View From The Bleachers

March 21, 2010

Projecting the Roster: Week 3 and A Discussion on Running up the Score

Filed under: Featured,General — Joe Aiello @ 8:10 pm

Another week means we’re that much closer to opening day. The roster has just about taken shape, despite the fact that there are still 40 guys in camp.

Here is how big league camp breaks down with two weeks to go. (Projected 25 man roster players in BOLD)

Geovany Soto
Koyie Hill

Robinson Chirinos
Chris Robinson

Derrek Lee
Aramis Ramirez
Mike Fontenot
Ryan Theriot
Jeff Baker
Chad Tracy

Andres Blanco
Micah Hoffpauir
Kevin Millar
Darwin Barney
Ryan Flaherty

Alfonso Soriano
Marlon Byrd
Kosuke Fukudome
Xavier Nady
Tyler Colvin

James Adduci
Sam Fuld

Carlos Zambrano
Ryan Dempster
Randy Wells
Sean Marshall
Tom Gorzellany
Jeff Samardzija
Carlos Silva
Carlos Marmol
John Grabow
Esmailin Caridad
Justin Berg
James Russell

John Gaub
Mike Parisi
Jeff Gray
Angel Guzman
Ted Lilly
Marcos Mateo

Roster Notes

  • The outfield appears to be coming down to one spot as the fifth outfielder. That spot needs to have the ability to play all three spots and hit off the bench. With Colvin’s showcase spring, he’s the guy if the season started right now and I’ve actually come to like that. In fact, I thought about the idea of shopping a guy like Fukudome and going with Colvin full time in RF. Would you go for it?
  • The infield appears to be set except for one spot. The question is going to come down to how comfortable Lou feels with Fontenot as the backup SS to Theriot. If he fits that spot, it would free up a roster spot for a guy like Chad Tracy to show he still has a Major League at bit. I believe Fontenot has shown enough to make me comfortable with him as our backup SS. I’d rather roll the dice with him and leave Blanco off the roster in favor of a bigger, more powerful bat off the bench.
  • Pitching staff is set save one spot at the end. It looks like all four starters battling for the last two spots in the rotation will make the opening day roster, with two of them going to the bullpen (yes, that includes Carlos Silva making the roster). Of the candidates left battling for that last spot, James Russell has been head and shoulders above the rest and probably deserves the first crack at sticking. I’d like to see Gaub get a shot, but he hasn’t pitched well enough to justify a spot over Russell at this point.

Deadspin Question of the Day

In response to your post about having to take the dive in any game against a child, I have to say I refuse to abide. I’m 23 and was playing checkers with my 7-year-old niece this past summer when the opportunity for a QUADRUPLE-JUMP presented itself. Seeing that this NEVER happens, I took full advantage and jumped the [crap] out of those checkers, claiming victory for the good guys.

My niece was non-too happy and my sister declared me a jerk. Is she right?

I’m not a subscriber to the let the kid win theory. Call me a tool for doing it, but every time I play Memory with my four year old, I go all in and try to beat him down. In fact, during the most recent battle, my son was winning something like 15 matches to 5 about midway through the game. I was trying my hardest to get a match, but found myself missing by a card each time only to watch him smile widely, talk a little trash and find the match I had just failed to make. As the beat down wore on, I actually started to get frustrated and a tad bit mad, not at him, but at my lack of ability. In the end, I went on a great run to end the game and narrowly pull out a victory. I was proud of how well my son played and I think me playing hard will teach him how to win as well as how to lose with class because he’ll see that I don’t put the other person down or things like that. Kids need to be taught how to lose and how to fail.

Along the same lines, one of my biggest pet peeves in sports is when a losing team or losing coach complains that the other team ran up the score. The topic came up on Saturday night as one of my buddies said that Kentucky and John Calipari was running up the score by still shooting 3’s late in the game with a big lead. I had no problem with it for a few reasons. First, sports is just as much a mental game as a physical game. In a tournament that seems to show anyone is vulnerable (see Kansas), a team needs as much of a mental advantage as possible. By running up the score, a team can make themselves that much more intimidating and seemingly unbeatable down the stretch. In addition, it keeps the confidence up on your side. Second, people that complain that the other team ran up the score are pansies. If you don’t want them to score, play some frickin defense. Don’t like the big lead? Keep them out of the end zone. People need to learn how to fail and deal with disappointment. They need to learn to use that as fuel to get better and come back stronger. Stop shielding people. It just raises wimps.

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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

  • CubbieDude

    I don’t know where this season is going to end up, but I feel like it’s starting out in a good place.

  • jswanson

    I agree Joe. Both Tracy and Colvin have earned spots in my book. I’d much rather see offensive substitutions late in the game, and Fuld/Blanco just don’t have any real pop. Pretty tough to change the game by flashing the leather.

  • Mr. David M. Beyer

    “Kids need to be taught how to lose and how to fail.” — I’m with you 100% on that, Joe. Not only do they need to learn to cope with failure, but they need to see failure as an inevitable part of growth! I think anyone who remembers being a kid knows that you do need a certain amount of success to continue to pursue something, but you shouldn’t feel bad about beating a kid as long as it’s done with dignity.

  • Seymour Butts

    I’m not such a big fan of Colvin sticking with the big team. He’s young and needs the at bats he will find playing everyday in Iowa. It would be a mistake to let him rot on the bench for 2 at bats a week. Now if somebody got an owie, bring him up, if he can play everyday.

    Whip your kids ass (gently) in sports or they will think they are already good enough and get whooped on by kids whose parents did not let them win.

  • dat_cubfan_daver

    Here’s where I’ve got things:

    Starting lineup
    1. Ryan Theriot SS
    2. Kosuke Fukudome RF
    3. Derrek Lee 1B
    4. Aramis Ramirez 3B
    5. Marlon Byrd CF
    6. Alfonso Soriano LF
    7. Mike Fontenot 2B/SS
    8. Geovany Soto C

    9. Jeff Baker 2B/3B
    10. Andres Blanco (out of options) or Darwin Barney (not on 40-man) SS/2B
    11. Koyie Hill C
    12. Xavier Nady or Kevin Millar OF/1B (not on 40-man) or Chad Tracy 1B/3B (not on 40-man)
    13. Sam Fuld (1 option left) or Tyler Colvin (3 options left) OF

    Starting rotation
    14. Carlos Zambrano RHP
    15. Ted Lilly LHP*
    16. Ryan Dempster RHP
    17. Randy Wells RHP
    18. Carlos Silva RHP

    19. Sean Marshall LHP
    20. Tom Gorzelanny LHP (out of options)
    21. Justin Berg (2 options left)
    22. Jeff Samardzija RHP (1 option left) or James Russell LHP(not on 40-man)
    23. John Grabow LHP
    24. Esmailin Caridad RHP (3 options left)
    25. Carlos Marmol RHP

    *Will likely be replaced by either Marshall, Samardzija or Gorzelanny in April.

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