Thankfully, the first half of the season is almost over for the Chicago Cubs. With the exception of the first pitch on Opening Day, it has been a miserable season thus far for the Cubs. For better or worse, there will be changes to this team during the second half of the season. But for now, lets just get to the All-Star beak before we worry about potential trades. Speaking of the All-Star Break and potential trades, Cubbies Crib will feature an in-depth analysis of players the Cubs may target at the deadline. So much time has been spent on who the Cubs may trade, it is time to look at who the Cubs could trade for. With that said, lets take a look at the Saturday night notes.
Aramis Ramirez still has a chance to be an All-Star. Despite being missing in action on offense for the first two months of the season, Ramirez is having the best offensive season of any National League third baseman. Ramirez is hitting .301/.349/.503/.852 this season to go along with 15 home runs and 50 RBIs. Both Placido Polanco and Chipper Jones have been ruled out of the All-Star game, meaning the National League team would have add another third baseman. Ramirez’s name has come up as a possible replacement. Though, indications are that Reds third baseman Scott Rolen will get the nod.
The Cubs made a couple of roster moves at the Triple-A level in recent days, releasing outfielder Fernando Perez and infielder Augie Ojeda. Neither of these two players made appearances with the Cubs this season, and were not a part of the Cubs long-term future. Though for those looking for another reason to hate the Matt Garza trade, Perez was also a part of that trade. I still would make that trade 10 out of 10 times. By releasing Perez, it opens up a spot on the 40 man roster. Meaning the Cubs may be preparing for a roster move in the near future. Whether it be a call-up or a trade.
Mike Quade has set his rotation for the start of the second half. The top three in the rotation will be Matt Garza, Ryan Dempster, and Carlos Zambrano. Followed by Randy Wells and the fifth starter. Quade has yet to name a fifth starter for the second half. Casey Coleman, Ramon Ortiz, and Rodrigo Lopez are all under consideration for the spot. There also is a chance that the Cubs may acquire a young starting pitcher at the trade deadline, and may plug him into the rotation. Either at the trade deadline or this off-season, the Cubs will have to add a starting pitcher that can stabilize their rotation.
With their loss on Friday, the Cubs became the first team since the 2000 Houston Astros to not win three straight games at any point in the first half of the season.