Last season, the Chicago Cubs were ahead of schedule with their exciting playoff run. In 2016, they are expected to get there again and some even have them as favorites for the World Series. This offseason, in order to ensure their post season return, Chicago threw down $275 million in free agency to strengthen their lineup with Ben Zobrist, elevate the outfield via Jason Heyward, and bolster the rotation with John Lackey.
The Cubs pitching is among the best in baseball beginning with NL Cy Young winner Jake Arrieta and both former Red Sox aces Jon Lester and Lackey. Jason Hammel and Kyle Hendricks fill spots four and five with depth in Adam Warren, Clayton Richard, Travis Wood and Trevor Cahill. Chicago’s bullpen will be a strength once again as manager Joe Maddon will attempt many combinations in order to get the job done. Sophomore Addison Russell is now the full time shortstop with the departure of Starlin Castro via trade to the Yankees while second base will be manned by Zobrist who adds not only strength defensively but will be their go-to top of the order hitter. The Cubs possess one of the most powerful corner infields around in Rookie of the Year Kris Bryant at third base and two-time All Star
Anthony Rizzo at first. These two combined for 57 home runs and 200 RBI’s in 2015 while playing stellar defense as well. New guy Heyward is the cornerstone of the outfield and will be joined by second-year players Kyle Schwarber and Jorge Soler.
Last season was a dream for the Cubs as they not only remained relatively healthy for the entire season, they achieved contender status at least a year ahead of schedule. Between their offseason improvements and their young players having one more year of experience under their belts, 2016 could prove to be a thrilling one for the ball club. Fans have been waiting a long time for this moment so be sure to secure all your Chicago Cubs tickets this season and come out to see these guys in action all summer long.
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