Yes, we are about to embark on the 2012 Cubs’ season. The ivy is growing on the wall and the baselines are being laid down.It has been 105 years since the Cubs last won a World Series, yet every Cubs fan still has hope that this is the year. The slogan this year seems to be, “In Theo We Trust.”
This year’s team is one that most people do not expect to contend for a division title or a playoff spot, but new team president Theo Epstein and general manager Jed Hoyer are building a foundation for the future.
Sean Marshall, Carlos Zambrano, Andrew Cashner, Tyler Colvin, and Aramis Rameriz are all gone from the 2011 team, and no one big name has come in to replace them. Anthony Rizzo was traded over from the Padres, but no major pitcher has been added.
Expect to see Brett Jackson, Rizzo, and Matt Szczur in the Friendly Confines sometime this year, but a major question mark in the farm system is former first round draft pick Josh Vitters.
Vitters, who has spent the majority of the past two seasons with the Tennessee Smokies, could be a missing piece of the puzzle moving forward.
The third overall pick in the 2007 MLB Draft, Vitters plays third and should replace Ramirez who signed with the division rival Milwaukee Brewers during the off-season. Last season, Vitters had a .277 batting average with 14 HRs and 81 RBIs at Double A-Tennessee.
Vitters has dealt with the injury bug, a common occurrence with most members of the Cubs roster, but will start the season with Triple A-Iowa. This is an opportunity to show Epstein and Hoyer that he is ready for the move to Chicago and make the roster of the major league club.
When looking for some mid-season call-ups, add Josh Vitters to the list of possibilities to handle the hot corner.