Forecast: National League preview

5. Chicago Cubs

David Schoenfield: They haven't had a winning season since 2009 and won't get one this year after losing 96 games in 2013. The big offseason acquisition was ? umm, trading for Justin Ruggiano? Instead, it's all about the young players, beginning with shortstop Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo improving on their 2013 performance. Castro has to prove he's not an enigma going backward, and Rizzo has to show his good approach at the plate can translate into better results. After that come the prospects, starting with shortstop Javier Baez, who impressed in spring training with some long, loud home runs. He'll start the year in Triple-A but eventually will push for a call-up. The rotation is led by Travis Wood and Jeff Samardzija, and both come with question marks. Is Wood as good as the 3.11 ERA he posted last year? Is Samardzija going to be traded? As Cubs fans ponder those questions, they can look ahead to 2015 ? when "Back to the Future II" predicted a World Series championship.

Jim Caple: This will be the 100th season at Wrigley Field and also will be the 100th season without a new world championship pennant earned. The Cubs are rebuilding, and the question is whether they will finish before another big Wrigley birthday.

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