Browsing posts from May, 2010
Ryan Theriot will never have the fielding talents of Starlin Castro.
The 20-year-old has a superior arm; he’s quicker and can cover more ground.
This was evident during spring training…Castro’s a fielding web-gem…Theriot, not so much.
But Theriot, however, remains the better fielder…why is that?
How is it the Cubs have four regulars batting above .300 but can’t score enough runs to win a ballgame?
Theriot, Fukudome, Byrd & Soriano all rank in the top-11 for batting average in the NL…but the offense remains terribly inconsistently.
That falls on the shoulders of D-Lee (.210) and Aramis (.160), the club’s two biggest run producers…whose collective slump essentially has the Cubs playing without a three & four hitter…and, of course, it shows with a record four games below .500.
I’m not giving up on either one, but isn’t it about time Lou moves Lee from the three-hole and Aramis down to sixth…like permanently…at least until these guys come around with some plate consistency?
What else needs to sour before significant changes come to this lineup? Is a 1-5 road trip through Pittsburgh and Cincy not enough to signal the panic alarm?
Bitter sweet arrival for Starlin.
On one hand, he’s just what the Cubs need–a new spark to energize the club. On the other, it screams desperation.
Bringing a 20-year-old rookie to the big leagues undoubtedly has its drawbacks. If for no other reason than the tremendous ammount of pressure it puts on this kid, not to mention, pressure that significantly changes his learning curve and development as a major leaguer.
The Cubs, quite simply, are asking Castro to be better–and for him to do it sooner.
His spacial talents make him capable of both, but there will be some serious learning curves in between.
Milton Bradley isn’t the only one who should have his head checked this week…so should Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik.
Seattle, at Milton’s request, placed him on the Restricted List so he can seek treatment for ‘emotional stress.’
Bradley must sit for a minimum of five games…although his teammates, I imagine, probably wish he doesn’t return at all.
As expected, Milton’s been up to his usual antics in the great northwest…strained calf…strained middle finger…and a strained relationship with his current employer.
Zduriencik ruined the one of the best offseasons of any club by trading for Bradley. Now he’s paying for it…the same way Jim Hendry did and all other GMs before them. So excuse me for not feeling sorry for the guy.
It’s not like Bradley is the best kept secret in baseball…when you buy him, you buy problems…and Milton has a boat-load of them.
In fact, Bradley’s really no different than all the expensive yachts I see docking at Belmont Harbor…the second best day of owning a boat is the day you buy it…and the first is the day you sell it.
Couldn’t ring more true for Milton The Terrible, either.
Why not move Soriano to the leadoff spot?
For the past week the guy’s been pacing the Cubs’ lineup from the six-hole…batting 10-for-23 with 5 HR, 3 doubles and 11 RBI.
Maybe it’s the shakeup the lineup needs…maybe it keeps Soriano hot…and maybe it keeps the Cubs in contention a wee-bit longer?
Seriously, what could it hurt? The Cubs scored five lousy runs in three games against one of the worst staffs in baseball…and against three no-name starters, nonetheless.
Getting swept by Pittsburgh rules out any notion of a bad suggestion…and moving Soriano to the leadoff spot wouldn’t exactly be unheard of.
Sure, it’s not popular move, but what’s Lou to do? The Cubs need some offense away from home…Cincy is a great hitter’s park…and a temporary fix of Sori batting leadoff could salvage the road trip, perhaps even, the season.
Four weeks in and the NL Central appears to be under wraps.
The Cardinals…keepers of the best record in the NL…and on pace to win more than 100 games…will win the NL Central crown.
At least, that’s according to AccuScore, which calculates the precise probability teams have of winning each game, winning their division, making the playoffs, advancing in the playoffs and winning the World Series.
St. Louis grades out at a 97.7% chance of winning the division, which indeed appears accurate given the Cards avoid major injuries to Pujols, Holliday or Carpenter.
We wanted all three—Brian Roberts, Ben Sheets & Rich Harden—but the Cubs choose otherwise, not landing a single one due to scouting reports, money…or simply both.
Those decisions, as it turns out, proved wise on the Cubs part.
This is the letter I received from the Cubs Community Connection as a resident of Wrigleyville. It’s Tom Ricketts’ explanation for the Toyota sign going up in left field…
You’ve probably been hearing about the Toyota sign we’ve proposed for the back of the left field bleachers at Wrigley Field. As fans and neighbors, we want you to know why this is important to the team and how it can help preserve the Friendly Confines.
Baseball historian and noted Rube Waddell expert, Dan O’Brien, emailed me this nugget about the Cubs purchase of Waddell…109 years ago to the date!
It’s good stuff. Enjoy!…
On this date 109 years ago (May 3, 1901), Chicago’s National League team purchased Rube Waddell from the Pirates. Contrary to a popular myth, the purchase price was not a box of cigars.
The Cubs scored more runs in the first inning Sunday, four, than they’ve averaged all season for Tom Gorzelanny…about 1.75 rpg.
The southpaw entered Sunday’s game as the best pitcher in baseball…without a win! (0-3, 2.45 ERA). But don’t blame Gorzo…the Cubs just don’t score runs for the guy.
Sunday, however, Chicago stakes Gorzelanny to an early seven-run lead…and sure-as-shootin’, the kid wins himself a ballgame. Imagine that.
It’s not like Gorzo needs a boat-load of run support, either. Actually, all he needs are three runs. THREE. RUNS!
Get this…in his last four starts he’s allowed just two earned runs apiece…that’s awesome! And, anytime you get that kind of production from a fourth starter…you’re in business!
Look, Gorzo’s no fluke; he managed a 14-win season with Pittsburgh…which is borderline remarkable.
All the guy needs is a little offense…and with it…there’s no telling where Tommy G. ends up in the win column…could be a 15-win season…maybe more? Only the Cubs offense really knows!