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ENEMY LINES
Jeff Pearlman
March 25, 2002
an opposing teams scout sizes up the Cubs
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March 25, 2002

Enemy Lines

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an opposing teams scout sizes up the Cubs

"The Cubs should score some runs. Fred McGriff has lost a little bat speed but will provide protection for Sammy Sosa....

I'd be a little worried about Moises Alou switching to leftfield. He's not the most fleet of foot, and that wall in Wrigley has some nooks and crannies. If you can get average fielding out of him, you're happy....

With Corey Patterson all the hype has to be answered. He has to get better control of the strike zone. Maybe being down in the lineup will take some pressure off him. For now, if he plays solid defense and hits .250, they'll be happy....

Last year Jon Lieber kept the ball down consistently, got ahead of a lot of hitters and controlled the inside part of the plate. He's not afraid of contact. He gets ahead and dares people to hit the ball. Last year they did it, and the Cubs caught it. This year I don't think he'll win 20. I see him more at 15, but Kerry Wood could offset that with a big year. His stuff is electric....

Jason Bere's changeup is a funky pitch, like a splitter—it's hard and goes in with a lot of deception. He doesn't hold runners well, though. His delivery time to the plate isn't good....

Kyle Farnsworth is the hardest thrower in the league and is getting his breaking stuff over. They're going to miss Tom Gordon [who's out for at least three months with a torn muscle in the back of his right shoulder], but Farnsworth is good enough to be a closer....

Jeff Fassero surprised a lot of us last year. His splitter was outstanding, and he got his velocity back up to 89 to 93. I don't see any reason why he can't have the same season."

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