A quick glance at the schedule….
With 47 games left and mercy waiting around the corner, I felt the need to engage in the guessing game of total wins for this team. It seems we have seven games left against each team in the central with the exception of the Cardinals, whom we play three more times at home. We then have six against the Rockies, four against the Nats, and three each against the Giants and D-Backs. Of the 47 games left, 24 are home games, where we are a marginally better team.
So, my guess is going to sit around 17 more wins for a total of 62. Yes, this puts us at 100 losses on the nose. With our current lack of starting pitching and inconsistent offense, I think it will be a miracle to eclipse this number. If I was a betting man I would take the under. What about you?
Is Darwin Barney the future at second?
Since the departure of Ryne Sandberg second base has sort of been the new third base in the Cubs organization. No, the gap has not been as wide as Santo to Ramirez but nevertheless it starts to leave Cub fans wondering when the next, well, Sandberg may come along.
My days as a Cub fan started back in the 80’s, I can still remember thinking young players like Dwight Smith and Jerome Walton would send the club into the stratosphere of multiple World Series births. I moved to Chicago in 1997, Ryne’s last season, and witnessed first hand the transition to Mickey “The Mullet” Morandini. The beautiful flowing rear flap hid the fact that Mickey was a temporary solution to the two bag problem. He wasn’t awful by any means but he was nearing the end of his ten year career and his best days were back in Philly. Over the years this led to names like Eric Young, Mark DeRosa, Mike Fontenot and a smattering of players in between. Nobody has really held down the position for longer than a two year period.
This all brings us to the 127th overall pick of the 2007 draft, where the Cubs selected a youngster by the name of Darwin Barney. On first inspection he drove me crazy. First off, he chewed his gum like a hooker in a bad 80’s movie. He also has a strut of sorts that leads you to believe there is some ego burried in that tiny frame. All of this, coupled with the fact that he didn’t exactly light the world on fire in his September call up back in 2010, made some view Barney as the next player floating through the second base turnstile.
Fast forward to 2012 and you have what could be a mainstay at second, providing Darwin does what he has done since his first full season in 2011, which is hit for a decent average and field with consistency. For the season, Fangraphs shows him currently leading his position in fielding based on the ever debatable UZR stat ( 10.2, which is followed up by Dustin Ackley with an 8.9) and they rank him in the top ten best hitting second baseman based on WAR (.269/.310/.389 WAR 2.4 tied with Altuve, Pedroia, and Uggla). He should also manage to improve his BB/K ratio year over year, already matching his 2011 total for walks with his K’s at almost half their 2011 total, which wasn’t disastrous to begin with for 2011.
My question is this, why the lack of love for Darwin Barney? It seems Cubbie Nation is ready to cast him off and welcome a new model. I lump myself into this group to a degree. Until the past two months or so barney struck me as dispensable. When the non-waver trade deadline approached nobody in Wrigleyville backed Barney as a building block for the future. How do we know he won’t be as valuable to our future as guys like Castro or Rizzo, names that come across as untouchable? Other then consistent power, which is an uncommon trait for second baseman, what is Barney lacking?
A Quote for the week:
I have found very few examples better then this quote from the movie Bull Durham, that show the small chasm between being a great hitter and a mediocre hitter……
Know what the difference between hitting .250 and .300 is? It’s 25 hits. 25 hits in 500 at bats is 50 points, okay? There’s 6 months in a season, that’s about 25 weeks. That means if you get just one extra flare a week – just one – a gorp… you get a groundball, you get a groundball with eyes… you get a dying quail, just one more dying quail a week… and you’re in Yankee Stadium.
— Crash Davis