1/6 Checking in with Theo

Theo Epstein tells the Boston Globe that the Cubs have made progress from one year ago. “We’re certainly farther along than we were last year at this time,” Epstein told the Globe. “When we got here [in late 2011], we identified one core player [Starlin Castro] and now we can look around and see Anthony Rizzo, Darwin Barney, Jeff Samardzija and others. We do have more positional prospects than pitchers, so we felt [Edwin] Jackson will be with us for many years to come.”

Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe also says if Matt Garza shows teams that he’s healthy in Spring Training, the Cubs will consider offers for the right-hander. However, Cafardo says it’s hard to read the Cubs’ intentions, especially after the Jackson signing.

On Jan. 11-12, Epstein’s Foundation to be Named Later will host the “Hot Stove Cool Music” weekend, which includes a roundtable discussion on Jan. 11 at Fenway Park. This year’s topic is “Changing a Culture in Baseball” and will feature Epstein, Orioles manager Buck Showalter, Red Sox GM Ben Cherington, Red Sox manager John Farrell, and others.

On Jan. 12, there will be a concert at the Paradise Rock Club in Boston, featuring the Hot Stove All-Stars, the Parkington Sisters, Christian McNeill & Sea Monsters, Chad Hollister Band, and Reigning Monarchs. All proceeds go to the non-profit partners as well as scholarships, which send high-need, high potential young people to college.

Epstein and Hall of Fame baseball writer Peter Gammons founded the Hot Stove, Cool Music event, which began in 2000.

– Carrie Muskat

7 Comments

I agree that we are way further along this year than we were last year at this time. Rizzo, Barney and Castro are pretty well designated to be Cubs players for a long time, pitching problems are certainly being addressed vigorously. Looks like we are going to have a wide variety of choices for the outfield. 3rd base is still a what-if or maybe with Stewart coming back from surgery. I have great hopes for 2013 – it is looking so much better than last year. Go Cubs!

Yes White I agree, much better than last year but I must question your take on the wide variety of choices for the outfiled…of course, you didn’t say GOOD choices….the outfield remains the weakest link on this team now that the pitching staff has been at least slightly improved. Only the hacker Soriano provides any run production and the rest of his “play” detracts from even that. CF and RF offer no run production to date. The choices we do have (so far) remain bleak at best.

I guess I am the eternal optimist, Joey. Always really liked DeJesus in RF. He made some fantastic plays there and I never could understand why they moved him to CF. Sappelt impressed me in the few games he played. Don’t think Soriano is going anywhere in 2013 but he did have a good 2012. I know, I know. LOL As I look back at 2012 it seems to me that the real lack was in pitching and with that being addressed vigorously for 2013 our chances for a decent season are promising. Try to keep the glass half full at all times. Go Cubs!

LOOKS LIKE WE HAVE A PRETTY GOOD STAFF,BUT WHAT A POOR OFFENSE?

Yes White, I agree. The problem was our pitching. I think we have an amazing defense with Rizzo @ 1st. Barney @ 2nd. Castro @ shortstop. Well not really sure who @ 3rd. And all our amazing outfielders that switch every once and a while (Soriano, DeJesus, Campana). But we needed the pitchers! We need better arms in the bull pen. I think that should be our real focus. I know we’re trying to get younger players for our field but I think we need some younger pitchers. I hope we do. And the hitting should be better too but I always learned while playing is that we need to worry about defense first and scoring after. So hopefully we get some young pitchers! :)

Hi Isabel – Hope you had a Happy New Year! Has school started yet? Let’s hope that the new pitchers can get the job done. I am looking for ALOT more wins with good pitching. Our defense has shaped up pretty well otherwise. Hope the weather will be good so that all the guys can fly in for the Convention next week. Exciting!

Ahhhh cant wait!!!

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