As we head toward the finish line of the 2013 season, the Milwaukee Brewers (60-79) have been stumbling as of late, but will look to square things up against the Chicago Cubs (59-80). The Brewers had done well in the month of August, but as the calendar turned, so did the Brewers’ state of play. For the Cubs, August was not a kind month as the team won only eight games are looking try and climb above Milwaukee for fourth in the National League Central.
In this Series Six Pack, I talked with staff writer Brandon Cain of Cubbies Crib, FanSided’s number one page for all things Cubs. Brandon answered a few questions regarding his team, giving us a little insight into their season and future. Here’s what Brandon had to say:
Benjamin Orr: Starlin Castro is one the premier young shortstops in the game, but has gone silent this season. What happened to him?
Brandon Cain: He strikes out, does not walk or move guys over. His defense has been spotty and his “baseball IQ” has been questioned throughout his fourth season. Sometimes he even looks lost or uninterested.
Orr: The Cubs have a primarily young team, so that can breed quite a bit of potential. Where does the future stand for this team?
Cain: The future looks bright but you won’t see any of the Cubs minor league play makers anytime soon. Last season the Cubs brought up Josh Vitters and Brett Jackson in August, but they were both nowhere near ready and spent this entire year in MiLB. Junior Lake is the most exciting young player currently playing for the Cubs while Javier Baez has 37 total home runs this season with Double-A Tennessee.
Orr: Can we expect to see the same performance out of Travis Wood next year?
Cain: With a full off-season under the Cubs pitching coach Chris Bosio tutelage Travis Wood is likely to improve.
Orr: Given his success in Boston, is general manager Theo Epstein leading the team in the right direction?
Cain: Theo is leading the team in the right direction. Some Cubs supporters may say the rebuilding process is not going quick enough, but it does take time. Rushing Vitters and Jackson last season is a perfect example that the process should not be rushed. Drafting 3B Kris Bryant and LHP Rob Zastryzny in this year’s draft were solid additions to the core rebuilding pieces.
Orr: Will it be harder for the Cubs to rise the NL Central with teams like the Reds, Cardinals and Pirates as some of the top teams in baseball currently?
Cain: The Reds and Pirates will be the biggest hurdles. The Cardinals have always had a strong farm system to pull from but their pitchers and outfielders are aging, which will have them reload right as the Cubs young guns are hitting their strides.
Once again, I would like to thank Brandon for taking the time out to answer these questions. Be sure to check out Cubbies Crib as they have great content about the Cubs every day and you can follow them on Twitter too. Good luck to the Cubs, but as always, go Brewers!
The projected pitching match-ups for the Brewers against the Cubs:
Sunday: Yovani Gallardo (10-9, 4.31 ERA) vs Travis Wood (8-11, 3.17 ERA) at 2:20 p.m. ET / 1:20 p.m. CT.