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April 2012

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COMMENTS

The Inbox

Written by , Posted in General

It’s time for another edition of The Inbox, where we answer the hard hitting questions posed to Cubs beat writer, Carrie Muskat, with a little more substance. You can view Carries answers in her column on www.cubs.com

Why isn’t Bryan LaHair starting every day? He has a .300 average, he’s hitting home runs, and this is supposed to be his opportunity to show his abilities. It doesn’t make sense. — Dean S., Goshen, Ind.

Dean, I agree with you. Nothing drives me more than when people shelter hitters. We see a small sample size and automatically assume that he sucks against the lefties and will never improve. So, we beat on his confidence and sit him against those guys. Then, on the off chance they get to face one on the rare occasion, they look worse because they don’t see them on a regular basis. Just give a guy a chance to prove he can’t do it and can’t improve. Then, once we’ve established that, I’m fine with the platoon. It in a lot of ways mirrors what we do with our kids these days. We shelter them to the point that they aren’t allowed to fail. They live in the everyone gets a ribbon for showing up world that doesn’t let them fall and skin their knee. As a result, kids are going up to be self righteous, self serving punks that think the world is their oyster. There is little to no accountability. Let LaHair get in there and take his hacks. Let him play himself out of the spot instead of just taking him out of it.

I was wondering if Bryan LaHair or Anthony Rizzo are serviceable at any position but first base. It seems to me that Rizzo is just wasting his time Triple-A Iowa and needs more big league at-bats. Any way to get both of them in the lineup? — John B., Ketchikan, Alaska

This, to me, is a two part answer, though it wasn’t meant as a two part question. Answering the actual question first, I would say that if anyone were to move to another spot it would be LaHair. He’s considered the expendable one if we had to choose between the two. Rizzo is the golden boy. He’s been the apple of Jed Hoyer’s eye since the minute he laid eyes on him. He’s Jed’s opus. Nothing will be done to retard his development, especially shifting him all over the diamond. That would fall on LaHair. A quick of Baseball Reference, which I’m not sure why people don’t do themselves before asking the question, would show that LaHair has played 14 games in the OF and 55 at 1B in the majors in his career. In the Minor Leagues over the course of his career we see 33 games in the OF and 724 games at 1B. So, there is no question both guys are groomed to play first base, but I think that if pressed, LaHair could fill in at an OF position. I’m not sure you’d want him to, though.

Moving on to the answer that is more an argument about your statement that Rizzo is just “wasting his time in Triple-A”, I don’t believe that’s true. Every at bat you get, regardless of where it is, is an opportunity to get better. Playing time yields improvement if used properly. We rush guys too quickly now in their development because owners tend not to be as patient with the front office regime as they used to be. It’s a win now / what have you done for me lately type of sports climate we live in and so as a result, top prospects are shuffled through the system before they are truly ready. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. I’m perfectly fine with Rizzo tearing it up, even if it’s being done in AAA. It just means he’ll be more ready when he gets here.

Do the Cubs have a good shortstop at Triple-A? They have to move Starlin Castro to center field. He is not a shortstop at all, and enough is enough with the errors. — Rick V., Woodridge, Ill.

I promised Lizzie I would try not to be hateful in my responses, but this question is just moronic. Why would it make logical sense that if a player is struggling at SS he would all of a sudden be able to be shifted to not only a position that is completely different, but also the hardest of the three outfield spots? I honestly wonder if Rick even watches the games. On top of the oddity of the suggestion, it wouldn’t make organizational sense to shift Castro to CF. You just moved Marlon Byrd in an effort to clear the way for youth at the position, which is right around the corner.

Those are the highlights to this edition of The Inbox. You are now free to resume your day.

  • Seymour Butts

    Joe: Do the Cubs have a good closer at AAA? Marmol is loading his diaper with regularity and it seems to me moving him to a more suitable role, such as that of bul- pen-catcher-warmer-upper might be good for all?
    Kevin G. Toronto, Baltimore, etc.

    • Joe Aiello

      A wonderful question, Kevin. Right now Blake Parker is the man for AAA. He’s got 3 saves so far this season and an ERA of 1.08 in just over 8 innings of work. The caveat, he’s 27 years old and has seen time in AAA every year since he was 23.

      • Doc Raker

        Maybe he is another LaHair, a guy who should have been brought up but wasn’t. I think that happens a lot, an organization signs big leaguers to long term deals and developing players don’t get a shot they deserve because of positional log jams.

  • Seymour Butts

    Joe: Do the Cubs have a good closer at AAA? Marmol is loading his diaper with regularity and it seems to me moving him to a more suitable role, such as that of bul- pen-catcher-warmer-upper might be good for all?
    Kevin G. Toronto, Baltimore, etc.

    • Joe Aiello

      A wonderful question, Kevin. Right now Blake Parker is the man for AAA. He’s got 3 saves so far this season and an ERA of 1.08 in just over 8 innings of work. The caveat, he’s 27 years old and has seen time in AAA every year since he was 23.

      • Doc Raker

        Maybe he is another LaHair, a guy who should have been brought up but wasn’t. I think that happens a lot, an organization signs big leaguers to long term deals and developing players don’t get a shot they deserve because of positional log jams.

  • Norm Bothwell

    The thing about LaHair and platooning him…he does have minor league history to look at, and he didn’t hit good against lefties in the minors…the obvious thinking being if he can’t hit minor league lefties, he can’t hit major league lefties.
    I’d still play him everyday in 2012 because winning is secondary to player development and I’d happily take my lumps on the off chance he does hit them.

    • Joe Aiello

      That was my main point. What have we got to lose?

      • Eddie Von White

        Joe – I think Rick V. from Woodridge, IL was listening to the post game call-in show on WGN after a game about a week ago. The topic of discussion posed by the host was: “Should Castro be moved to the outfield because of his errors at short?” The hosts’ answer was: “Yes of course” and then he spent the entire time talking about it.

        Rick V. from Woodridge, IL might also remember that the Brewers successfully moved Robin Yount from short to center.

      • BLPCB

        The season is a lost cause, so make use of it and get some talent developed. Losing with Neifi, Macias, Hollandsworth, etc does no good. I truly think if Piniella and the Dust Bag had committed to playing the kids, Murton, Cedeno, and Pie would still be Cubs. Or at least we would get a better return on them.
        Speaking of the Dust Bag, I met a Reds fan today at Disney who said the Dust Bag should be gone, and he doesn’t see him making it through June. When I asked Buckeyes or Bearcats, he said Buckeyes. Buckeyes-Reds fans hate Dusty, Bearcats-Reds fans like Dusty.

  • Norm Bothwell

    The thing about LaHair and platooning him…he does have minor league history to look at, and he didn’t hit good against lefties in the minors…the obvious thinking being if he can’t hit minor league lefties, he can’t hit major league lefties.
    I’d still play him everyday in 2012 because winning is secondary to player development and I’d happily take my lumps on the off chance he does hit them.

    • Joe Aiello

      That was my main point. What have we got to lose?

      • Eddie Von White

        Joe – I think Rick V. from Woodridge, IL was listening to the post game call-in show on WGN after a game about a week ago. The topic of discussion posed by the host was: “Should Castro be moved to the outfield because of his errors at short?” The hosts’ answer was: “Yes of course” and then he spent the entire time talking about it.

        Rick V. from Woodridge, IL might also remember that the Brewers successfully moved Robin Yount from short to center.

  • Dear Joe,
    I appreciate your restraint. I can see where it would be difficult on that question! Center field? I think that’s the absolute last place I’d want Castro, and I do believe I’m including catcher in there. And maybe even pitcher. LOL.
    Warmest regards,
    Lizzie

  • Buddy

    The Brewers had little to no choice when it came to moving Yount from SS. He couldn’t throw anymore.  I think it was a shoulder injury.

  • Dear Joe,
    I appreciate your restraint. I can see where it would be difficult on that question! Center field? I think that’s the absolute last place I’d want Castro, and I do believe I’m including catcher in there. And maybe even pitcher. LOL.
    Warmest regards,
    Lizzie

  • Buddy

    The Brewers had little to no choice when it came to moving Yount from SS. He couldn’t throw anymore.  I think it was a shoulder injury.

  • Gymjok

    Joe-just curious-why do you think center is the hardest?
    As an outfielder myself,  I always thought center was the easiest of the 3.

    • BLPCB

      I think it’s the hardest because you have to be moving on every fly ball. It’s draining on the body more than the corners. And you have to have a really strong arm for the throws home, whereas the corners you just gun it down the lines. I always thought of the OF arms, CF was the strongest for the throws home, RF next for the throws to 3B, and then LF

  • Seymour Butts

    Can’t remember where I saw the list, but somebody ranked the positions by difficulty. SS hardest followed bu CF, 3b…. with LF easiest.

    • BLPCB

      I always thought the positions up the middle would be the hardest. Because you need much more range up the middle than you do at the corners

  • Seymour Butts

    Can’t remember where I saw the list, but somebody ranked the positions by difficulty. SS hardest followed bu CF, 3b…. with LF easiest.

    • AC0000000

      I always thought the positions up the middle would be the hardest. Because you need much more range up the middle than you do at the corners

  • Jedi

    I hate to burst everyone’s bubble on Castro’s defense – but no matter which defensive metrics you look at (Baseball Reference or Fangraphs) – he’s essentially been an average SS this year.  He’s right in the middle of the pack if you base your judgment on Fangraphs’ UZR.  The Cubs as a team at the SS position (Castro) are 4th in the entire MLB on the total zone fielding runs above average (Rtot) if you prefer Baseball Reference.  Castro doesn’t have advanced metrics in 2012 that show him to be dramatically hindering the Cubs (as some had pointed to in 2011).  Most metrics have him rated better than Tulowitzki, Reyes, and Furcal among others.  Of course, Fangraphs UZR has Soriano rated as the best defender in all of baseball – lending further credence to the notion that advanced defensive metrics still have a long way to go.

    But then the objection to Castro would have to be based on the quantity of his errors.  Again, Reyes has 5, Tulowitzki has 6.  And none of Castro’s errors figured into the outcome of any game – perhaps someone will try and argue he cost us the game on 4/14, I’m not buying it; Volstad got hit hard that day in the 4th.  Plus he’s not had an error in since the 21st.  It seems to me that a fair amount of people don’t watch the game, see ‘E6’ in the box score for the Cubs and decide that Castro sucks defensively.

    • Buddy

      Agreed Jedi. And even if he makes 25 errors this year (which I hope doesn’t happen), that’s only an error every 6 1/2 games.  I think he more than offsets that total with his solid range and strong arm.

      • Jedi

        To listen to some of this, you’d think Castro was a half-step away from Jose Offerman.

      • Offerman is lumped into the same lousy bucket with the mullet-headed Cajuns in my book.  Dunston reference or be gone…

      • Jedi

        You’re saying Dunston was a worse infielder than Jose Offerman?  Maybe it’s because I had the privilege of watching him play for the local LA Dodgers…I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a more overmatched defender than Offerman at SS – I’m open to other options, but I need tape (and I saw quite a bit of Dunston too).

      • I was just jabbing the mullets…Dunston was a stud.  There are some concrete comparisons between Dunston and Castro too…something between the freak level of talent and the frustrations therein.  I can’t really think of a SS we have had in the interim that I really care to watch…good company. 

      • Jedi

        By all means, don’t let me distract from disparaging the Cajuns.

      • BLPCB

        DeRosa? Gonzo? K-nandez? Theriot?

      • Jedi

        I’m glad there are still some rational people left, Buddy!

      • Eddie Von White

         “he’s essentially been an average SS this year.” You hit the nail on the head – average is so everyday. Not hating on Castro, just wish him to be better than average on defense.

      • timothy

        I feel like with his speed he should be above average, but I feel like at his age, average is acceptable. If he regresses in say, 3-4 years, it will be acceptable.

      • Jedi

        I look at it this way – he’ll either lose his above average range, start throwing better, or stay the same.  If he loses his range, they’ll probably move him.  If he starts throwing better, he would probably be an elite defensive SS.  If he stays roughly the same, why would we want to move him?  The likelihood that we’d have a better fielding SS than him isn’t terribly high – and as Joe noted above, learning a new position can hinder other parts of a player’s game.  I still think we’re 18 months or more away from this being a serious discussion – but then I also know how the media is, and if they latch onto it again there’s no telling how quickly the firestorm could overtake the Cubs and they’d be forced to move him.  Bobby Valentine tried hard to make it happen last year.

    • Norm Bothwell

      I see…when the stats say he’s average, you use them, but when they say he’s bad and I bring it up, they are garbage…

      • Jedi

        Not at all Norm – as I even noted, I don’t like the advanced defensive metrics (if Soriano is the best fielder in the MLB, that’s a garbage stat…ring your boy Tommy Tango and let him know).  The stats advanced defensive metrics are almost entirely garbage – but even the garbage stats recognize that Castro isn’t a liability.  Read it again, my point is that there can be NO argument from any school of thought right now that Castro is this barrier to success in the Cubs’ infield.  The stats say he’s average at worst, if you watch the games he’s average at worst…only over-reliance on the stat of errors would lead one to believe that Castro is a bad defender.  On most days, he makes a play that no maybe only or two other guys is capable of making from that position.  So why anyone is clamoring for him to be moved is beyond me.  (But nice try making it about you again).

      • Jedi

        *should’ve said “makes a play that maybe only one or two other guys is capable of making from that position.”

      • Norm Bothwell

        Well you’re reading WAY too much into things if you think Soriano having the highest UZR is saying he’s the best fielder in baseball. One month doesn’t mean that…you either knew that, or are purposefully exaggerating to make it sound as negative as possible.
        It would be like saying Edwin Encarnacion is the third best home run hitter in baseball because he has the third most home runs or Ryan Sweeney is the 7th best hitter because he’s hitting .373.
        It’s one month. Advanced stats like UZR or conventional stats like batting average…they don’t mean much yet.

      • Jedi

        Yeah, it does mean that for a month Soriano leads the league in UZR…I’d love to hear the argument about how that makes any sense. Skewed for a small sample or not, Soriano is a garbage defender (his own team removes for defensive purposes and he leads the MLB in UZR).

      • Norm Bothwell

        It makes just as much senses as Bryan LaHair being the best hitting 1B in the game.
        Makes just as much sense as Adam LaRoche being better than Albert Pujols, Miguel Cabrera, Prince Fielder, and Adrian Gonzalez.
        Shows your lack of understanding….I can’t explain it any other way.

      • Jedi

        Has Soriano been baseball’s best defender even for a month? Because Encarnacion has been the league third best HR hitter for a month. It’s unlikely to stay that way through September in either case – but that’s where their stats place them thru one month.

      • Norm Bothwell

        From the Fangraphs glossary:

        Like with any defensive statistic, you should always use three years of UZR data before trying to draw any conclusions on the true talent level of a fielder.

        and:
        just be careful not to overstate claims of a player’s defensive prowess based solely on defensive stats.
        ————
        Like I said, you’re overstating. And it’s not best defender in baseball…UZR is measured against the league average at his position…his UZR is 6 runs above an average left fielder. It doesn’t mean he’s a better defender than a CF with a lower UZR. When you are going up against LF’s like Josh Willingham, Dayan Viciedo, Logan Morrison, and Ryan Braun, the bar is set much lower.
        The worst CF is still probably a better defender than the best LF.

        How many times have people mentioned a play that Soriano made this past April that they couldn’t believe he actually made? A few…at least. So he had a lucky month with the glove…oops, there’s the L word again

      • Jedi

        You can qualify it however you want – his UZR for 2012 is NOT indicative of his play.

        And I suppose that if we need 3 years worth of data, we won’t hear anything about the good/bad of a particular defender from you until he’s been in the league at least three years.

        My original point on this was that advanced defensive metrics are often times utter garbage.  Thanks for illustrating that so succinctly.

      • Norm

        As much garbage as Ryan Sweeney’s batting average?

    • Jeremiah Johnson

       ESPN’s Pedro Gomez is reporting that Norm’s collarbone has shattered under the weight of the enormous chip he keeps on his shoulder.

      • Eddie Von White

         You guys aren’t very nice to Norm.

      • Jedi

        Norm’s a big boy, he can handle it – happens to dish out a fair amount himself (though sometimes under a pseudonym).

      • Norm Bothwell

        “happens to dish out a fair amount himself (though sometimes under a pseudonym).”

        Seriously? Another blatant lie…I’ve yet to stoop to your level and call you a name, but after this BS comment, I’m pretty close…

      • Jedi

        So calling you CaptainJ counts as calling you a name?

    • BLPCB

      Do people not realize that in order to make an error, it means that you got to the baseball? Maybe he makes so many errors because he gets to more baseballs than anyone else. If you can’t get to a baseball, you can’t make an error, but the guy still reaches base. What’s the difference if a guy is on 1B bc the SS didn’t get to the ball, or he’s on 1B because another SS fielded that ball, but his throw pulled the 1B off the bag?

      • Norm Bothwell

         “Maybe he makes so many errors because he gets to more baseballs than anyone else”
        He’s close…In 2011, he was 2nd to Alcides Escobar in total fielding chances. Castro made 29 errors, Escobar made 15.
        3rd in chances was Alexei Ramirez and he had 16 errors.
        4th was Ian Desmond along with 23 errors.
        5th was Tulowitzki and he made 6 errors.

  • Jedi

    I hate to burst everyone’s bubble on Castro’s defense – but no matter which defensive metrics you look at (Baseball Reference or Fangraphs) – he’s essentially been an average SS this year.  He’s right in the middle of the pack if you base your judgment on Fangraphs’ UZR.  The Cubs as a team at the SS position (Castro) are 4th in the entire MLB on the total zone fielding runs above average (Rtot) if you prefer Baseball Reference.  Castro doesn’t have advanced metrics in 2012 that show him to be dramatically hindering the Cubs (as some had pointed to in 2011).  Most metrics have him rated better than Tulowitzki, Reyes, and Furcal among others.  Of course, Fangraphs UZR has Soriano rated as the best defender in all of baseball – lending further credence to the notion that advanced defensive metrics still have a long way to go.

    But then the objection to Castro would have to be based on the quantity of his errors.  Again, Reyes has 5, Tulowitzki has 6.  And none of Castro’s errors figured into the outcome of any game – perhaps someone will try and argue he cost us the game on 4/14, I’m not buying it; Volstad got hit hard that day in the 4th.  Plus he’s not had an error in since the 21st.  It seems to me that a fair amount of people don’t watch the game, see ‘E6’ in the box score for the Cubs and decide that Castro sucks defensively.

    • Buddy

      Agreed Jedi. And even if he makes 25 errors this year (which I hope doesn’t happen), that’s only an error every 6 1/2 games.  I think he more than offsets that total with his solid range and strong arm.

      • Jedi

        To listen to some of this, you’d think Castro was a half-step away from Jose Offerman.

      • Offerman is lumped into the same lousy bucket with the mullet-headed Cajuns in my book.  Dunston reference or be gone…

      • Jedi

        You’re saying Dunston was a worse infielder than Jose Offerman?  Maybe it’s because I had the privilege of watching him play for the local LA Dodgers…I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a more overmatched defender than Offerman at SS – I’m open to other options, but I need tape (and I saw quite a bit of Dunston too).

      • I was just jabbing the mullets…Dunston was a stud.  There are some concrete comparisons between Dunston and Castro too…something between the freak level of talent and the frustrations therein.  I can’t really think of a SS we have had in the interim that I really care to watch…good company. 

      • AC0000000

        DeRosa? Gonzo? K-nandez? Theriot?

      • Jedi

        I’m glad there are still some rational people left, Buddy!

      • Eddie Von White

         “he’s essentially been an average SS this year.” You hit the nail on the head – average is so everyday. Not hating on Castro, just wish him to be better than average on defense.

      • timothy

        I feel like with his speed he should be above average, but I feel like at his age, average is acceptable. If he regresses in say, 3-4 years, it will be acceptable.

      • Jedi

        I look at it this way – he’ll either lose his above average range, start throwing better, or stay the same.  If he loses his range, they’ll probably move him.  If he starts throwing better, he would probably be an elite defensive SS.  If he stays roughly the same, why would we want to move him?  The likelihood that we’d have a better fielding SS than him isn’t terribly high – and as Joe noted above, learning a new position can hinder other parts of a player’s game.  I still think we’re 18 months or more away from this being a serious discussion – but then I also know how the media is, and if they latch onto it again there’s no telling how quickly the firestorm could overtake the Cubs and they’d be forced to move him.  Bobby Valentine tried hard to make it happen last year.

    • Norm Bothwell

      I see…when the stats say he’s average, you use them, but when they say he’s bad and I bring it up, they are garbage…

      • Jedi

        Not at all Norm – as I even noted, I don’t like the advanced defensive metrics (if Soriano is the best fielder in the MLB, that’s a garbage stat…ring your boy Tommy Tango and let him know).  The stats advanced defensive metrics are almost entirely garbage – but even the garbage stats recognize that Castro isn’t a liability.  Read it again, my point is that there can be NO argument from any school of thought right now that Castro is this barrier to success in the Cubs’ infield.  The stats say he’s average at worst, if you watch the games he’s average at worst…only over-reliance on the stat of errors would lead one to believe that Castro is a bad defender.  On most days, he makes a play that no maybe only or two other guys is capable of making from that position.  So why anyone is clamoring for him to be moved is beyond me.  (But nice try making it about you again).

      • Jedi

        *should’ve said “makes a play that maybe only one or two other guys is capable of making from that position.”

      • Norm Bothwell

        Well you’re reading WAY too much into things if you think Soriano having the highest UZR is saying he’s the best fielder in baseball. One month doesn’t mean that…you either knew that, or are purposefully exaggerating to make it sound as negative as possible.
        It would be like saying Edwin Encarnacion is the third best home run hitter in baseball because he has the third most home runs or Ryan Sweeney is the 7th best hitter because he’s hitting .373.
        It’s one month. Advanced stats like UZR or conventional stats like batting average…they don’t mean much yet.

      • Jedi

        Yeah, it does mean that for a month Soriano leads the league in UZR…I’d love to hear the argument about how that makes any sense. Skewed for a small sample or not, Soriano is a garbage defender (his own team removes for defensive purposes and he leads the MLB in UZR).

      • Norm Bothwell

        It makes just as much senses as Bryan LaHair being the best hitting 1B in the game.
        Makes just as much sense as Adam LaRoche being better than Albert Pujols, Miguel Cabrera, Prince Fielder, and Adrian Gonzalez.
        Shows your lack of understanding….I can’t explain it any other way.

      • Jedi

        Has Soriano been baseball’s best defender even for a month? Because Encarnacion has been the league third best HR hitter for a month. It’s unlikely to stay that way through September in either case – but that’s where their stats place them thru one month.

      • Norm Bothwell

        From the Fangraphs glossary:

        Like with any defensive statistic, you should always use three years of UZR data before trying to draw any conclusions on the true talent level of a fielder.

        and:
        just be careful not to overstate claims of a player’s defensive prowess based solely on defensive stats.
        ————
        Like I said, you’re overstating. And it’s not best defender in baseball…UZR is measured against the league average at his position…his UZR is 6 runs above an average left fielder. It doesn’t mean he’s a better defender than a CF with a lower UZR. When you are going up against LF’s like Josh Willingham, Dayan Viciedo, Logan Morrison, and Ryan Braun, the bar is set much lower.
        The worst CF is still probably a better defender than the best LF.

        How many times have people mentioned a play that Soriano made this past April that they couldn’t believe he actually made? A few…at least. So he had a lucky month with the glove…oops, there’s the L word again

      • Jedi

        You can qualify it however you want – his UZR for 2012 is NOT indicative of his play.

        And I suppose that if we need 3 years worth of data, we won’t hear anything about the good/bad of a particular defender from you until he’s been in the league at least three years.

        My original point on this was that advanced defensive metrics are often times utter garbage.  Thanks for illustrating that so succinctly.

    • Jeremiah Johnson

       ESPN’s Pedro Gomez is reporting that Norm’s collarbone has shattered under the weight of the enormous chip he keeps on his shoulder.

      • Eddie Von White

         You guys aren’t very nice to Norm.

      • Jedi

        Norm’s a big boy, he can handle it – happens to dish out a fair amount himself (though sometimes under a pseudonym).

    • AC0000000

      Do people not realize that in order to make an error, it means that you got to the baseball? Maybe he makes so many errors because he gets to more baseballs than anyone else. If you can’t get to a baseball, you can’t make an error, but the guy still reaches base. What’s the difference if a guy is on 1B bc the SS didn’t get to the ball, or he’s on 1B because another SS fielded that ball, but his throw pulled the 1B off the bag?

      Now if the 1B is making the errors because he drops the throw, that’s another story.

      • Norm Bothwell

         “Maybe he makes so many errors because he gets to more baseballs than anyone else”
        He’s close…In 2011, he was 2nd to Alcides Escobar in total fielding chances. Castro made 29 errors, Escobar made 15.
        3rd in chances was Alexei Ramirez and he had 16 errors.
        4th was Ian Desmond along with 23 errors.
        5th was Tulowitzki and he made 6 errors.

  • BLPCB

    The rest of Carrie’s mailbag was pretty funny and informative. Never knew that about Peoria, and I was surprised Lee is still a FA

    • NewBlueRegime

       Lee is done. He has too many injury problems to justify the price he wants. Plus he has noticeably lost a lot of power. Great guy but I just don’t think he can produce compared to what teams could get in a trade and keep for longer than a few months.

  • AC0000000

    The rest of Carrie’s mailbag was pretty funny and informative. Never knew that about Peoria, and I was surprised Lee is still a FA

    • NewBlueRegime

       Lee is done. He has too many injury problems to justify the price he wants. Plus he has noticeably lost a lot of power. Great guy but I just don’t think he can produce compared to what teams could get in a trade and keep for longer than a few months.

  • Cubs Future

    What are thoughts or possibilities of trading LaHair?  Obviously outfield positions are weak at the moment, but he still hasn’t had a lot of experience out there.  Especially if Rizzo is supposed to be the 1B of the future, could the Cubs get something good for LaHair?  Compana is holding his own as long as he continues to hit and can walk some as that is his strength to then steal.  We all know what we hope for Jackson to come up if he can turn himself around a little.  Just was thinking could possibly get some prospects for LaHair while his value is high, providing of course he can keep up reasonable levels until Rizzo can come up.  He is the Cubs only power right now, but bringing up the two guys from the minors should have more combined than him.  Not saying the Cubs should do it, but just wanted to hear some thoughts.

    • Norm Bothwell

      Maybe in July a trade of LaHair will get you something…but not a whole lot…I think he’s most valuable to the organization by sticking with the Cubs rather than being traded…and then reassessing after the season.

      • MattyLight

        I’m gonna disagree with not being able to get any trade value out of LaHair in July.  If LaHair is in the twenties in HR’s and continues to hit for a solid average a team that believes they are just one piece away from making a deep playoff run or a team that has a big bat in their line-up go down because of injury those teams would be the teams interested and might be willingly to get up some young talent.  Many teams are willing to give up more or are desperate during that time of year and sometimes teams are willing give up a lot for the possibility success in the short term.  I’m believe Theo realizes LaHair’s value to the team and while listening to offers he will only consider offers that he believes will have more future value and will make the right decision for our future. In Theo We Trust 

  • Cubs Future

    What are thoughts or possibilities of trading LaHair?  Obviously outfield positions are weak at the moment, but he still hasn’t had a lot of experience out there.  Especially if Rizzo is supposed to be the 1B of the future, could the Cubs get something good for LaHair?  Compana is holding his own as long as he continues to hit and can walk some as that is his strength to then steal.  We all know what we hope for Jackson to come up if he can turn himself around a little.  Just was thinking could possibly get some prospects for LaHair while his value is high, providing of course he can keep up reasonable levels until Rizzo can come up.  He is the Cubs only power right now, but bringing up the two guys from the minors should have more combined than him.  Not saying the Cubs should do it, but just wanted to hear some thoughts.

    • Norm Bothwell

      Maybe in July a trade of LaHair will get you something…but not a whole lot…I think he’s most valuable to the organization by sticking with the Cubs rather than being traded…and then reassessing after the season.

      • MattyLight

        I’m gonna disagree with not being able to get any trade value out of LaHair in July.  If LaHair is in the twenties in HR’s and continues to hit for a solid average a team that believes they are just one piece away from making a deep playoff run or a team that has a big bat in their line-up go down because of injury those teams would be the teams interested and might be willingly to get up some young talent.  Many teams are willing to give up more or are desperate during that time of year and sometimes teams are willing give up a lot for the possibility success in the short term.  I’m believe Theo realizes LaHair’s value to the team and while listening to offers he will only consider offers that he believes will have more future value and will make the right decision for our future. In Theo We Trust 

  • TIMF

    I’m going to disagree with starting LaHair against a starting lefty. Honestly, I think they are showcasing him right now to try and get some prospects out of him at the deadline then promote Rizzo if he continues to do well in Iowa. If he had the ability to hit well off lefties that would just increase his value, so I’m assuming he hasn’t had a good history of hitting off them for the number of years he’s spent down in the minors otherwise they would start him. And Jeff Baker has almost no value if he doesn’t start against the south paws.  Baker has no ability to hit a righty, but shown he does have the potential to hit well off lefties. Plus LaHair isn’t a young rookie, I wouldn’t be surprised if his back is still nagging him some, so they like using lefties as an excuse to sit him

    • Norm Bothwell

       This makes a lot of sense to me as well…

    • Jeremiah Johnson

      I disagree.  Protecting Baker’s value couldn’t be much lower on my list of priorities, and LaHair’s back hasn’t been a problem for almost a month now.  Now is the time to find out what LaHair can do with regular starts against pitchers from both sides of the mound–especially if we believe this is already a lost season.  If he can produce anything against lefties, then it might be worth finding him a more permanent home in the OF, which would only make him more valuable as trade bait.

      • Matty Light

        Personally even with Baker’s versatility in the field I still don’t much value in him. But the I guess the front office does so as long as he’s on the roster then I want him to play and not just riding the pine all year being more of waste of a roster spot than he already is. So if only value is hitting lefties then I think you gotta play him. And LaHair about 2 weeks admitted he was still having the nerve issue he first suffered at the end of spring training is still bothering him and his right leg isn’t at full strength because of it. Forcing him to play everyday through a nagging injury like that wouldn’t be good.  Maybe later in the season when he fully recovered let him play ever day and face some lefties but for now I think everyone should calm down and realize it’s for the best.  Plus you even said the season doesn’t matter so why would we risk the future of someone that valuable or risk not being able to trade for any value out of him if we over work him and make things worse

  • TIMF

    I’m going to disagree with starting LaHair against a starting lefty. Honestly, I think they are showcasing him right now to try and get some prospects out of him at the deadline then promote Rizzo if he continues to do well in Iowa. If he had the ability to hit well off lefties that would just increase his value, so I’m assuming he hasn’t had a good history of hitting off them for the number of years he’s spent down in the minors otherwise they would start him. And Jeff Baker has almost no value if he doesn’t start against the south paws.  Baker has no ability to hit a righty, but shown he does have the potential to hit well off lefties. Plus LaHair isn’t a young rookie, I wouldn’t be surprised if his back is still nagging him some, so they like using lefties as an excuse to sit him

    • Norm Bothwell

       This makes a lot of sense to me as well…

    • Jeremiah Johnson

      I disagree.  Protecting Baker’s value couldn’t be much lower on my list of priorities, and LaHair’s back hasn’t been a problem for almost a month now.  Now is the time to find out what LaHair can do with regular starts against pitchers from both sides of the mound–especially if we believe this is already a lost season.  If he can produce anything against lefties, then it might be worth finding him a more permanent home in the OF, which would only make him more valuable as trade bait.

  • NewBlueRegime

    I am so sick of people pressing and pressing and pressing for Rizzo to be brought up. Look the kid is still young. He is going to be a cornerstone piece to the Cubs major league team for years to come. Let him round out and progress naturally. No need to rush him and then have the possibility of him failing because he is not ready. And why subject him to all this crappy losing? LaHair is doing just fine at 1st and when we are ready for Rizzo he can be moved to leftfield because by then Soriano should be long gone. Do people not remember what happened to Rizzo in San Diego? Have some patience, I know it is difficult because the Cubs have ripped out our hearts so many times over the years but let’s do this the right way. Let Theo and the Boys clear out all the crap on the major league level and restock the minors. Then when we have enough talent to make a legit run Rizzo will be ready. Face it 2012 is and will be a lost season. Just go out to the ball park enjoy a dog and a cold drink and watch some baseball in the sun.

  • NewBlueRegime

    I am so sick of people pressing and pressing and pressing for Rizzo to be brought up. Look the kid is still young. He is going to be a cornerstone piece to the Cubs major league team for years to come. Let him round out and progress naturally. No need to rush him and then have the possibility of him failing because he is not ready. And why subject him to all this crappy losing? LaHair is doing just fine at 1st and when we are ready for Rizzo he can be moved to leftfield because by then Soriano should be long gone. Do people not remember what happened to Rizzo in San Diego? Have some patience, I know it is difficult because the Cubs have ripped out our hearts so many times over the years but let’s do this the right way. Let Theo and the Boys clear out all the crap on the major league level and restock the minors. Then when we have enough talent to make a legit run Rizzo will be ready. Face it 2012 is and will be a lost season. Just go out to the ball park enjoy a dog and a cold drink and watch some baseball in the sun.