Not Exactly What We Had In Mind

I’m watching the Cubs/Rockies game right now and seeing that only a couple regulars are playing today, I thought it might be interesting to see how our projected starting lineup is doing so far this Spring, compared to the lineup we have out there today. Here is yesterday’s lineup, very close to what opening day will look like:

320_lineup_ba_of_283 Counting only those that started the game and not including the pitcher, their accumulative batting average is .283. That is with Fukudome in CF instead of Pie (Murton in RF) and no Soto, instead its Blanco behind the plate.

Now here is today’s lineup and their averages through the second inning of today’s game as I’m doing this while the game is on, otherwise I’d wait until the end of the game. Again, only the players that started the game, not including the pitcher. This lineup features only 4 regulars (Theriot, Derosa, Soto, Pie) and doesn’t include Soriano, Lee, Ramirez, Fukudome. Take a look at this lineup so far this Spring and their averages up until this point:

321_lineup_ba_of_334 Their accumulative batting average? An impressive .334. The good news: our bench is having a great Spring. The bad news: we may see some of them playing more regularly than any of us would prefer. 10 days until Opening Day. This might get really interesting, really quickly…and not necessarily in a good way. Ward just got taken out like he was hitting the corner of the end zone approaching first base. Let’s not add any further injuries to the list of things to figure out and deal with, shall we? Marshall looks good so far today…good times. GO CUBS GO!

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Spring Fling with a Pig’

Apparently that’s what this Spring has been for Cubs fans and Lou Piniella when it comes to Carmen Pignatiello. And its another case where I don’t understand why the numbers aren’t doing the talking.

Eyre is looking to be the lone lefty in the Cubs bullpen this year. First of all, why only one? I don’t understand that. We have a ton of righties but only one lefty? I’m sure the league is GREATLY dominated by right handed hitting so having right-handed pitchers coming out of the bullpen to jam them up and give them a challenge is very important. And having more than one to choose from to cover yourself when you’d like to stay away from those who aren’t performing is always a good idea, I get that. But still. If we’re going to with one lefty, why aren’t we starting off with the one who’s had the best Spring? Why not find a place for him in the bullpen if he’s been so great…why feel like there’s no place to put him if he’s out-pitched someone you feel will have a spot??? That kind of talk coming from Lou, to me, makes no sense!

Check this out:

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Like in the case of Wood v. Marmol this Spring, for Lou to be so dedicated to having Eyre as ‘the guy’ as our one lefty in the ‘pen…WHY? Pignatiello has pitched in just as many games, one third of an inning less. Picture_2_5 HITS Pignatiello:2 Eyre:7. RUNS: Pignatiello:2. Eyre:7. ER: Pignatiello:0. Eyre:4. HR: Pignaitello:0. Eyre:1. WALKS: Pignatiello:0. Eyre:4. Ks: Pignatiello:2. Eyre:6. ERA: Pignatiello: 0.00. Eyre: 6.35. So congratulations Eyre, you won one stinking category, K’s with four more (and you pitched 1/3 more innings, so let’s say you won that by three in taking away that one extra chance to get a K). Otherwise, Pignatiello has dominated the Spring. Pignatiello should be in, Eyre out. The only reason I can see that he isn’t, is big league experience and age. Pignatiello is 10 years younger than Eyre. Clearly he’s the guy of the future in this role but when you commit as many dollars as the Cubs did last year and then again this year by signing one of the biggest names in the offseason…a guy that’s supposed to put you where you need to be to win the whole thing for the first time in 100 years…aren’t you trying to win now? Maybe somebody needs to kick some dirt on Lou’s shoes and get his attention.

Other pitching decisions so far this Spring I find questionable:

Hill_pitching_1 Hill’s guaranteed a spot on the rotation. I knew this from the beginning so all of my blogs have been trying to determine who gets the last two spots between Marquis, Lieber and Dempster. However what I didn’t know from the beginning of Spring was the extent of control problems Hill would have. The way Hill is pitching this Spring, I’d love to be able to say send him to the bullpen and keep the other three giving us a rotation of Zambrano, Lilly, Marquis, Dempster, Lieber. Unfortunately, that’s one too many righthanders and when it comes to the starting rotation, if that were the case, RLRRR, we would be screwed. Hill better be thanking whoever it was that taught him how to pitch lefthanded, either them or his parents for working their DNA the way they did. Without his being left-handed, Rich Hill would be in a much different scenario come April: sitting right next Eyre, probably talking about how lucky Eyre is to be there considering Pignatiello kicked his butt all Spring.

Wood_pitching Wood over Marmol as the closer. Wood was able to come back after missing only one day with back spasms yesterday and pitch well. So, okay, maybe it wasn’t as bad as I thought. But I just can’t help believing inevitably, eventually it will be. This weekend we’ll see how he does on the MUCH awaited back-to-back days/multi-inning test Lou wants to put him up against. I can’t wait! And if he does go with Wood come March 31st…I can’t agree either.

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