The Chicago Cubs made a handful of strong acquisitions during the off-season, but haven’t strengthened the team enough to make the playoffs. Scott Baker and Edwin Jackson will help solidify the starting rotation. Newcomers in the bullpen Scott Feldman and Kyuji Fujikawa will help significantly late in games, but the Cubs need a lot more than a couple relievers to turn around a team that passed the 100 loss mark for the first time since 1966.
The Cubs were near the bottom of MLB in runs scored last year, topping only the Miami Marlins and the newly American League bound Houston Astros. With younger players getting more experience, their offensive fortunes should improve somewhat in 2013. The team is relying heavily on players like Anthony Rizzo and Starlin Castro to have strong years in 2013, as their continued improvement could potentially turn the Cubs into a genuine offensive threat.
On the other hand, if either of them slump or remain stagnant in terms of offensive production, the Chicago Cubs and their fans could be in for another very long season. Unfortunately for manager Dale Sveum, the offense seems poised to remain a bit underwhelming. Pitching for the Cubs will show a marked change in the upcoming season, but the offense is still a huge question mark.
Although Sveum and GM Theo Epstein have high hopes for the team, claiming recently on Cubs.com that anything short of making the playoffs would be a disappointment, the Cubs seem like a team set to build towards strong a few years from now. Nothing about their current roster indicates an ability to compete with the top teams in the league in 2013.