With Spring Training just a few weeks away from opening up, the Chicago Cubs will have many goals that they will try to accomplish for this upcoming season. The 2013 season was not the greatest in Chicago as it saw a last place finish and losing over 90 games in the process. Set to kick off camp on February 13th, the Cubs will be determined to change their fortunes in 2014.
For the Cubs, their first goal will be to stabilize the pitching staff. They have to determine the long-term future of Jeff Samardzija. Chicago was rumored to have countless trade options this winter on the pitcher, but have yet to make a move. If a trade is unable to be reached, might a contract extension be in the works for the Opening Day starter? Also this winter, the Cubs have added new arms to a bullpen that has struggled severely the last two seasons. Being able to turn around that aspect of the club will go a long way into changing the fortunes of the team as a whole.
The Cubs would also like to see current leaders Anthony Rizzo and Starlin Castro reach new heights as the faces of the franchise. In 2013, both showed signs of struggles, but without these two playing at an All-Star level, anything else the Cubs do would be all for not. Chicago brought in new manager Rick Renteria in the hopes of helping Rizzo and Castro get to that level. In 2014, the two youngsters figure to rebound and become the leaders of even younger talent down the road.
Lastly, the Cubs need to have a goal of improving the fans’ confidence level. Around Wrigley Field, the word “hope” is known all to well. On the heels of 197 losses in the last two years, the fan base is growing restless now more than ever. The 2014 season will need to show significant signs of progress for the fans to remain “hopeful” in the plan. The future of the team is however promising, as the Cubs have seven players named on the MILB Top 100 list. Currently, the outlook is still promising on the North side, but now results need to begin to show out on the diamond.