With the final spring training game in the books for the Cubs, let take a look back at this spring and see what we learned about the Cubs.
The Cubs really aren't that good
I know its spring training and the games don't mean a lot, but the Cubs ended the spring with a 14-19 record. Doesn't really inspire confidence, especially coming off a 75-87 record in 2010. In addition, the Cubs committed the 4th most errors in the NL (38) and had the 3rd worst team ERA (5.70) this spring.
It would have been nice to have a good spring and use that as a springboard to a good season, but it looks like that is not happening.
The Cubs don't have a lot of confidence in Blake DeWitt
Sure he hit only .186/.197/.305 this spring, but Mike Quade is smart enough to know that you do not judge a player by spring stats alone. Quade proved this point by making Kosuke Fukudome his leadoff man, despite his .173/.333/.192 line this spring.
The fact is, the Cubs probably don't have a lot of confidence in Blake DeWitt's ability to hit and that is why Darwin Barney beat him out. DeWitt could still win back the second base job, if he starts hitting during the regular season or if Barney struggles. But it will be an uphill battle from here.
If you are a hothead (and cannot pitch), you will be released
Carlos Silva dug his own grave this spring, fighting with Aramis Ramirez, pitching poorly and lashing out at the Cubs management after failing to secure a roster spot. He effectively destroyed any value he might have had and forced the Cubs to release him.
Truth is, the Cubs already have a resident headcase in Carlos Zambrano. But at least he can back it up with strong pitching. The Cubs have no need for a headcase who cannot get anybody out.
Maybe the Cubs really are committed to getting younger
With the announcements that Andrew Cashner had won the 5th starter spot and that Marcos Mateo earned a spot in the pen, the Cubs showed that they are committed to developing their players and building from within.
This takes some of the sting out of the Matt Garza trade, which gutted the Cubs farm system. But, at least now I get the impression that when players like Trey McNutt and Brett Jackson are ready, the Cubs will find a spot for them.
Now I've heard everything
Matt Garza, when talking about his struggles in Arizona, blamed the dry air, claiming it was difficult for him to grip the ball. So, when you struggle in Chicago, what are you going to blame then? Poor resin bags?
Good pitchers don't make excuses, they just get the job done. With the season starting, now is the time for you to produce and make us understand why Jim Hendry thought you were worth 5 prospects.