Friday, November 24, 2006

Waiting For The Other Shoe To Fall!

You put your right shoe, you take your right shoe out, you put your right shoe and you shake it all about, you do the hokey pokey and you turn yourself around, that's what it's all about.

Well the Cubs certainly put their right shoe in with the Soriano signing and are waiting, as it seems is most everyone else, to see who puts their left shoe in concerning the big free agent pitcher contract.

It doesn't seem the Cubs are willing to put both feet in, but should they?

If they don't, can they expect to find another K. Rodgers?

There can certainly be an argument made for both cases, but let's look at the Cubs situation in a little more detail and see if we can find a best case scenario.

While there are no absolutes, usually when a team makes the playoffs, their success is quite often dependent upon the effectiveness of the pitching staff.

As we look at the Cubs pitching staff we find one stud starter, one second year starter that looks to be on the rise and a mash unit. The bullpen looks deep but might have a questionable closer. There are a lot of holes there and the Cubs don't have an unlimited budget, but an extra $5 million could be a determining factor. Can we afford to let $5 million stand in the way of having a superior rotation after what's been doled out so far?

The approach of signing a couple of middle of the road starters appears to be the tack Hendry is espousing but things have to work out just right for a rotation of Zambrano, and four number 4 starters.

If we use a template of the past World Series winners you'll find that unless the rotation's starters implode with an outlandish rash of errors(Detroit Tigers), the best staff won out.

It's true there are also some interesting trading options available and a deal with Cleveland could land a quality arm, but if the Cubs are to be considered a World Series team instead of just a playoff team, another front of the rotation starter should be pursued.

Numbers of course don't tell you everything when evaluating the two aces, Zito and Schmidt.

Zito is younger and has never been hurt but he also has not performed well during the playoffs and that is the main reason you acquire a stud starter.

Schmidt is older and has a nick or two but he's pitched 610 innings the past three years. He has an excellent track record in the playoffs and just because his fastball has lost a couple of MPH, so has Barry Zito's. Rodger Clemens like Schmidt, have lost a few MPH on his heater as well, but both are big game pitchers and have enhanced their repertoire. Clemen added the splitter and Schmidt the changeup, allowing both of them to remain dominant even with the loss in velocity. The Cubs could probably land Schmidt for a 3 year deal, instead of the 6/7 year deal Zito will command.

A rotation fronted with Zambrano and Schmidt is a recipe for success.

Put your left foot in Jimbo, and do the hokey pokey and turn this team around. That's what it's all about!

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