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We're now two months into what has been a very eventful season, so far. The Cubs were under .500 in April, and under .500 again in May, and they're now on pace to lose 100 games for the season. Unless you're over 50 (and I'd be surprised if anyone reading this is), you haven't seen 100 losses in a season before. I, for one, am curious to know how this feels.
As bad as some of the teams the Cubs have fielded in my lifetime, none--not even the 2006 team of Dusty Baker's final year--has made it to the 100-loss mark.And as the season goes along, any salvageable parts will likely be dealt way. Dempster and Soto are the first ones in the trade line, with Soriano hopefully lagging behind somewhere. This team is done for the season when it comes to contention, or even playing .500 baseball. You have to take the story lines where you can find them, and approaching the century mark in losses is the one I'm looking at.
Kerry Wood's retirement was a shock, and he went out on the highest note that I can think of. Kudos to him for a long and storied career, most of it spent in a Cubs uniform. But it's worth pointing out that the Cobs lost that game, and several more after it, including being swept by the White Sox at home. A sweep of the Sox in the Cell in June isn't likely, either. The Cubs can sweep the Padres at home, but I'd be shocked if they could sweep anyone else, especially on the road. The Cubs are just 6-17 on the road this season, and they play their first ten games in June on the road. Things could get really ugly in the weeks ahead.
On a positive note, Anthony Rizzo is likely going to be called up this month from triple-A. He's been tearing it up this season, with a .354/.415/.713 triple slash line as proof that he can hit at that level. Bryan LaHair has been cooling off over the past few games, and he must be hearing the same chatter that all the rest of us do about Rizzo. I expect Rizzo to be up in the majors by the end of this month.
With interleague play filling up about half of June's games, the Cubs will have an opportunity to call Rizzo up for a weekend series in Minnesota a week from now. But they'll have to carry him on the roster for two home series before they could DH him again against the White Sox, beginning of the 18th of June. Do they put him in at first base and move LaHair to the outfield, or use him as a pinch hitter and a defensive replacement for those six games at home? And does he stay with the club for the duration of the season, or go back to Iowa when interleague play is finished? How would you play it? Any comments are welcomed in the space below.