Part-time leadoff hitter Ryan Theriot hasn’t been getting on base a whole lot lately, resulting in increasing lead-off appearances for Kosuke Fukudome. So what’s Theriot’s problem? He’s not walking. At all. For a very long time.

Before the first question was even uttered, Cubs second baseman Ryan Theriot said, ”You want to talk to me about having only one walk this month?”

Evidently, manager Lou Piniella got to him first.

”Yeah, he just talked to me about it a little while ago,” Theriot said. ”He said, ‘I’m going to make you walk home from the game tonight so you can get a walk.”’

At least they can laugh about it.

”Hey, the month’s not over yet,” Theriot said.

The team’s recent success and Theriot’s strong start at the plate have made it easy to overlook the fact that the team’s primary leadoff man hasn’t drawn a walk since May 1.

”He hasn’t walked since the first of May? Really?” Piniella said when it was mentioned by a beat reporter before Wednesday’s game. ”That is surprising. I wasn’t aware of that.”

Neither was Theriot until Piniella mentioned it to him.

”I knew I hadn’t walked that much,” he said. ”But I didn’t really realize that. It’s not a very good stat. I don’t like that very much.”

Theriot, who has hit leadoff 37 times this season, is batting .300 with a .325 on-base percentage overall. CHICAGO SUN-TIMES.

I don’t think anyone wants Theriot to let good pitches go by. You can’t go to the plate planning or trying to walk. This game simply doesn’t work that way. That said, when you haven’t walked in almost a month, that indicates you’re being too aggressive.

Aside from not taking walks, what is problematic with Theriot’s overly aggressive approach of late is that he’s not seeing many pitches. That not only hurts him, but it also hurts the team – the guys at the top of your order need to work to force the opposing starting pitcher to throw extra pitches. That is a component of the top two hitters’ jobs. It wears down the starter, makes him more prone to make mistakes, and gets you to the bullpen sooner.






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