The Cubs have had a difficult season so far and I can’t help but wonder….What’s Next?!?! We had a lot of trouble with our defense in spring training and that has continued into the regular season to some extent. We had Andrew Cashner and Randy Wells go on the DL in early April. We’ve lost Marlon Byrd, Matt Garza, Reed Johnson, Geovany Soto (he’s back now) and Jeff Baker to the DL as well. Afonso Soriano injured his quad yesterday and I don’t know if he will be the next to visit the DL, but wouldn’t be surprised if he did.
With all of these injuries, the Cubs have won 23 and lost 29 as of this post. That’s six games under .500 and puts us in second to last in the division. However, we are only 7.5 games out of first.
The frustration for me is that we are signing and trading for Doug Davis and Rodrigo Lopez to help our starting rotation. I know they probably weren’t that expensive, but I would rather us go young. We did with Casey Coleman, but he wasn’t getting the job done. We also tried James Russell, but I believe he’s better a relief pitcher than starter and his stats prove it. I know it may be too early, but I would love to see the Cubs bring up Trey McNutt who is pitching great at AA Tennessee.
Overall, I think we need to get healthy to see what we this club can really do this season. And if we don’t, then I would hope the Cubs bring up more of our younger players and let them get a taste of the big leagues and see what they need to work on. I don’t want to hinder their development, but it would be nice to see some of these young players get a cup of coffee. They are our future, right?
n at second base with Jeff Baker. Baker will see most of the action against lefties and Barney should play the rest of the time. DB is batting .362 so far this spring and brings a lot of energy to the field. Kind of reminds me of Ryan Theriot when he first came up with the Cubs.
The Chicago Cubs appear to content with the lineup we currently have. I was kind of hoping we would trade Fukudome, but that does not seem like it will happen. I was also a little bit interested in Michael Young to play second over the platoon of Blake DeWitt and Jeff Baker, but that is not going to happen either. Another possible “solution” for second would be Luis Castillo if the Mets were willing to part with him. Personally, I don’t like this idea at all. The one move I still think the Cubs could make is acquiring Chris Davis from the Rangers. I think it would take catcher Wellington Castillo and another high minor league player.
I’ve got a few things I want to touch base on today before I enjoy some spring training baseball and college basketball.
Now that the Cubs roster is beginning to take shape I think the Cubs would be wise to make a trade or two before the season starts. I have 3 players in mind to trade away. They are Jeff Baker, Kosuke Fukudome and Carlos Silva. I would like the Cubs to get Chris Davis in return for any of these players. If you’ve read my blog some this winter then you will know that this is something I have mentioned several times.
GO CUBS GO!!!
My internet hasn’t worked right the last few days so, I haven’t been able to write any posts. I guess I can blame it on the winter weather the midwest has experienced. I didn’t even call my internet provider because I know they would probably give me some lame excuse. Anyway, here’s a few thoughts I’ve had the last couple of days.
The Rangers are shopping Michael Young to the Rockies. Why in the world won’t the Cubs make an offer?! We could package Soriano, Jeff Baker or Blake DeWitt and Wellington Castillo for Michael Young, Chris Davis and Darren O’Day. Soriano and Young each have bad contracts. The Cubs would probably have to eat around $9 million of his contract during the final year of his deal, but it would be worth it to me. It’s just a thought.
Blake DeWitt. I read that Greg Maddux had a role in the Cubs acquiring DeWitt. So, while I have been skeptical of DeWitt, I am willing to give him more of a chance. I trust Maddux’s judgement. I hope he’s right.
Carlos Marmol and the Cubs are working on a multiyear extension that will give our closer a substantial raise and avoid any more arbitration years. I think we should do the same thing with Matt Garza and get both players locked up so we don’t have to go through this again with either of them any time soon.
Aramis Ramirez is getting older as is probably playing for a contract this year. (I don’t see the Cubs picking up his option for 2012) I wonder if the Cubs will try to sign him to a multiyear deal after the season or will we let him walk? Should we let him walk and hope Josh Vitters can replace him? I think this summer will give us a better clue on what to do.
I’ve got more, but I wanted to get this post in before my internet stops working again. I will leave with this thought……..WHY HAVEN’T THE CARDS SIGNED PUJOLS YET? HE’S THE BEST PLAYER IN THE GAME!!!!!!!!!!!
My beloved Cubbies don’t have a leadoff man for the upcoming season. Ideally, you want someone who knows how to get on base and has enough speed to steal some bases. Well, we really don’t have a guy that fits those categories that will be an every day player. We don’t have any true base stealing threats at all. Some of the players that will have a chance to bat leadoff are Marlon Byrd, Blake DeWitt, Kosuke Fukudome, Jeff Baker and Starlin Castro.
Marlon Byrd is one of my favorite choices of the players I just mentioned. I know he’s not much of a base stealing threat nor is he known for getting to first base by base on balls. Even though his OBP last season was a respectable .346, it’s not what you would want from your leadoff hitter. Here’s why I would consider him at leadoff though…..he does whatever the team needs of him and doesn’t complain. That’s a very simple reason and something that other players could learn from.
The case for Blake DeWitt is a pretty weak one. His OBP is lower than Byrd’s, fewer stolen bases and not much speed for a middle infielder. He did have a high of 8 stolen bases in the minors though in 2006. But Byrd stole 41 bases in single A ball in 2000. Why Quade is considering him at leadoff is beyond me.
Next is Jeff Baker. I’m guessing that Baker and DeWitt will be platooning at second base. Baker bats right and DeWitt bats left. The only reason I see Baker also hitting leadoff is to leave the rest of the lineup alone. Baker has never been a base stealing threat in his career. He’s a poor option to leadoff in my opinion.
Starlin Castro has more promise than any of the other players, but I dont want to put that type of pressure on him at this point in his career. I like him batting in the 2 hole anyway. He’s got some speed, but doesn’t know how to use it just yet. I think he could hit leadoff if needed to and would be as successful as Byrd if given this responsibility.
Kosuke Fukudome isn’t a bad option. His OBP has been in the .370s the last two seasons. However, he fades each year as the season progresses and he strikes out too much for me. I like him better as a someone to be traded before spring training! Plus, if Fukudome is playing everyday then that means Tyler Colvin is probably sitting on the bench. I guess we could put Tyler Colvin at leadoff, but I would like to have him bat around 6th personally.
Anyway, here’s my lineup for the Cubs that I think would produce the most runs this season. And remember, the Giants proved last year that you don’t have to have a true leadoff hitter to win the World Series.
1. Marlon Byrd-CF
2. Starlin Castro-SS
3. Aramris Ramirez-3B
4. Carlos Pena-1B
5. Alfonso Soriano-LF
6. Tyler Colvin-RF
7. Geovany Soto-C
8. Blake DeWitt-2B