View From The Bleachers

May 4, 2008

Three Bold Statements After Yesterday’s Win

Filed under: General — Joe Aiello @ 8:27 am

First Star – Kosuke Fukudome (.185)
Second Star – Ted Lilly (.150)
Third Star – Geovany Soto (.129)
Top Play – Soto’s bases loaded double in the 4th (+.144)



(AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

Bold Statement # 1Soriano is going to have a great May with the bat and needs to remain the leadoff man…..for now.

You may think I’m insane on this one, but just watching him at the plate over the last two games, I see a different hitter. It’s not just because of the home run and the double. He seems to have relaxed and looks more comfortable at the plate. I’m going on record right now and predicting a month of May that has him in the running for player of the month. As far as the leadoff idea goes, when you look at overall performance out of that spot this year, who else is there? ideally, I’d love for Reed Johnson to take that job and run with it, but it’s not happening. You’d love for Theriot to hit as well in that spot as he has in the # 2 hole, but it hasn’t happened. Who else is there for that spot? Some say Fukudome, but his bat has been much more valuable as a left handed run producer in the middle of the lineup. If the Cubs had another one of those, I’d be all for moving him, but they don’t. That really only leaves Soriano, and he’s comfortable there already. As much as it pains me to continue to admit it, Soriano is the best option out of that spot.

Bold Statement # 2When DeRosa has the night off, Cedeno needs to start.

That still doesn’t seem real that I would type that, but I did. Ronny looks like a different hitter this year and needs to get the playing time on days that Theriot and DeRosa get the night off in the infield. He has the highest ceiling of any of our middle infielders and the only way for him to reach it is for him to get the at bats needed now that he has his confidence up. Last night Fontenot got the start, and hit a home run, but the at bats should have been Cedeno’s from the start.

Bold Statement # 3Gallagher should not have been recalled for Hill

It’s hard for me to pen that statement as well, considering I’m a big fan of playing the youth and giving guys a shot who earn it. Unfortunately, as far as I know, Gallagher is going to be used out of the bullpen, and not to replace Hill in the starting rotation. That’s not the place for him. In his 89 games in the minors over his career, only one was not a start. He’s a starter, so why mess with him and that routine by not only throwing the kid into the bullpen, but throwing him in there in the Major Leagues? If you’re looking for help out of the pen, why not look to Jose Ascanio, who has pitched very well in the late innings? Throwing Gallagher into this situation just doesn’t make sense to me, unless you put him into the rotation.

Miscellaneous Notes

  • Cubs.com had the headline “Fox completes the long road back to Cubs” ~ Great, does that mean we can release him now that he made it?
  • Ryan Dempster did a heck of a job doing the lineups before the game in his best Harry Caray impression. If you missed it, here is a video of him doing it in 2005.
httpv://youtube.com/watch?v=Qk7CX1Ne4nQ

Scouting Report on Today’s Starting Pitchers

Jason Marquis took the loss in his last outing against the Brewers, giving up five runs on 10 hits over five innings. He had trouble locating his pitches, and the Brewers took advantage of every mistake. Marquis was 3-1 with a 3.60 ERA last season against his former team, the Cardinals.

Todd Wellemeyer keeps striking out a batter per inning, and as long as he does that, he’ll be just fine. He’s shown marked improvement in one category recently: keeping the ball in the ballpark. Wellemeyer has allowed just one homer over his past three starts, after giving up five in his first three games. A former Cubs prospect and big leaguer, he’ll surely be looking forward to the opportunity to face his first team.

View the stat preview from Baseball Reference here

All Scouting Information taken from MLB.com and TSN.ca


Tracked Player Results

Got a player you’d like to see added to the player tracker? Drop us a line in the comments

Organizational Roundup

(AAA) – Iowa Cubs – Won vs. Sacramento (6-0)

(AA) – Tennessee Smokies – Lost vs. Jacksonville (1-10)

(High A) – Daytona Cubs – Lost vs. Fort Meyers (2-5)

(A) – Peoria Chiefs – Won vs. South Bend (4-3)

(SS) – Boise Hawks open their season June 17th

(RK) – Arizona Cubs open their season June 22nd

View the full organizational report courtesy of First Inning here.

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Joe Aiello is the founder of View From the Bleachers and one of the lead writers. Growing up in Chicago, he fondly remembers attending games in the bleachers before that was the popular thing to do. Currently Joe resides in North Carolina with his wife and three kids and helps people protect their assets as an independent insurance agent. Connect with Joe via Twitter / Facebook / E-mail

  • edo

    well i guess ill stop visiting your site
    SORIANO get hot?
    he does not have the talent ..cannot bunt ..take walks ..has no patience.. cannot run …. poor outfielder…. cannot steal now… rally killer…
    has one talent swinging for the fence…
    and after 2 years of watching him he is not going to change

  • http://www.pepicellis.com Tom C

    well, i’ll still visit the site even though I want soriano at the 6th spot! my 3 bold statements after today’s game:

    1) Someone maim Marquis quick, get him the heck off this team
    2) Who is deciding for TheRiot to run all the time? Is it him, or LouPa? 7 steals and 6 caught steals?
    3) DeRosa is a great team/utility player, starter (especially batting 5th and going 0 for 4 and leaving 5 on base from the 5 hole makes me sing for ARam) he is not…

  • jose

    Tom C:
    I am a big Theriot fan and I can not agree with you more. He may have good speed, but he is not the base stealing threat he thinks he is. He needs to tone it way down. My question is at what point does Lou take action with Afonz and Marquis? They are stinking up the place. I say it is time to release Marquis or at least trade him with a bunch of cash. The Pirates did and so did the Brewers. Why waste a roster spot with a player who is not adding value?

  • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com/meetmatt.php Matt Jacobs

    Marquis wasn’t great last night, but he did give the Cubs 5+ innings, which they sorely needed after Rich Hill’s craptacular display on Friday. The offense let Cubs down last night. Not the pitching.

    I’d say that is adding value.

  • jose

    Matt:
    You are kinding, right!! He gave up five runs in five innings. He walked five and SO 4. That is not adding value. His ERA for the season so far is 5.08 and April and May are usually his best months. He is not adding value, he is taking up space. I will agree that the Cubs offense also let the Cubs down. We are not impressive right now.

  • Dave

    Fukudome isn’t much of a run producer. He has just about as many RBIs as Soriano does batting craptacularly in the leadoff spot. His best talent is getting on base. Why not put him in a position to make full use of it?

    Having Dome bat fifth is like asking a world class chef to make you pop tarts; he can do it, but wouldn’t everyone be better served with him doing something else? It completely negates his best talent.

    Also, Theriot sucks, theriot sucks, theriot sucks.

  • ndacct1

    Re: Gallagher – He’s keeping the seat warm for Eyre, it would seem. I suspect Marshall will take the long role when Eyre is ready to take the lefty bullpen spot in a few days, and Gallagher is just there for insurance. I bet he’s back in AAA by the weekend.

  • jose

    Dave:
    While there are many people who question Theriot as our starting SS. No one has ever said he sucks. Why do you say that? What is it about his play over last year and this year, makes you think he sucks?

  • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com/meetmatt.php Matt Jacobs

    ^ No range, not as fast as advertised. I wouldn’t say he sucks, but he gets too much love.

  • Dave

    Neifi Perez’s 2006 batting line:
    BA: .254 OBP: .266 SLG: .343

    Juan Pierre’s 2007 batting line:
    BA: .293 OBP: .331 SLG: .353

    Ryan Theriot’s 2007:
    BA: .266 OBP: .326 SLG:.346

    Yes, that’s right. Ryan Theriot was outslugged by Juan Pierre in 2007, and only barely managed to outslug Neifi Perez’s abysmal 2006 campaign (Neifi’s career numbers — still godawful, mind you — are actually .267/.297/.375).

    We can all agree that Neifi Perez sucks, right? So why do we want a player on our roster worse than Neifi Perez?

  • Dave

    *Neifi’s 2006 was while he was with the Cubs, which I figured was the relevant part. He wasn’t any better with Detroit, for what it’s worth. All stats courtesy of baseball-reference.com

  • jose

    Dave:
    But Theriot was basically a rookie thrown into a starting position because Cedeno couldn’t cut it in the bigs. Thats not a fair comparison. Why are so many people willing to throw him away but give Pie all the chances in the world? Doesn’t make sense to me. I think Theriot has shown that he belongs in the bigs. While Pie no longer looks lost, just out classed.

  • Kris

    I cannot figure out why in the world everyone LOVED Theriot last year and are trashing him this year. And we really need to remember that there are base coaches. Theriot is not calling all the shots on when he steals, etc.

    I’m also now loving the comments on the radio, etc., about DeRosa–how he shouldn’t be a starter. You can’t take a guy who says he is most comfortable at second and throw him out in left or third and expect perfection. And you sure as heck don’t bench a guy who is that versatile and a team player.

    Maybe I’m just feeling snarky, though, because I started my day annoyed with Ozzie Guillen and his stupid commentary. That man annoys the heck out of me.

  • Dave

    “But Theriot was basically a rookie thrown into a starting position because Cedeno couldn’t cut it in the bigs.”

    Theriot never hit in the minors. He was never considered a prospect. He made the major leagues because of a hot finish to 2006, a hot spring training, and because Cesar Izturis is worthless with a bat.

    Cedeno and Pie, conversely, have hit in the minors — Pie in particular has beaten the snot out of every minor league level he’s played at — and, as their number of ML at-bats grows, are finally starting to show their talent. Where Theriot looks more overmatched the more ABs he gets, Cedeno and Pie are illustrating their own learning curve and displaying their natural talents. It takes most players A WHILE to learn to hit major league pitching.

    For the life of me I can’t figure out why clubs don’t show the same patience with hitters that they do with pitchers. Boston last year showed that patience pays off when they got a ROY winner out of a guy that hit .130 in April.

    “I cannot figure out why in the world everyone LOVED Theriot last year and are trashing him this year.”

    That’s neither here nor there for me. The numbers don’t lie. Ryan Theriot is not a good ballplayer.

  • Dave

    Also, I can’t resist:

    “Why are so many people willing to throw him away but give Pie all the chances in the world?”

    Nearly the entire sports media universe calling for Pie to be traded. Lou for some insane reason is keeping him on the bench against righties and having Cedeno take balls in center. I’m terrified they’re going to dump Pie for half (if we’re lucky) of what he’s worth and we’ll have to deal with a year of Reed Johnson and an out-of-position Cedeno all year.

    Pie has actual baseball talent. Give him a chance to let it show. Stop looking at him in the context of Corey Patterson and let his work ethic — and more importantly, minor league track record — stand on its own.

  • ndacct1

    Dave – The difference between the Majors and the Minors is that in the Bigs, pitchers throw breaking and off-speed stuff for strikes, get ahead, and then can throw balls in the dirt and at the letters. Moreover, there are far fewer mistakes. I like Pie, but people need to face the possibility that he’s like hundreds of other prospects that tore up the minors, but couldn’t hit major league pitching.

    As for Theriot, I agree that he’s generally slap hitter (although he has more power than Pierre) and has no range, but the big difference between him, Pierre, and Neifi is that Theriot will work the count and take a walk whereas those other two will not. If Theriot can brign up his average a bit, like he’s done this year so far, he will blow those two out of the water. Theriot is also a pretty good situation hitter, which is what Lou wants out of the 2-hole. He has shown he can hit behind runners and get guys over when it’s close and late for the thump behind him. Also, it would seem as though he is a valued member of the team by the rest of the team, so there must be some sort of leadership.intangibles thing going on.

    I have said before and will say again, Cedeno has shown a lot this year. In the past, he was like Pie in that he couldn’t lay off a pitch and wouldn’t take a walk. This year, he has taken some walks and is really battling up there at the plate. Defensively, it’s surprising, but he’s no better than Theriot range-wise (I was shocked to see this), and it seems Theriot is a little more steady on his throws, which seems to comfort Lou. With Theriot, the easy plays tend to be made, but with Cedeno, some balls go into the stands. That being said, you have 2 players who seem to be mediocre SS. If one of them can be turned into an upgrade elsewhere, go for it. I am not so sure I care which one, I am just glad to see Cedeno in particular improve his trade value, as I sense that is the guy more teams would be interested in based on the prospect for continued improvement and better power.

  • Dave

    “As for Theriot, I agree that he’s generally slap hitter (although he has more power than Pierre) and has no range, but the big difference between him, Pierre, and Neifi is that Theriot will work the count and take a walk whereas those other two will not. If Theriot can brign up his average a bit, like he’s done this year so far, he will blow those two out of the water.”

    Did you know that only one person on the roster saw fewer pitches per plate appearance last year than Ryan Theriot? True story. The only player in our lineup that saw fewer pitches was Cesar Izturis. His OPS is pitiful. He ranked last year among the worst shorstops in the league. Ronny Cedeno is a SIGNIFICANTLY better shortstop than Ryan Theriot, and if we trade Cedeno in order to keep Theriot on the roster I may just have an anneurism.

    Also, along with no range and an inability to stay on his feet whenever a ball is hit to his right, don’t forget about his noodle arm and oft misdirected throws. Watching Derrek Lee stretch himself all over the place in order to make Theriot look halfway decent defensively has been scary.

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