Hendry Accomplished Goals, But Are Cubs Good Enough?
The Chicago Cubs didn’t necessarily attract a lot of A-listers to their team this off season but according to general manager Jim Hendry, the team accomplished what it set out to do.
At the beginning of the offseason, Hendry set forth three goals: sign a left-handed hitting first baseman, a right-handed reliever and acquire a front line starting pitcher. MLB analysts, Cubs fans and sports betting enthusiasts have seen them pick up Carlos Pena, Kerry Wood and Matt Garza, so Hendry does get three check marks on his to-do list.But there’s still a lot of skepticism regarding the Cubs and whether that’s enough help for a team that finished with just 75 wins and 16 games out of first place in the National League Central.
For starters, Pena needs to have a strong rebound season. He was the 2009 American League home run champ as he cranked 39. Last season, he had just 28 and that’s with more games played and more at-bats than 2009. The bigger concern might be his batting average, which was .196 last season and just .227 in 2009.
Beyond that, the Cubs are still looking for a traditional lead off hitter and they need to stay healthy, which was a problem for them in 2009. Aramis Ramirez, Alfonso Soriano and Tyler Colvin all must return to form. The Cubs did finish 24-13 down the stretch of the season but looking up and down their roster, they simply don’t look like they are good enough. They have been lapped by the Cincinnati Reds in the Central and the St. Louis Cardinals are always steady. The Milwaukee Brewers acquired an ace in Zack Greinke, which trumps anything the Cubs have done this off season. They accomplished their goals but overall, the Cubs are still considered to be a few bricks short of load.