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Thursday, December 18, 2003

Cubs pick up Mercker and Hollandsworth

Just as I finished my last post the Cubs picked up Todd Hollandsworth as a left-handed hitting outfielder and Kent Mercker as an additional lefty setup man (Remlinger had surgery in the offseason but should be back). Both contracts are for one year, Mercker's for $1.2M. Mercker had a great year last year, hopefully he can do the same in 04 although he's thrown very few innings since 1999.

Hollandsworth is not as good as his career stats would indicate having spent parts of 3 seasons in Colorado where his avg was well over .300. He's probably a .260/.330/.420 kind of player although he's better against right handers for sure. Hopefully the Cubs didn't pay much for him since I would bet you could find that kind of production in the minors.

Still, no lead off hitter or high on base guys so even with the upgrade of Lee I wouldn't look for the Cubs to be a run scoring machine. Of course, when they scored 4 runs last year they won about 75% of the time so here's hoping the offense is just good enough.

So here is the way it sets up:

1B - Lee, Simon as backup and pinch hitter but may be trying to trade him
2B - Grudz
SS - Gonzales, Martinez
3B - Ramirez
RF - Sosa
CF - Patterson, Goodwin
LF - Alou, Hollandsworth
C - Miller, Barrett, Bako (one of them will go, maybe Miller in a trade)

SP - Prior, Wood, Clement, Zambrano, Cruz
RP - Borowski, Hawkins, Remlinger(L), Mercker(L), Farnsworth, Wellmeyer