Write Derek at drksmart @ gmail.com
Write Phil at phil.bencomo @ gmail.com
by alex ciepley
The Cubs can only keep doing their job and winning, but it sure would be nice if someone would beat the Giants and Padres, too. I think the Mets are something like 0-72 this year against teams that are challenging the Cubs in the standings.
Cubs.com reported on this a couple days ago, but low-A Lansing first baseman Brian Dopirak won the league MVP and "Prospect of the Year" awards. Dopirak struggled a bit last year, but shushed the crowd this year with an awesome display of power, hitting 298/353/581 with 36 homers and 32 doubles. He's young, strikes out a bit much (112 Ks in 496 at bats) and doesn't walk enough (42 BB), but is the premium first-base prospect in a Cubs system that suddenly has a few good-looking players at that position.
The Cubs still have yet to sign several of their big draftees from earlier this summer. Pitcher Micah Owings looks like he's returning to school (though to a different one than he played for last year), Puerto Rican speedy outfielder Adrian Ortiz is still unsigned, and Corey's lil' brother Eric also has no contract. I haven't heard much about Ortiz's status, but I read somewhere on Baseball America's site that the Cubs were likely to sign Patterson. Given how Corey's played this month, that might just work out.
Oh, shucks. Jose Mesa is no longer available. I don't care how well he's pitched so far this year (and he's actually been pretty good, cracking the top 20 in Adjusted Runs Prevented), I don't trust it. You can practically write your own script on this one: Mesa unexpectedly pitches well for a crap team until traded to a contender, upon which time he reverts to last year's form.
It's almost unbelievable that the Cubs are thick in the hunt for the playoffs when yesterday's victory by Mark Prior was his first at Wrigley Field this year. It's all about getting to the playoffs. This team has shown in the past week how scary-good it can be if it gets there.