The North Siders and the South Siders – I hope you’re as ready as we are for baseball season! It’s been a long winter and it’s time for day games in the sun and the warmth to begin! That’s right, baseball is back. Time to watch the Cubs and White Sox race to an all Chicagoland World Series!
The South Siders have made some exciting additions. They brought in former North Sider via Oakland, Jeff Samardzija, to pair withace Chris Sale and Jose Quintana at the top of the rotation. To help out the bullpen they added David Robertson (they outbid THE YANKEES) to close out games. To bolster the lineup they added Adam LaRoche and Melky Cabrera for a bit more thump. Both lineup additions should help reigning rookie of the year Jose Abreu to keep mashing at first base. One of the biggest reasons for optimism is Avisail Garcia. The 24-year old showed a ton of promise in 2014 and is expected to also be a boost to the lineup. The rotation should be fierce, with Sale, Samardzija and Quintana expected to be a 3-headed monster at the top of the rotation.
The North Siders were also very busy this off season. They added a bonafide ace in Jon Lester to their starting rotation. The Cubs were able to bolster their lineup by adding Miguel Montero to handle their pitching staff. The Cubs’ rotation success hinges on Jake Arrieta and Jason Hammel repeating their 2014 performances. The real excitement is the embarrassment of riches in the lineup. The Cubs may have the most exciting lineup in baseball. That lineup is anchored by all-star first basemen Anthony Rizzo. Rizzo has a nice supporting cast though led by Starlin Castro and up and coming stars Javier Baez, Jorge Solar, and Arismendy Alcantara all poised to make a big leaps. Not to mention they have the Next Big Thing waiting in the wings at AAA. Kris Bryant the Cubs top prospect, a 23-year-old third baseman, batted .425 in the exhibition season with NINE homers and 15 RBIs in only40 at-bats. Bryant’s service-time drama has been well documented, but he’ll be with the big club by mid April. If Bryant spends 12 or more days in the minor leagues, Chicago would delay the slugging third baseman from becoming eligible for free agency by one year, until after the 2021 season. With all that said, the biggest addition was bringing in manager Joe Maddon. The Tampa Bay Rays’ longtime manager is expected to help develop all of the young talent; which should lead to more wins on the north side.
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