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Four Signs the Chicago Cubs Are in Trouble in 2012: Fan's Opinion

Yahoo Contributor Network

It wouldn't have taken a genius to predict the Chicago Cubs were going to have a bumpy 2012 campaign. In fact, just about every analyst, fan, and commentator said that very thing. Despite a few bright spots now and again, 2012 is unfolding much as we thought it would. The Cubs currently sit at 15-26 and are seemingly falling even further. Luckily, they are already rounding out the bottom of the NL Central, so they can't fall any further in the standings. As we watch this young season unfold, we can see a few signs that point directly as to why the Cubs are 11 games below .500 and are most likely in for a long rest of the year.

You're on about your 9th catcher

OK, maybe not 9th, but the Cubs have had dreadful luck at the position thus far in 2012. Geovany Soto, Steve Clevenger, and Wellington Castillo (catchers number one, two, and three on the depth chart) all find themselves on the disabled list and have forced the Cubs to empty out their minor league talents and begin scouring other teams for catching replacements. This leads us to the next point.

You just re-signed Koyie Hill

I have nothing against Koyie Hill, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little bit pleased the Cubs let his contract expire and sent him on his way after last season. After the Cubs' catching troubles this season, imagine my disappointment, and the "Are-You-Kidding-Me" factor, when I saw the Cubs went a brought Hill back. You can say all you want about him "knowing how to call a game." but he's not that good to makeup for his porous offensive ability. Soto isn't much better. I'm hoping for Clevenger and Castillo when the dust settles.

When you knock an opposing All-Star out of the game (Paul Konerko), your opponents retaliate by throwing at...Bryan LaHair

For one thing, Jeff Samardzija did not mean to hit Konerko. Secondly, Phillip Humber didn't even hit LaHair. Thirdly, I'm a huge fan of Bryan LaHair. But let's be realistic, when he's your top target when "bean ball" starts, the fact you have a 15-26 record is not the least bit surprising. The Chicago White Sox might have just chosen LaHair because he was the corresponding position to Konerko, but there is quite the quality gap between these two men.

When your top three pitchers have an ERA of 2.28 (Ryan Dempster), 2.58 (Matt Garza), and 3.00 (Samardzija), and you're still 11 games under .500.

It is no secret it has been a dreadful beginning for the Cubs' bullpen. To further complicate the scenario, Carlos Marmol has seemingly forgot how to pitch (followed by the ever-suspicious "injury" that sends struggling pitchers to the disabled list), Kerry Wood abruptly retired, and they traded away Sean Marshall in the offseason--a wise move, but it would be nice to have a sure arm in the bullpen these days.

I guess James Russell will have to do.

Brian is a lifelong Chicago Cubs fan, having lived in Illinois his entire life and having followed Major League Baseball throughout.


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