Q. What are the big things you take out of this transition season for the Cubs?
A. If you go back a calendar year, you think about all the guys who are no longer here -- Aramis Ramirez, Geovany Soto, Marlon Byrd, Reed Johnson, Ryan Dempster, Carlos Zambrano -- to name some of the veterans jettisoned.
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Many were and still are very productive big-leaguers, but most made a big chunk of money. So last winter and this summer became largely about getting out from under some big contracts and establishing a roster of young impact players under the club's control for several years to come.
We know Anthony Rizzo, Starlin Castro and Jeff Samardzija are core guys moving forward.
The hope is that among a growing group of young position players -- including Jorge Soler, Javier Baez and Albert Almora -- that at least a couple of them become impact players at this level within the next 2-3 years.
The biggest hole is the overall lack of pitching depth in the organization. I know the Cubs have made it their top priority to stock the system with as many young power arms as possible.
Moving forward, they will need to continue to add as much pitching as possible.
There's still a ton of work to do, but after another draft or two, hopefully we will see a pipeline of big-league prospects throughout the chain.
Q. Do you think Dale Sveum will change anything in how he manages the team next year or how he approaches spring training?
A. I talked to Dale about that very thing recently, and while I don't think he will make any major changes in how he handles things on a day-to-day basis, he did indicate a desire to have the club work more on situational hitting in spring training.
The Cubs have struggled a lot in RBI situations this year, and whether that comes down to inexperience or a lack of focus, he would like to make that a priority in spring training.
Aside from that, I think the whole coaching staff has set a positive, hardworking tone all year.
As easy as it could have been to get down and act frustrated, they have not let their guard down, which I think really helps the players focus on getting better instead of all the negative stuff.
Q. Former Cub Adam Greenberg, who was beaned in the only plate appearance of his career seven years ago, will get another try this week for the Miami Marlins. Are you surprised he is getting the opportunity?
A. Yes, I am. On the surface, this seems like a great comeback story.
But it smells of a publicity stunt, something I'm a little surprised Adam agreed to be a part of. No doubt he went through an awful ordeal in having his major-league career consist of one dangerous pitch all those years ago.
But this next opportunity is essentially being staged, and for a guy who still believes he has legitimate big-league hopes, it is a bit strange to see him cut in front of the line ahead of some other deserving players who have never even gotten the chance to wear a major-league uniform in the first place.
Q. Are you looking forward to your off-season with just a few days left on the schedule?
A. I always have mixed feelings around this time.
I absolutely love coming to the ballpark every day, regardless of the team's record. And when the final out of a season is recorded, there is always some sadness.
Plus, you know the team will make changes in the off-season, so it always feels like the "END" of something.
On the other hand, I look forward to getting reacquainted with my family and relaxing starting Thursday.
•Len Kasper is the TV play-by-play broadcaster for the Chicago Cubs. Follow him on Twitter @lenandbobwww.wgntv.com/lenandbob;http://www.wgntv.com/blogs/lenandbob/[URL]. Subscriber Total Access members can email him [/URL]questions;mailto:cubsquestions%40dailyherald.com?subject=Reader%20question[URL] each week via our online link.[/URL]