With spring training underway, hopes high for Cubs, Sox
With pitchers and catchers reporting for spring training on Feb. 14, baseball is back and the Chicago Cubs and White Sox are both preparing for the upcoming season.
The White Sox have struggled for the past two seasons and are hoping to turn things around this year. Last season the Southsiders finished with a 78-84 record but saw some flashes of brilliance despite the rough year. Last season saw the Sox acquire a number of exciting young players and prospects who could help the team build on last year’s record.
Some players to watch for the White Sox this year will include Yoan Moncada. Moncada is a solid infielder and good at the plate. Last season he had a .231 batting average and a .338 OBP. Moncada is also a good fielder and can play either second or third base.
There are also a handful of young pitchers who may see some playing time this season. Reynaldo Lopez, Lucas Giolito and Carson Fulmer could all be used this year while the Sox wait for Carlos Rondon to return from the disabled list.
The White Sox organization know that the team is still in the process of a rebuild and aren’t expecting to take home the World Series title this year. But there is hope that the Sox will put out a competitive team that could give fans something to look forward to in the years to come.
On the North Side, the Cubs are gearing up for another strong season and hope for a deep run in the playoffs. Last year the Cubs finished with a 92-70 record and had a few rough patches where the team underperformed. This season the Cubs will be hoping to string together a season of solid performances and avoid the rut the team fell into last year.
The Cubs will look to two players who performed well throughout last year, Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo, to carry the team offensively. The team will also look to Javy Baez to have another solid season. Baez finished last season with a .273 batting average and drove in 75 RBIs.
The Cubs also strengthened the pitching staff during the offseason with the addition of Brandon Morrow and Yu Darvish. Both Morrow and Darvish come to the Cubs from the reigning NL champion LA Dodgers. Last season Morrow finished the year with a 2.06 ERA and recorded 50 strikeouts. He could be a useful tool for the Cubs bullpen and provide good middle-inning support for the pitching staff.
Darvish was another top pitcher for the Dodgers last year. He started nine games for the Dodgers and finished the year with a 3.44 ERA. Despite his rough performances in the World Series, Darvish had a strong season and could boost the Cubs starting rotation.
The Cubs will be looking to return to the playoffs this year and hopefully avenge last year’s early exit. Fans on the North Side have a lot to look forward to and should enjoy some great baseball this year.
While Cubs and White Sox fans are going into the upcoming year with vastly different expectations, both teams have reasons to be excited for the upcoming year.