1. Aramis Ramirez needs to start HITTING. He can't keep doing this pop up crap with runners in scoring position. He's now the biggest threat in this lineup, and he needs to show why. Heat it up, Aramis.
2. Juan Pierre needs to raise his OBP bigtime. His little punches through the infield are nice when they actually get through. But I'd love to see him break form and work the pitchers more. He is invaluable when he's on base.
3. More power. Speed is great, I'm not denying that. And even WITH Lee, there is not a lot of pop in this lineup. Barrett, Jones, and Murton need to play longball a little more often.
4. Maddux and Z need to carry the starting rotation. Maddux has re-discovered his winning ways, and Z will come around (right?). These two are crucial until the fragile Wood, Prior, and Miller return next month.
5. Bullpen needs to stay sharp. Aardsma did nothing to impress me against LA, and Ohman and Novoa still make me feel like someone is jabbing me with a spork. But Eyre, Howry, Williamson, and Dempster have been studs. PLEASE keep it up.
And hows this for positive...
In 2003, Corey Patterson was arguably the Cubs MVP before he went down with a season ending injury. I remember hearing that on the radio and thinking "we're screwed." We all know how close we came to a World Series that year without our young stud. Anything can happen.