VegasInsider.com
VI Mobile Scores and Betting OddsVI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds Be Social
Home
NFL
NBA
NHL
MLB
NCAA FB
NCAA BK
Golf
Auto
Horses
Soccer
Fantasy Sports
More
Betting Tools

 
No looking back to last season for Cubs

MESA, Ariz. (AP) - Chicago Cubs manager Dale Sveum knows exactly what he'll say about last year's 101-loss season when he meets with his team for the first time this spring.

Advertisement
``I probably won't mention last year, to tell you the truth,'' the Cubs' second-year manager said. ``This is about this year and the organization moving on and the 25 guys going north. So I don't want to be talking about last year at all.''

Making the task of forgetting the worst Cubs season in more than 40 years a little easier is the fact that the front office overhauled a pitching staff that finished last season with more walks than anyone else in the National League and with Triple-A pitchers making 40 of the final 62 starts.

In one of baseball's surprise moves of the offseason, the Cubs signed durable starter Edwin Jackson to a four-year, $52-million deal to join Jeff Samardzija and Matt Garza at the top of the rotation.

They also added Scott Baker, Scott Feldman and Carlos Villanueva to join Travis Wood in a competition for the two other spots.

In the bullpen, closer Carlos Marmol returns along with top left-hander James Russell and experienced middle man Shawn Camp. Instead of filling out the rest of the pen with rookies, as they did last season, the Cubs added former Japanese All-Star closer Kyuji Fujikawa as a free agent. And one or two of the rotation candidates figure to fall to the bullpen, adding even more experience.

``We run seven deep in starting pitchers. That's going to make our bullpen better,'' team president Theo Epstein said. ``We just got through running through every single pitcher in camp with the entire coaching staff (during a staff meeting Sunday morning).

``It's night and day in terms of quality and depth, in terms of what we were looking at toward the end of last season. Especially after the trades we made at the deadline and then with Garza going down (with an elbow injury), there were times when we were scrambling just to put a pitching staff out there, let alone have it be the one that we wanted.''

The Cubs say Garza, who missed the final 11 weeks of the season, is back to full health and ready to start his spring schedule at full speed. Baker is coming off a missed season because of Tommy John surgery, but also is healthy and expected to shoulder a full spring workload.

Whether it's enough to return the Cubs to the playoffs for the first time in five years - or even .500 for the first time in four - remains to be seen.

But Sveum is sure of two things: Last year doesn't matter - 100 losses or not - and the goal remains singular, regardless: making the playoffs.

``We could have lost 90 (instead) last year and it would have been the same thing. We would have gone home,'' Sveum said. ``Everything's put on numbers - how many wins, playing .500 - and those are a lot of things you have to stay away from. Nobody wants to lose 100 games, but when you start putting prices on numbers, like, `Well, .500 would be a good year this year,' well, .500 and we're going to go home just like last year.''

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and Associated Press.
Any commercial use or distribution without the express written
consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

  
HEADLINES
Williams: Saturday's Diamond Notes
Akins: Diamond Trends - Saturday
Roberts: Weekend Outlook
News: Updated Award Odds
Wood unbeaten, Dodgers blank Cubs
Senzatela shuts down Cards, Rockies win
Musgrove pitches Astros past Orioles, 2-0
White Sox rout Tigers, 'over' comes through
Archer on mark against Twins, Rays win 5-2
MORE HEADLINES
 
Why Buy Picks From VegasInsider.com
MLB Pro Baseball Handicapper Sports Picks Records
MLB Hot Streaks
3-0 LN, 38-16 Totals, +1,743 TY
3-1 Yesterday, 7-2 +509 L5 Days
6-2 +494 L8, 18-9 +1,018 L27
4-0 +413 Record L2 Days
12-3, +971 L15 MLB Streak
3-0 +350 G-Plays, 4-1 L5 Picks
+1,420 Net Profits This Year
14-5 L19 Over/Under Plays
9-3 Guarantees, 12-6 L18 Picks
26-16 L42, +2,075 Totals TY
14-5 L19 Guaranteed Plays
13-7, +658 L20 MLB G-Plays
10-4 +610 L14, 14-6 +796 L20
16-10, +1,137 Record L4 Days
3-1 L4 Guaranteed Plays
4-2 L3 Days, 20-9 L29 Totals
5-2 L7 Guaranteed Plays
4-2 L2 Days, 15-9 +642 L6 Days
MLB Pro Baseball Expert Sports Picks - Chicago Cubs at Los Angeles Dodgers
2017 MLB SEASON PICK RECORDS
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
Alex Smart + 1743
Stephen Nover + 1420
Kevin Rogers + 1198
Underdog Leaders
Handicapper Money
Kevin Rogers + 1263
Stephen Nover + 1191
Vince Akins + 1188
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
NeiltheGreek + 2075
Alex Smart + 1567
Kyle Hunter + 705
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
Marc Lawrence + 645
Joe Nelson + 626
Gary Bart + 462
Favorite Leaders
Handicapper Money
Zack Cimini + 571
Gary Bart + 449
Scott Rickenbach + 246
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
John Fisher + 974
Alex Smart + 626
Dave Cokin + 603
MORE PICK RECORDS
  
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 10% off a Live Odds subscription, SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!
VI Gold Membership