The Chicago Cubs are in desperate hopes of bringing a World Series title to the Windy City. The problem for the Cubs is they play in the NL Central. Their hopes sit on the shoulders of Alfonso Soriano and Amaris Ramirez. Can the Cubbies pull it off?
There are sports where a team’s chances of winning rest on one, maybe two players. We currently see this trend in the NBA with the Heat, Celtics, and most recently the Knicks. Team management decides to acquire a superstar or two and maybe build around those individuals. In Baseball, I don’t think its that easy. Pitchers can really only go every five days, (unless you’re Sabathia.) A team’s best hitter can slump, but you have others. Not to mention, 162 games is a long season.
The Chicago Cubs are a team that need their two prominent players to, well, play like superstars in 2011. Alfonso Soriano needs to improve his .258 BA in 2011. Do I think he’s past his prime, yes. However, if the question is whether this 35-year-old can be effective, I say yes. He can still hit the ball. I do think he will need to increase his RBI but that will come in time.
Aramis Ramirez is the real story for the Cubs. In 465 ABs he drove in 83 runners. His .241 BA is significantly lagging. However, if he can step it up in 2011, he can be the catalyst the Cubs need to make a run towards the playoffs.
I am not saying the Cubs will win the division. I do believe, if Soriano and Ramirez play to their full potential, Chicago can keep pace with the Cardinals and the Brewers. Cincinnati is simply to good. All this rests on both players staying healthy. Question marks still remain with Zambrano. Kerry Wood is a good addition. Regardless of what the pitching can do, Ramirez and Soriano need to prove their worth and unleash their abilities. Can the Cubbies pull off a World Series run in 2011? In short no, but they can be competitive and make an already tight division tighter.
Agree? Disagree? Let me know what you think!
All statistical data from espn.go.com.