alright, I'll talk about them...

I have been reluctant to write about the Chicago Cubs lately, if only because we have been incredibly succesful this season. Being a baseball man, I believe
quite strongly in baseball related superstitions. I, for example, wore the same undershirt since seventh grade until my last game of college ball underneath my baseball jersey. The only day I didn’t wear it? Tore my hamstring. In the regular world, that is a terrible coincidence, in baseball, that was a tragic disturbance baseball’s mystical, religious law. So, do write about the Cubs when things are going well for the Cubs is to interfere in their success. It is also to acknowledge that something is happening that usually doesn’t. It is to mess with the baseball cosmos, to tease the baseball Gods, and to bring one’s team, a team who’s logo adorned your wallpaper in your parents’ home until you were 24, into the danger of destructing.

Fortunately, Alfonso Soriano
broke his hand last week, and Carlos Zambrano will have a MRI on his shoulder, so any sort of downfall can be blamed not on my blog, but quite simply on injuries to our two start ballplayers. Phew. Off the hook. However, what does this mean for the Cubs? Will they survive losing both of these players? Soriano is out for 6 weeks, while it is unclear about Zambrano; he may not miss any time at all. The Cubs can survive without Soriano for a while. They were able to do it earlier this season when he hurt his leg, and they did it last year when he hurt his hamstring. They have enough depth to fill his position. Granted, it is a downgrade, but at least it’s filled. Matt Murton will get a chance to play regularly, and that will help him, his confidence, and increase his value. DeRosa can play anywhere, and Fontenot and Cedeno add the depth in the middle of the infield to let him. Fukudome, Edmonds, and Johnson will be able to hold down the other two outfield spots, and occassionaly shift over to left field. Otherwise, the lineup remains the same, with Theriot, Soto, Lee, and Ramirez sticking to their everyday spots.

If Big Z goes down, then we have a problem. He is the force in our starting rotation, that has already been weakend with the demotion of Rich Hill, and the streaky play of Marquis and Lilly. John Leiber will have to step up, or Hill or Marshall will have to emerge from their injuries and the minor leagues and start pitching well again. The most important part about Zambrano is not only his ability to win baseball games, but to pitch innings. Doing so lets the bullpen get a rest. If they only need to pitch one or two innings when Zambrano is on the mound, then that saves up those innings for when someone else starts. Zambrano getting hurt will start to drain the bullpen, and that will lead to more injuries.