Don't be shellfish...Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+

We at Razzball realize that exporting our views across the country has damaging consequences on the blogosphere. To help make amends, we are reaching out to leading team blogs and featuring their locally blogged answers to pressing 2013 fantasy baseball questions regarding their team. We feel this approach will be fresher, more sustainable, and require less energy consumption (for us anyway). The 2013 Cubs Fantasy Baseball Preview comes courtesy  Michael ‘Bad Kermit’ Bradt from Hire Jim Essian.

1) Brett Jackson finally made his debut with the Cubs last year and let’s just say it didn’t go over too well as he struck out more than I do at the club.  Grey already made a tentative Brett Jackson fantasy call for the season but since you’re the expert, will we see Jackson in centerfield right out of Spring training and what are your expectations for him?

Since the time you began reading this sentence, Brett Jackson struck out three times.  I’ve been assuming the “regular” outfield will be Soriano, DeJesus, and Schierholtz with, if there is still good in this world, as little of Tony Campana mixed in as possible.  Still, the Cubs are going to utilize their backup outfielders in case all of Soriano’s tendons snap like banjo strings.  Unless Jackson has a great camp (SPOILERS: He won’t.), one of those outfielders will be Scott Hairston, and I think the other one will be Dave Sappelt.  I’ll be a bit surprised if Jackson is up before June, but when he does come up, I think it will be because he’s “ready” to take over full-time in center.  I’ll say he goes .230/.330/.390 in 90 games, with 12 home runs and 30 RBIs.  But if you find yourself drafting Brett Jackson, you might want to ask yourself why you’re in a 40-team fantasy league in the first place.

2) The Cubs picked up oft-injured Scott Baker in the off-season to bolster their starting pitching lineup.  Normally, we fantasy baseball players like our pitchers in the NL but Baker is predominantly a flyball pitcher and moves from a very large stadium to one known to give up a few gopher balls over the course of the season.  What are your expectations for Baker this year and would you consider him a sleeper candidate for 2013 fantasy baseball?

Wrigley is a hitters’ park, sure, but nowhere near as dramatic as it’s often categorized.  If the wind is howling out, no one can keep the ball in the park, and Darwin Barney’s mom scolds him for not wearing a heavier jacket.  Nevertheless, in comparison to Target Field and the Metrodome, Wrigley can be a pitcher’s nightmare.  Because the Twins have been my backup AL team since I was young, I’ve always liked Baker.  I don’t expect Baker to survive an entire season, but I am pretty optimistic about him.  I don’t think 9-9 with a 3.90 ERA in 25 starts is out of the question.

3) Now that LaHair has found out where Quad-A players are supposed to play, Anthony Rizzo looks to take over the full-time reins in 2013 for the Cubs and the fantasy world is – to say the least – giddy.  Many are projecting a 30-HR campaign from R to the izzo and he’s no doubt likely to climb the draft ladder the closer the season gets.  Is the hype-train getting out of control for Anthony or are all these high expectations justified?

The Cubs hadn’t developed a decent position player since Mark Grace, and now they have Rizzo and Castro.  It’s a great time to be a fan of 2/25ths of the Cub roster!  I was lucky enough to watch Rizzo’s debut live.  It was one extremely bright spot in an otherwise-unwatchable season, and I’m proud of the Cubs for handling Rizzo well.  They let him prove everything he could in the minors, and then they called him up in one of the lowest-pressure situations possible.  Yes, he significantly outpaced his MLB expectations in 2012, but I still see at least 30 home runs and 100 RBIs from Rizzo this year.

4) Is it all but a given that no matter who takes the reins, Carlos Marmol is no longer the closer for the Cubs?  And if he is out, is Kyuji Fujikawa the automatic in for saves?

When the Cubs signed Kyuji Fujikawa, I immediately assumed it was to close out the four late-inning leads the 2013 Cubs will have.  The more I think on it, the less convinced I’m so sure.  After anyone with a modicum of common sense stopped watching the Cubs in June, Marmol put together an excellent second half and finished off a respectable season.  Assuming the Cubs don’t find a way to trade Marmol, I think he’s the closer on Opening Day.  If he’s moved, Fujikawa is the closer.  I wouldn’t expect more than 30-35 saves from either one of them, though.

5) If you did an  ivy double check like Kerry Wood did when he found Andre Dawson in that State Farm Commercial on this 2013 team, what would you most likely find?
A) A .500 ball club for 2013?
B) An evolutionary chart that shows Darwin Barney turning into Ryne Sandberg if he straightens his back?
C) A healthy Ian Stewart hitting 25 homeruns?
D) Wellington Castillo has such a big season that Vienna start baking bread around their beef hot dogs in tribute?
E) Grey’s Jeff Samardzjia fantasy comes true and he becomes the Cubs ace?

Since my giddy prediction about Samardzija was correct last year, I’m going to stick with the big goon this year.  He could very well be on the mound on Opening Day, and whether it’s injury-aided or not, he’d deserve it.  Second runner-up is Ian Stewart hitting 25 home runs, with the Cubs finishing .500 a distant third.  I can see the Cubs making a significant improvement to 70-75 wins, but 81 requires more of a stretch than Wellington Castillo’s waistband.

From Around The Web

  1. Jack Full of Hate says:
    (link)

    Sky, you ignorant slut…

    • Sky

      Sky says:
      (link)

      I didn’t know being in love with these paper clips made me a slut.

      • Jack Full of Hate says:
        (link)

        @Sky: I’ve been wanting to say that to someone, and well, you’re the big winner.

        Did grey seriously send you to the combine?

        • Sky

          Sky says:
          (link)

          Ha, nah. He sent me down to the corner 7-11 for a Big Bear 40 oz and a carton of Lucky Strikes. I just never returned.

          • Grey

            Grey says:
            (link)

            I sent him to the Pizza Hut/Taco Bell combo.

            • Jack Full of Hate says:
              (link)

              @Grey: Nachos and bread sticks? he’ll be pooping for days.

              Grey ” hey Sky, I need you to go to the Pizza Hut/Taco Bell”

              Sky ” I live 500 miles away, why would I be getting you food?”

              Grey “I want you to go there and eat. When your done give me 500 words about your meal”

              Sky ” Is this some type of punishment for all my bad football advice”

              Grey “you’re catching on kid”

              • Sky

                Sky says:
                (link)

                The funniest thing about all of that? Grey wouldn’t know what bad fantasy football advice is! It’s always good job security when your boss doesn’t know exactly what you do but knows you’re doing it cuz…well…you’re still here.

                • Jack Full of Hate says:
                  (link)

                  @Sky: his ignorance is you bliss

                  • Sky

                    Sky says:
                    (link)

                    I asked him if he wanted to throw the pigskin around once and he chucked a package of bacon at me.

                    • Jack Full of Hate says:
                      (link)

                      @Sky: HA!!!

                      that reminded me of swimming with sharks

                    • Sky

                      Sky says:
                      (link)

                      I have to rewatch that movie. I remembered liking it, love Spacey.

                    • Jack Full of Hate says:
                      (link)

                      @Sky: replace the bacon with a bagel

                    • Sky

                      Sky says:
                      (link)

                      Haha, yes I remember that. I think it’s streamable, gonna have to hit it up.

            • Sky

              Sky says:
              (link)

              Oh that’s right, he said to bring him a Double Combo: Double Decker/Double Down. It was me going to the 7-11 for those things. Had enough for a corn dog and a slurpee from behind the building afterwards. Good times!

              • Jack Full of Hate says:
                (link)

                @Sky: Grey is really hard on his interns

                So what did you get behind the building handy, hummer, quickie or my favorite the humiliation where I drop my pants and the point and laugh at it till I cry

                • Sky

                  Sky says:
                  (link)

                  ‘The Secretary’ was loosely based on Grey’s autobiography.

                  I got a brain-freeze and now don’t remember.

                  • Jack Full of Hate says:
                    (link)

                    @Sky: probably the humiliation, the rush of forced anxiety coupled with the brain freeze is like asphyxiation without the dying.

                    • Sky

                      Sky says:
                      (link)

                      It’s like having my very own Michael Hutchence story! Minus the good parts…

                  • Jack Full of Hate says:
                    (link)

                    @Sky: which one of you is Maggie Gyllenhall?

                    • Sky

                      Sky says:
                      (link)

                      I’d rather not talk about it…

                    • Jack Full of Hate says:
                      (link)

                      @Jack Full of Hate: its weird the first time. Im also that guy who will see a blemish on the neck and just flat out ask them. Doesn’t always go so well

                    • Sky

                      Sky says:
                      (link)

                      Yeah, I can see how that would be a hard convo to start.

                      ‘So, I see you have bruises on your neck…you into that?’

                      ‘I have an abusive boyfriend’

                      ‘Oh’…slowly walks back to bar.

                  • Jack Full of Hate says:
                    (link)

                    @Sky: I knew you were going to go there.

                    Seriously though, sometimes I have to play non-contact wingman and I am shocked how many women ask you if you’re into or willing to do that. They will literally have the bruises on the neck from the last guy they boned. At my favorite watering hole there is this regular who ALWAYS has arm and neck bruises. I wonder what her kids think.

                    • Sky

                      Sky says:
                      (link)

                      So not even any make up to step out, just comes out looking like they’re worked over steak? Sexy…never been around someone who asked for that or offered. Thankful for that.

          • Jack Full of Hate says:
            (link)

            @Sky: those damn hookers hangin in front of 7-11, will get you every time

  2. Goose says:
    (link)

    Thoughts on Starlin?

    He’s one of my keepers – but I read somewhere this offseason about how Sveum thinks he’s probably more of a bottom-third of the lineup hitter(!). In this lineup, that’s just mean. What gives? Was this a motivational tactic or are we fantasy baseballers looking at a crazy hyped #6 hitter?

    • Jack Full of Hate says:
      (link)

      @Goose: I don’t think so, sounds more like a tactic than anything else. I think as he matures he can turn into a leadoff/2 hole guy. Eventually the Cubs will have a proper 3 hole guy. Worst case scenario is he ends up in the five hole.

    • Sky

      Sky says:
      (link)

      Yeah, what Jack said. Spring training yaddax3. Don’t listen to it.

  3. David Rohrer says:
    (link)

    Tony compana was traded so u will get ur wish on that one

    • Sky

      Sky says:
      (link)

      Yeah, we had these questions lined up back in late January. Curse of getting so many helping hands in the team preview pool: don’t always have time to get them out there straight away.

Comments are closed.