fans pitching and defese makes teams, thats something you seemed to forget.
Now to how the Cubs will finish the season. Here is how I see the NL Central Finishing: Brewers, Cubs, Cardinals, Reds, Pirates. The Cubs lack of pitching will ruin them. Their offense will score 6 runs a game but they will give up 7. This will be the story of the Cubs year. The curse continues.