I have three topics of discussion for this fine hump day.   I am sure there are varying degrees of opinion on each one and I am hoping we get to hear them all.  The first two are baseball related and the last one is not.  Here we go…..

Topic #1

I think we should trade Starlin Castro.  Now before you fry me for even mentioning this, take a few things into consideration.  First and foremost, I want to see Starlin do well.  The Cub fan in me wants Castro to beat all this negativity surrounding this season and come out a hall of fame player.   I am hoping he is just young….still, which in theory he is, but he is in his fourth season.  We are bordering on what might be called crafty veteran stage soon.

The realist side of me wants to break down Starlin as a player.  Lets start with defense, shall we?  The only two categories that have Starlin sitting atop the league are games played and errors.  His zone ratings are all in the negative.  His dWAR is negative, I know I am reaching here, but I wanted to try to find something positive about our supposed shortstop of the future.  It is almost impossible.  Some say he has improved….he has not.  Throw out all the wonderful stats and just watch the games.  The errors are still there.  The ball gets past him and sometimes he takes a rather pedestrian play and makes it, well, challenging.  It also seems to happen at all the wrong times.

Then he gets a bat in his hands.  This was a strength for Starlin but the strikeout totals and the walk totals are just two far apart.  Not too mention he swings at a lot of bad pitches.  Basically he is a free swinger who does not hit for power.

Yes, there is talent there but something is blocking it from shining through.  Is it his mental game? Is he not mature enough yet?  I don’t know.  Sometimes Starlin’s overall demeanor just strikes me as that of a student trying to get through a boring class.

I look at young shortstops like Jose Iglesias or Elvis Andrus and see an elite fielder with a decent bat.  Their fielding brings confidence and their bats are at the very least good enough.

The cupboard is not bare at Shortstop either.  The Cubs of yesterday did not have the depth that the Cubs of today have.  Sure this year is still a bit thin on Big league ready options but going into next year things could get interesting.  Theo and Jed have been stockpiling and Starlin may not be the only option in the next year or so.  If you need an example of trading depth look no further than Theo’s old team.  The Red Sox dealt the previously mentioned Iglesias to the Tigers for pitching.  Why would they deal such a bright young star?  Well, they have the number one prospect in baseball in Xander Bogaerts waiting in the wings!  This is what depth can do and the Cubs are going to start reaping the rewards.

The trick is, the Cubs must deal Starlin while he still has top value.  If he starts the season off hot next year…lets just say, if we are in the same position we are in now, then they should get what they can for him.  Don’t wait to sell at the bottom!!!  We have depth now!


Topic #2

I found this while surfing the web today. Basically, it is a homegrown player roster for each team in the majors.  You probably guessed that the Cubs roster is pretty lean, thanks Jim Hendry/Tribune and crew.  It takes the best of every current player and puts him back with his original team.

Back to this depth concept, I kind of wonder what it will be like to be a Cubs fan and see more then one good option creeping up the minors at a given position, other then pitcher of course.  Will I be able to detach myself from ever seeing that player realize his potential in a Cubs uniform?  I mean, I really want to see Dan Vogelbach make the bigs and crush balls in a Cubs uniform, but I love Rizzo!  What will give in the end?  As I said above, Castro, for reasons of insanity apparently, had me at hello as our shortstop of the future.  Yet, what happens with Baez? How can you not want to see what Javier Baez can do?  Maybe Baez will be a third basemen but I have longed to see Mike Olt in a Cub uniform.  Also, don’t forget, Kris Bryant is looking like he is on the fast track to the bigs too?  There is only so much room in the boat. Some of these talents that we have been reading about and waiting on may never see Wrigley.  They may turn into a new starting pitcher or reliever.

It is better to have depth but it will take some getting used too.  Long gone are the days of sitting on Corey Patterson and waiting for him to blossom as our only outfield prospect.


Topic #3

I am a big Bill Simmons fan. I have been since he started his page 2 stuff for ESPN.  I am also a big Rockumentary fan.  Basically any Documentary on a rock band can suck me in for hours.  Talk about a time suck, sometimes I manage to stumble on a random “VH1 – Where Are They Now?” bit and can’t let go.  The bad part is that it usually doesn’t matter who they are featuring.

Bill wrote a rather long piece about the recent Eagles Documentary on Grantland. Here is the link.  Bill is leveraging his sports writing to breach other topics and music and entertainment are his big hot spots.  I read this whole thing.  I feel like I already saw the documentary it got so in depth.

I am looking for recommendations for Rockumentary’s …does anybody have a suggestion?

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Chet West is an IT professional living in Minneapolis, MN with his wife and two daughters. He has a pug named Banks and loves photography. Follow him on Twitter @chetwest19