David DeJesus has the tools to justify his move to the three-hole.
He’s arguably the Cubs most professional hitter. He works the count, has extra base power and understands the importance of being a situational hitter.
But that doesn’t mean DeJesus (or De-hay-zeus as Dick Stockton would say) benefits the club more from the third spot than his usual leadoff position.
If we’re judging strictly by wins and losses, the Cubs are no better off with DeJesus (3-5) batting third than Joe Mather (3-4).
Much to the chagrin of many Cubs fans, we’re finally seeing the true limits of Tony Campana’s abilities as a major league player.
Since a blistering start to the season when Campana finished the month of April hitting .370 with a perfect 7-for-7 in stolen bases, his average has plummeted 93-points during the last 30-games with 11 steals and three caught stealing.
Starlin Castro says he feels awful about his mental lapse during Monday’s loss at San Francisco when he lost awareness of how many outs the Cubs had in the fifth inning.
‘‘I want to say I’m sorry to my teammates and it will never happen again,’’ he said. ‘‘I’m real embarrassed. There’s no excuse for that. That can’t happen in a game. That will never happen again.’’
Here’s the troubling part. The above quote from Castro wasn’t from Monday’s post-game.
Dale Sveum wants more pop from his three-hole hitter.
He wasn’t getting it from Starlin Castro (2 HR in 179 at-bats), which is why Sveum moved Castro to second in the order in favor of Joe Mather.
Mather’s numbers thus far are underwhelming. He’s hit third during the last six games going 5-for-23 (.217), 1 R, 1 BB, 0 HR & 0 RBI.
On the bright side, two of his five hits went for extra bases, he’s struck out just twice and is seeing right at four pitches per plate appearances–advantageous for Castro to steal bases.
Mather still doesn’t compare well against Castro batting third: .313, 11 XBH & 25 RBI, but there’s no arguing Starlin’s individual success gradually stopped trickling through the rest of the lineup–the Cubs simply quit scoring behind him.
Sveum intends to juice-up the lineup, and Mather’s overall numbers suggest he’s the most capable option available (while serving as the latest example of the Cubs lack of talent).
Sunday marked the seventh time in Cubs franchise history the team has lost 12-straight games.
Six of the 12 losses on the current streak have been decided by 1-run.
Andrew McCutchen’s comments following the Pirates’ 10-4 win on Sunday speaks to my post regarding the Cubs energy hog.
The last time the Cubs lost nine straight games was May 8-18, 2002.
The skid dropped Chicago to (13-27), two wins fewer than this year’s team on the same date, and set the course for a (67-95) finish, third worst in the National League and only ahead of the 66-win Padres and woeful 56-win Brewers.
Chicago did rally to win 7 of 10 following the streak, but it wasn’t enough to save manager Don Baylor’s job.
Baylor was canned after 83-games ending his 2.5 season on the North Side and replaced by Triple-A Iowa skipper Bruce Kimm who finished out the campaign (33-45).
Jim Hendry was simultaneously promoted to general manager taking over the duties once held by team president Andy MacPhail.
It was a rough, rough time to be a Cubs fan, as is similarly the case today.
Unlike 2002, however, we know Dale Sveum won’t be fired mid-way through the season. And we can fairly assume next year’s club won’t rebound to win 21 more games and come within six outs of reaching the World Series.
But that’s okay. Hope is on the way, albeit a seemingly painful long ways away.
The Cubs are on the brink of slumping to depths the 2011 team never sank to–losing nine straight games.
Mike Quade’s club lost a season-high eight straight in early June, but also had five more wins at this point last year.
Chicago’s 15 wins ties Minnesota & Colorado for the fewest in baseball. The Cubs .349 winning percentage, however, ranks dead last in the majors.
Granted the Cubs have a lengthy injury list, but the lack of overall talent has been exposed badly in May.
You could circle any number of games during this awful stretch as the season’s low point. But the lineup looked worse than ever Tuesday night.
Is it wrong to think Alfonso Soriano should be the Cubs leadoff hitter?
“Don’t be surprised if Alfonso Soriano ends up in the leadoff spot this season. It won’t happen anytime soon, or necessarily come as a permanent change, but dire circumstances could place Soriano atop the Cubs order once again.”
Dale Sveum is desperate to shake-up his rag-tag offense that’s gone cold during this seven-game losing streak and now ranks 14/16 for runs scored in the National League.
Soriano, however, is one of the few Cubs producing at the plate, hitting .353, 2 HR, 4 RBI during the recent homestand, but is still hitting nowhere near what you expect from a true cleanup hitter.
“This isn’t the end of the world, folks. We know Soriano isn’t the answer at cleanup for the long haul, maybe not even through May.”
Granted Soriano is playing on one healthy leg and can’t steal bases the way Sveum wants to, but Soriano could easily transition to the leadoff role, and by all accounts, would welcome the move.
Serious reality check for the Cubs this past weekend.
Being swept at home vs. the White Sox was about the worst thing that could happen to a team struggling to draw spectators.
The cross town series has always meant more to the fans than the players. But losing in such pathetic fashion won’t sit well with a fan base whose patience is already being stretched thin.
I’ve had few frustrations with Dale Sveum through the first 36 games.
For the most part he’s pressing the right buttons, has the team hustling and seems to be getting the most from a team struggling to be relevant in the standings (15-21).
However, Sveums insistence on pitching to Yadier Molina, instead of around him, continues to pain me.