I’ve realized something about spring training over the years that makes laugh. I enjoy spring training box scores and stats, but on a game to game basis, I could care less who wins. In fact, oftentimes, I don’t even know who we’re playing (or care) until I look. I often wonder if the players take the same approach. I’m sure the rookies put their time in and may even do a little scouting of the pitchers / hitters, but I would guess most seasoned vets tend to coast a little in spring training and, at times, forget who the opponent is that day. That being said, let’s take a look at what jumps out in the box.
Ryan Theriot got the nod in the leadoff spot, which makes three different guys in that role in the first three games. Interesting, because all three have been successful there in those opportunities so far. Theriot seems to have been the weakest of the three games, with just two singles and a caught stealing. The biggest knock against him that I have is his baserunning instincts. He’s just not as good of a basestealer as his speed would suggest, which lends itself, all to often, to a low steal success rate. In 2007, he came into the season with some late season success under his belt and took people by surprise with his speed. Last year, I think he got to ambitious and tried to force the issue a little too much. If he can focus on getting good jumps and running in good situations based on the count, hopefully he can improve on the regession in success rate from last year.
Micah Hoffpaiur continues to rake the ball to start out the spring. There is no question that he can hit. Unfortunately the strike against him is defense. It really comes down to the numbers game. His best chance to make this club is to hit so well that the Cubs have to find a way to have him on the roster. Force their hand and make them adjust their plans. If he can continue to hit the way he’s hitting, it definitely lends itself well to disproving my theory that he won’t make this club outright for opening day.
Explain to me again why we have So Taguchi in camp? Seriously, this guy is not good.
Jake Fox picked up another hit and is 3-for-6 early on. He reminds me a little of Hoffpauir, but he’s younger and a little more versatile. He’s probably not versatile enough to serve as the corner IF backup, but certainly with his experience playing 1B, OF, and C, he could have a role on this team. I actually wouldn’t be opposed at all if he made the roster as the backup C / 1B and then the Cubs would just need to keep a 3B instead of someone who could play both. Fox certainly has a better bat and more upside than someone like Koyie Hill.
Ted Lilly made a “start” before heading to the WBC and pitched two strong innings. I’m very happy with him slotting in there as a top tier 3rd starter type guy. He’s definitely proved a lot of the critics wrong, especially any that had something to say about potential anger issues.
That’s all I’ve got. What did I miss? Let’s discuss!!!