Cleat Geeks

N.L Central Predictions #1: Chicago Cubs

RizzoArietaThe Chicago Cubs started out 2015 in the same manner they did in 2014. They were not doing the best they could but they weren’t the worst either. They picked up some momentum late in the division race but the Cardinals and Pirates were just too tough to catch. The Cubs did wind up the only NL Central team left when they beat the Pittsburgh Pirates in the wild card game and then secured a huge NLDS victory against the Cardinals at Wrigley. They proceeded to get swept by the Mets in the NLCS. Because of their playoff run, 2015 marked one of the best seasons in Cubs history.

Dexter+FowlerThe off-season began very slowly for Chicago. They lost one of their right-handed pitchers, Jacob Turner to the Chicago White Sox when they claimed him off waivers. They also lost second baseman Jonathan Herrera and left fielder, Quinton Berry when they became free agents. All in all, the end of October was uneventful.

The Cubs spent November strengthening the farm system and bidding farewell to yet more members of the team. Among those leaving were, center fielders, Dexter Fowler and Austin Jackson and left fielder, Chris Denorfia. The rest was all pitchers including, Jason Motte, Tommy Hunter, Fernando Rodney and Dan Haren.  The Cubs did add a few new arms to the lineup. They acquired Rex Brothers from the Rockies Ryan Cook from the Red Sox , Jack Leathersich from the Mets and Spencer Patton from the Rangers.

jason-heyward-cubs-300x225December is when things really started coming together for the Cubs.  Their biggest acquisitions by far were signing center fielder, Jason Heyward and right-handed pitcher John Lackey. They also claimed a strong second baseman in Ben Zobrist. Heyward and Lackey were fresh off a strong 2015 for the Cards and Zobrist was among the Kansas City Royals’ top hitters to watch. It is these huge late acquisitions that will  help the Cubs clinch the division title. They’ve got the hitting power and the pitching. If everything works as well as it sounds on paper, expect new division champs in 2015.

 

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