There are so many changes happening with the Cubs this spring training that you'd think the dysfunctional tag may finally be cast off.
For the first time in many moons, the team is not forced to bring up kids from their system due to gaping holes in the lineup and rotation.
When you look at a successful organization like the Braves, you see that unless their is are serious mid-season injury, the rookies are allowed the time needed to fully develop in the minors before being called up. That is why so many of their prospects, as well as good scouting of course, perform exceptionally well when they arrive to the Bigs.
The Cubs, with the exception of SS, seem to be pretty well covered on their big league roster with above average quality in the starting lineup and their rotation. Their bench also, which is no place for a rookie, see The Riot, is also pretty deep with some quality veterans.
The Cubs may have spent a shitload to accomplish this, but at least they didn't have to trade from an already thin minor league system. This will serve them well in the future and hopefully they can, with the direction of Tim Wilken, start the laborious process of rebuilding the farm system.
It seems even Pinella is showing that although he doesn't need Pie on the roster just yet, that he's not stubborn enough to sabotage the outfield defense even further by insisting Soriano, play CF. Brian McRae states in an article today by the Tribune's Paul Sullivan, that it's hard to learn the position in Arizona and thinks Soriano will wind up in RF.
This would strengthen the outfield defense for a number of reasons. One, Jones came to the Bigs as a CF and two, Soriano's arm would help the team stop the merry-go-round we witnessed last year with the opposition's base runners.
It also paves the way for the ascension of Pie if he has lights out numbers in AAA, therefore making Jones, whose stock will only rise if he demonstrates he can play CF well, a desirable trading chip for the Cubs that could actually land them some real value in return before the trading deadline.
It's certainly a demonstrable change in the way the Cubs have operated in the past, and I for one, see the benefits for not only Pie, but also any of the young starters that where worth a damn last year, to fully develop before being called up.
And no, I haven't been put on the Cubs media payroll, just drinking a little Blue Kool Aid. :)
Go Cubs Go!