Chicago Cubs manager Lou Piniella has never been a completely conventional guy (Carlos Zambrano to the bullpen?), but neither has he been a statistical renegade – eschewing stats in favor of his “gut,” as former Cubs manager Dusty Baker was wont to do. So when Lou put rookies Tyler Colvin and Starlin Castro together at the top of the order this weekend, it was fair to assume he was just trying a little something out, but would soon come to his senses.
I guess his gut got the best of him.
The Cubs’ continuing look toward the future could involve an extended look in the present at rookies Tyler Colvin and Starlin Castro batting first and second.
Manager Lou Piniella, who batted them back-to-back atop the lineup for the second straight game, said he wants to see how it works for a while and has considered flip-flopping them in the top spots.
As teammates in the minors, Castro batted ahead of Colvin, usually in the 2-spot, with Colvin batting third.
”That’s something we talked about, but we figured the 2-hole was better for Castro,” Piniella said. ”Colvin was a college player, more experienced. Castro hits behind the runner well. It doesn’t really matter, one or two. Let’s keep it this way for a while and see what happens.” CHICAGO SUN-TIMES.
To be sure, Colvin and Castro are doing many great things in their respective rookie seasons. But getting on base with any kind of regularity is not one of them.
Colvin, thanks to 20 pounds of added muscle, is driving the ball like he never has before. His .535 slugging percentage screams middle of the order run-producer. But his paltry .318 OBP screams it even louder. In no universe is that a guy you want leading off, and it defies logic to pretend otherwise.
As for Castro, he may someday be a great fit in the 2 or 3-hole, but at present, he’s probably a better fit in the 1-hole. He’s got a .345 OBP, and he runs the bases as well as anyone on the team. Putting him in a role where he’s regularly expected to give himself up, or perhaps run the bases behind someone else makes no sense.