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wrigley field from right bleachersOpening Day is here! Well, the home opening day, anyway. Hopefully the nasty early morning weather is all cleared out by the time we’re ready to funnel into the ballpark.

Travis Wood gets the ball today to kick off his 2014 season, which hopefully looks a hell of a lot like his 2013 season. It’s going to be very windy today, which will either make Wood unstoppable (wind blowing in) or comically vulnerable (wind blowing out), because he’s quite the fly ball pitcher. Of course, his opponent today, Roberto Hernandez, is extremely homer-prone, himself.

Ryne Sandberg makes his return to Wrigley, which will be interesting because, when he comes out onto the field to exchange lineups and do that whole thing, Ricky Renteria will also be coming out for the first time at Wrigley Field. There will be enormous cheers, but neither man will truly know for whom the crowd cheers. And you have to choose just one. This is serious business.

Today’s lineup is mostly loaded with lefties, as you’d expect, but Darwin Barney is at second base, rather than Emilio Bonifacio (who is in center, rather than Ryan Sweeney (who is in left, rather than Ryan Kalish)). RR said that Barney wasn’t going to be in a strict platoon, and here you have it. As for Junior Lake and Mike Olt, we still don’t know what their level of platooning will be, because the Cubs face so many lefties in the early going.

Ryne Sandberg, on the other hand, thinks the platoon advantage is for silly ninnies, so he puts six(!) lefties in his lineup to face lefty Travis Wood, including the first three batters. Wood has held lefties a mere .212/.290/.327 line over his career. No, Sandberg doesn’t have the same roster versatility at his disposal that RR has, but … well, this does not seem wise. Anything can happen in a single game, though.

I’ll be at the game today and then hopefully hanging with some of you fine folks after the game, so you can expect a delayed EBS.

Game Info

Philadelphia Phillies (1-2) at Chicago Cubs (1-2), 1:20 CT on WGN and MLBN.

Game Thread and Series Preview

The Game Thread lives here. And, of course, for those who aren’t into message board-style game threads, please feel free to use the comments on this post for your in-game commentary/outbursts.

The Series Preview lives here.

Starting Pitchers

Roberto Hernandez (4.89 ERA, 4.63 FIP, 3.60 xFIP; 2.97 K/BB (formerly Fausto Carmona))

versus

Travis Wood (3.11 ERA, 3.89 FIP, 4.50 xFIP; 2.18 K/BB)

Philadelpia Phillies Lineup

1. Ben Revere, CF

2. Jimmy Rollins, SS

3. Chase Utley, 2B

4. Marlon Byrd, RF

5. Ryan Howard, 1B

6. Carlos Ruiz, C

7. Domonic Brown, LF

8. Cody Asche, 3B

9. Roberto Hernandez, P

Chicago Cubs Lineup

1. Emilio Bonifacio, CF

2. Starlin Castro, SS

3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B

4. Nate Schierholtz, RF

5. Luis Valbuena, 3B

6. Welington Castillo, C

7. Ryan Sweeney, LF

8. Darwin Barney, 2B

9. Travis Wood, P

  • Jon

    “Ryne Sandberg, on the other hand, thinks the platoon advantage is for silly ninnies, so he puts six(!) lefties in his lineup to face lefty Travis Wood”

    Yeah, never wanted him as a manager….

  • willis

    Barney not going to be a strict platoon. He’s suck a wizard with the stick he deserves to play every day, while guys who could be big parts of the future sit. Hooray.

    The more things change…

    • willis

      “Such”

      • BlameHendry

        “He’s suck” still gets the point across

    • Oregon Cubs Fan

      Don’t disagree with your sarcasm about Barney’s bat. But I’m not sure which player that is a big part of the Cubs future is sitting because he is playing. You can certainly make the case that Valbuena ought to be playing there for his upside in hitting. But I’m not convinced that Valbuena is a big part of the future. Unless of course future back up infielder equates to big part of the Cubs future.

      • Oregon Cubs Fan

        Forget this comment, I just realized that Olt is sitting with Valbuena playing 3rd instead of 2nd. My bad.

        • willis

          I wrote mine before your second response, I gotcha.

      • willis

        Olt. You put Valbuena at 2B and Olt at 3rd. That would make everyone much happier. We just really want to see what Olt can do, if anything. He may suck. But we don’t know. We know Barney is terrible. And is no part of the future. Olt could be. But playing every other day and being in a platoon isn’t going to help him establish that.

        • Head and Heart

          I agree. Lets have a place holder player in the lineup ahead of the guy he is holding the place for. Makes a lot sense.

  • Funn Dave

    “There will be enormous cheers, but neither man will truly know for whom the crowd cheers. And you have to choose just one. This is serious business.”

    I’m still laughing.

  • JesusPotter

    It’s too bad Wood couldn’t square off with Lee tomorrow. I went to high school with Cliff and Travis, while a bit younger, went to school right down the road. It would be kind of neat to see a Saline County Arkansas showdown.

  • Spoda17

    So we played the crap out of Olt in ST, against both rightys and leftys to see him perform very well… only to platoon him instead of develop him in the majors… I just don’t get this…

  • BlameHendry

    Sooo Mike Olt is only gonna play against lefties and sit out two-thirds of the games this season? Why even give him a major league spot then? Same with Lake. So far RR is not handling the young developing players any better than Sveum. If these kids are gonna ever realize their potential, they need to play almost every day.

  • Eric

    I have no interest in a game where Barney or Valbuena get a start over Olt. Enjoy the game, if you watch it.

  • mjhurdle

    the amount of panic over Olt not starting is rising to Babe Watkins level.
    At least it is completely understandable given that we are so far into this season to have a real grasp of what the plan for Olt is.

    • Jon

      Difference being, nobody cared about Babe Watkins. Olt is kind of an important piece to this whole thing.

      • Funn Dave

        *might be* kind of an important piece to this whole thing.

    • willis

      I don’t think it’s panic. It’s that many don’t want to see a strict platoon with Lake and Olt and it’s happened twice already…in four games. Sure small sample size but we’d like to get a look at the future and if they have one, vs watching Barney swing for the fences only to pop up in the infield.

    • C. Steadman

      Agreed, I’d rather have Olt at 3B and Valbuena at 2B, but I’m not going to beat a dead horse over it. There could be shoulder soreness, or something else that doesn’t get mentioned in the footnotes of the lineup card.

      • CubChymyst

        Olt’s shoulder was my first thought. The guy didn’t start at third until the last week of spring training due to his shoulder. The cubs might be giving him a little rest after playing yesterday.

        • C. Steadman

          Yeah, especially since it’ll be in the 40s today while the other two games Olt started were mid-60s. That has an affect on the shoulder and getting it loose.

          • willis

            If he’s being mindful of that. Meh, I suppose. But if Olt came to them and said he was not feeling well today, then I’ll understand it more.

      • ssckelley

        I agree, since the wind is blowing out I would have stocked this lineup with as many sluggers as possible. Olt at 3rd and Valbuena at 2nd is how I would have done it. But I still like Bonifacio in center over Sweeney, gotta stick with the hot hand and I like the speed at the top.

  • Lou Brown

    Even the one lefty who is remotely interesting, Kalish, is sitting. You can practically call this lineup: traded in July.

  • Picklenose

    Okay you have three players with the following lines avg/obp/ops. First the spring numbers and second the 3 game numbers (small sample size, spring training caveats understood)
    1) 277/393/797 and 143/333/476
    2) 276/317/886 and 143/143/704
    3) 244/333/1.114 and 429/600/1.029

    Which of those 3 players seem to give you the best chance to win, player 1, 2, or 3?
    The players are Barney, Olt, and Valbuena. Personally I would opt for Olt and Valbuena, but the Barney-Olt numbers are not so far apart (Barney gets on base more often, Olt goes deep more often).

    • Chad

      1. Extremely SSS. 2. Barney getting on base ahead of the pitcher <<<Olt hitting a HR from the 5 or 6 hole with potential base runners on.

  • mportsch

    It looks like the wind will be blowing out today, so this could be an interesting one. Good chance for the Cubs to break the elusive four-run mark!

    • Picklenose

      +1 (as long as the Phillies don’t break the elusive 4 run mark!)

      • willis

        Wind blowing out and the second best power bat is on the bench.

        • mportsch

          Good point, and the Cubs have an extreme flyball pitcher on the mound, making any defense-based argument for Barney less relevant.

          • gocatsgo2003

            “Any” defense-based argument? Because there likely won’t be “any” ground balls if the wind is blowing out?

            • mportsch

              I think you’re taking exception to something I didn’t even say.

              I didn’t say that a defense-based argument was NOT relevant. I said it was LESS relevant when there are likely to be fewer groundballs, as it is when Travis Wood is pitching.

              Fewer groundballs = fewer opportunities for a great infield defender to make a difference.

        • gocatsgo2003

          … and could enter the game at any time as a PH, part of a double switch, etc. Most of the point of the roster composition this year is versatility, but now we are griping about Renteria utilizing that versatility to his best advantage.

          • willis

            Playing Barney is not his best advantage.

  • mportsch

    This will be the first NL appearance for Roberto Hernandez after he spent seven seasons with the Indians and one season with the Rays. He’s been homer-prone his entire career, but that’s been especially true the past couple years.

    Looking at Hernandez’s history against current Cubs, only Ryan Sweeney has more than three plate appearances against Hernandez. Sweeney has struggled against him, going 133/188/133 in 16 PAs (321 OPS).

    Of the small sample size guys, Ryan Kalish has had the most success against Hernandez (2-for-3 with a double and a walk).

    That’s not really enough to be meaningful, but you do wonder why you wouldn’t put Kalish or Olt in the lineup for Barney (with Bonifacio or Valbuena playing second).

    Bonifacio is 1-for-3 against Hernandez, and Ruggiano and Schierholtz are both 0-for-3.

  • auggie

    It’s good to see Castro batting 2nd instead of 3rd. Castro never was and never will be a #3 hitter. Happy that RR came to his senses rather quickly in making that decision.

    • Noah_I

      Your number 2 hitter should actually be better than your number 3 hitter, although I’ll agree that on a good offense Castro would not be in either role. Ideally, once the prospects all come up, Castro’s batting 6th or so.

      • Funn Dave

        Or he’s hitting like he was two years ago, in which case I’d still like to see him in that 2 hole.

  • Medicos

    Just heard an interview with Cubs owner Tom Ricketts and he stated that his FO of Theo and Jed could easily put together a roster of players that could win 82-83 games every year but he wants a World Series winner. I’m beginning to think Mr. Ricketts just might be too nice of a person to accomplish what he’s attempting to do. I’ve been a fan for 62-years and in only 17-SEASONS has the team won more than than they’ve lost. That’s a LOUSY 28%.

    • Chad

      How does that equate to him being too nice? He is saying he is trying to give the cubs and their FO the best opportunities to make this team into an annual winner not just an annual meh team. By not getting FA and going .500 he’s allowing a better drafting position for better talent in the farm, and I do believe that eventually the cubs will spend in FA to fill the cracks. I think he was just saying you can put a bandaid over a scratch and it will help, but if you try to put a bandaid over a gun shot wound it won’t help very much.

      • Chad

        aka, too many holes in this team to fix with a few FA signings.

        • Medicos

          Chad: Isn’t it amazing that the BoSox went out and spent tens of millions of dollars on a number of FAs a few years ago and finished way below .500. Their FO then got rid of many of those FAs and the very next year won the WS. It shouldn’t take the Cubs FO so long to show an improvement.

          • Noah_I

            Totally different scenario. First, the Red Sox were able to take on those financial commitments in the first place. Second, the Red Sox were able to convert those financial commitments into a large number of very significant prospects, because those financial commitments included two players who were still in the primes of their career. They were also able to do this because, at only one point in time in the history of baseball, was a team willing to take on massive amounts of long term player payroll in one midseason, and that was the 2012 Los Angeles Dodgers. Third, the extent to which the Red Sox were bad in 2012 was largely the result of injuries, and the Red Sox had a quite healthy year in 2013.

            The Red Sox, entering 2014, already had several star level players on their roster: Lester, Pedroia, Ellsbury and Ortiz. They also had a farm system that both had and already contributed to the Big League team. So they were able to make a host of relative bargain signings heading into 2013 (Napoli, Drew, Victorino, Dempster, Uehara, Victorino) to fill holes. If the Cubs added those 6 guys to the 2013 team, the Cubs MAYBE would have finished .500.

    • Blackhawks1963

      Facepalm. Ricketts and Theo are trying to build this thing the RIGHT WAY, instead of slapping lipstick on a pig every year like the decades long approach with the Cubs were getting to 81 wins each year was “victory.”

      A solid pipeline of young talent (that Theo is doing an amazing job in building along with Jed Hoyer and Jason McLeod) can and will serve as the FOUNDATION to winning that has been missing since the days of Dallas Green. He’s building this to be like what they have in St. Louis, Boston, Washington….a SUSTAINABLE winning organization that can THEN go out and add big pieces in trades or via trades to fill in the gaps toward getting an already very good club over the hump to be an excellent club that can legitimately compete for the World Series.

      This isn’t rocket science people. So incredibly tired of ignorance and this passion for putting lipstick on a pig to make some fans feel warm and fuzzy about “fake” competitiveness.

      • brickhouse

        Stop with the buidling doing it the “right way”. There is no right way. Many ways to put together a WS winning team.

      • http://www.teamfums.org MichiganGoat

        Yeah this whining and complaining was ridiculous last year and continuing to be crying over entertainment because they aren’t making you happy right now is child mind foolishness. These last few years have been horrible toward the finish because any player that wasn’t going to be around and contribute in 2015 was traded away for younger players that will hopefully start to fill in the gaps FA signings can not. Its disgusting to see so many fans so short sighted.

        • YourResidentJag

          The Cubs could have a team that wins more than 83 games, doesn’t set back the rebuild, and all this nonsense about not wanting that is just as ridiculous.

          • gocatsgo2003

            Except that winning 83 games would likely set back some of the cornerstones on which the rebuild is built — protected draft picks, increased pools for international free agents and draft picks, high draft picks, etc.

            • YourResidentJag

              Except that it won’t though. And I believe the Cubs could have easily won more. The high draft picks and all that you’ve discussed will only pertain to next year anyway.

            • Funn Dave

              Those parts of the rebuild have already happened. Now they come secondary to working on the MLB team.

              • gocatsgo2003

                I am starting to think that they’re looking at “stacking” all of their big league-level improvement to leverage the power of the protected draft pick and other elements — it’s a way to get all the protections that come with sucking (draft pick protection, bigger money pools, etc.) while trying to improve the top team.

      • Funn Dave

        Dude. Enough with the facepalms. Is that why you say the same things over and over again–you’ve hit yourself in the head a few too many times?

    • Jon

      “stated that his FO of Theo and Jed could easily put together a roster of players that could win 82-83 games every year”

      With a payroll of 75-80 million I have to call shens on that.

      • Chad

        I agreed, it would have cost the cubs much more in FA to get to this point, like overpaying for Cano, Choo and Tanaka, and maybe they get to 83 wins. Now that makes the payroll about 140 millionish??? and they now get a worse draftpick, unprotected pick, and aging stars that would hamstring the organization for years and continue what the end of the Hendry era looked like with the inability to get any other FA in the future. Essentially what Hendry was doing with the lack of cheap controllable players was unsustainable and though Ricketts could have sustained it for a while, the cubs would have not gotten much better. Sounds like the plan actually does make sense.

  • Voice of Reason

    So, here we go again. Olt sits in favor of valbuena.

    If renteria is trying to win then why is barney playing? Valbuena should play second then.

    Not only do we have a horrible big league roster we are dealing with a manager who is in over his head. There have been signs including this that he doesn’t have what it takes.

    Let me note that the last position player that this team developed that stuck for an extended period of time was mark grace.

    • Noah_I

      What does Rick Renteria have to do with the Cubs not developing that many quality position player prospects?

      • Voice of Reason

        I’m sorry, where in my post did I mention renteria contributing to that? Are you assuming?

        • Funn Dave

          You didn’t, which is why he’s asking. The Mark Grace thing is completely unrelated to the rest of your post, which is why he asked for clarification.

    • Blackhawks1963

      Good Lord. I’m tired…call yourself an idiot. Already throwing Ricky Renteria under the bus and inferring directly and subliminally that he is in over his head. Sorry professor, last time I checked Ricky wasn’t playing Valbuena and Barney in deference to Santo and Sandberg in their primes rotting away on the bench !!!

      Crikey.

      • YourResidentJag

        Hint: it may not be RR.

      • Funn Dave

        I agree, Blackhawk. Anyone calling RR ineffective or over his head at this point in the season didn’t want him to succeed to begin with.

  • Jaime Lannister

    Ser Jaime Lannister would like your attention please.

    Well, here we are men. Today we head back to the kingdom, where we will call home 80 and 1 times this summer. Today we head back the kingdom, where the perils are are at it’s peak as we continue through these dark, tumultuous times. Today we head back the kingdom, where our rich history of pitfalls and failures are as hard and true as the layers of bricks that surround the battlefield, where the souls of legends, curses, goats, and black cats haunt the crypts beneath the green grass, where the countless secrets, lies, broken promises, and poor decisions are buried deep within the beautiful, superficial ivy, where the expectations are as unpredictable as the changing winds, and where the heartbreak is as certain as the famished gulls at twilight. Today when we head back to the kingdom we celebrate 100 years of Wrigley Field.

    But you know what I say my brothers? To celebrate anything about our sad history of our kingdom is accepting failure! So, today if you do celebrate, don’t celebrate for King Ricketts or his kingdom, don’t celebrate for his Hand Theo Epstein, don’t celebrate for Clark, a fool donned in motley, don’t celebrate for honor or glory, and certainly don’t celebrate in hopes of victories because you won’t get any! Today we head back to the kingdom, our kingdom, this is is your city, this is your day, so celebrate today for you and your sworn brothers because men!…dark times do loom.

    • 26.2CubsFan

      Really enjoying these, kingslayer, keep it up.

      • Jaime Lannister

        Aye, most appreciated my brother.

      • Funn Dave

        Yes, quite funny.

    • J. L.

      Once again: awesome.

    • Funn Dave

      Imposter! The true Jaime Lannister would never use so many grammatical errors! Someone unmask this man!

      • Jaime Lannister

        I type with one hand you witless fool. Aye, there are a few mishaps, but not so many that one should focus on it fool.

        • C. Steadman

          Hahaha great comeback

  • cubmig

    All the talk about who is/isn’t in the lineup is academic. RR made the move and RR will have to deal with the results his decisions where lineups are concern. All I care about (and will be watching for) is who-in-the-hell will knock in runs to win the game. Yeah, I know, pitching is a factor……but so far it’s been less inconsistent than hitting.

  • Travis

    Since I can choose only one my cheers will be directed at Ryno during line-up exchanges today. Tomorrow I may change my allegiance. I reserve that right.

  • Blackhawks1963

    This chest thumping for Mike Olt to be in the lineup everyday has gotten silly. For crying out loud, the guy at this stage is simply a guy (albeit with talent) who is trying to FINALLY break into the big leagues and prove he belongs at this level. A guy who hit .200 at Triple A and where the luster on his star has faded.

    Olt IS being provided the opportunity to play. But he’s going to have to earn more playing time. And besides, Luis Valbuena is a decent ballplayer in his own right and, other than power, not terribly indistinguishable for Olt at this point. Meanwhile Darwin Barney is an elite defensive 2nd baseman who definitely has solid value if he can hit .260 or so. I don’t want Barney to play everyday either, but so far I agree with Ricky Renteria’s strategy completely.

    Let Olt earn his way to playing time.

    • Voice of Reason

      Black hawk,

      You haven’t a clue.

      You do understand we have two other third base prospects in Bryant and villanuevavin the minors?

      We need to know as soon as possible if Olt is our 3b. If he isn’t then move onto other two kids. Giving at bats to valbuena is wasting time. If Olt can do it then Bryant switches positions and maybe vollanueva traded. Valbuena can’t at everyday at second or third for us. Why do you think that is?

      I don’t know if this makes sense?

      • C. Steadman

        Calm…there’s 158 other games Olt can get playing time…it’s high 30s there and it’s been known that he had/has been dealing with shoulder soreness…no need to rush early on

        • Head and Heart

          He’s also a home run hitter. And the wind is howling out. But Barney will pick it at second base with a fly ball pitcher on the hill. SO there’s that.

          • C. Steadman

            Do we have the DH? Oh no? then Olt still has to warm up and play the hot corner…right now it’s 3-2 grounders to flyballs so it’s not guaranteed. We have no clue the health of Olt’s shoulder or other circumstances that could be involved.

            • Head and Heart

              I am pretty sure they get lots of practice throws before the game to warm up and during the game to stay warm. If Olt’s shoulder was a problem in the cold why did he start in Pittsburgh? He should have been in AA or extended spring training playing in the warm weather.

              • C. Steadman

                The two games he started were mid-60s…now its high 30s….yeah I know they get lots of practice throws which is why I’m for giving him the day off and not taking all those throws today. Tomorrow will be warmer and against a lefty, he’ll play.

      • Blackhawks1963

        I don’t see much difference between Olt and Valbuena as this point. Both are placeholders. If and when Olt produces and flashes signs that he deserves more playing time, then he’ll get it. Simple as that. But he’s not some “annointed one” that deserves playing time like you think he does. Get over yourself. Ricky Renteria and the Cub front office knows a little bit more about this than you and I. Just a little bit.

        • YourResidentJag

          Wow, really?

        • ssckelley

          “Both might be placeholders.”

          FIFY

          Neither us or the Cubs know for sure if Olt is simply a placeholder. We are all rooting that he is a little more than that. For you to keep saying this about Olt is dumb.

          • Head and Heart

            Two years ago a top 25 prospect. Health issues for a year which appear to be in the past. But he’s on the same level as Valbuena? No chance.

      • Funn Dave

        Bryant’s and Villanueva’s callups are not imminent, so there is no rush to make room for them. Furthermore, I can’t imagine Mike Olt keeping Bryant from playing in the majors.

    • Head and Heart

      Earn more playing time by like hitting a home run in the previous game. Or something like that right?

  • lnfihDeL

    When the Cubs are good, i hope we can get Sandberg as a coach. He deserves it.

    • Blackhawks1963

      Facepalm

      Yeah, lets hire Sandberg because “he deserves it.” Whatever the hell that means. Lets hire a former fan favorite and throw away all other manner of assessing his ability to teach, coach and manage a big league ballclub. Or grasp modern baseball principles. Lets simply hire Ryno because he brought so much joy as a player 25 years ago and is a swell guy that “deserves it.”

      • http://www.teamfums.org MichiganGoat

        By that logic we should also bring back Sammy as a hitting coach

    • Funn Dave

      How does such an innocuous comment lead you to physically abusing yourself?

  • Hee Seop Chode

    I’m at the park and it’s really, really cold. That is all.

  • Jaime Lannister

    Can’t believe they let this fraud pitch. He should be sent to the wall. Hopefully our men can send him over our wall!

    • Edwin

      Dude. Diminishing returns.

      • Jaime Lannister

        I beg your pardon?

  • another JP

    Beef!!

    • C. Steadman

      Now hopefully he hits another before late June…

  • cubs2003

    Quick question – If I got MLB.tv, would I be blacked out for Cubs games in Iowa City? Anybody know for sure?

    • http://www.teamfums.org MichiganGoat

      Iowa is a black hole of blackouts on MLB.tv there is a way to check you area for blackouts.

      • cubs2003

        Thanks! Looked it up. Not gonna happen.
        Chicago White Sox
        St. Louis Cardinals
        Minnesota Twins
        Chicago Cubs
        Milwaukee Brewers
        Kansas City Royals
        Ugh.

    • Crockett

      Would definitely be blacked out unless you used a fake IP.

    • Revery

      Check out this piece on Fangraphs. Buy MLB.TV and stream it to TV using Chromecast, AppleTV, or Roku. First, reroute your internet traffic through a VPN. Unblockus.com (Not a true VPN, but reroutes DNS traffic through multiple servers out of region) is $5 a month. Blackouts gone! And after you figure out live sports, may as well cut the cable with it and save a few hundo!

      http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/reviewing-mlb-tv-on-the-roku/

    • lnfihDeL

      VPN to Texas.

  • WilliamGlass721

    Castillo really blasted that one! T? Oh and that was a nasty pitch Castro struck out on and it was set up by a terrible strike two call!

    • Head and Heart

      I also thought he could have teed off on the first pitch. I know it’s the first inning. But they should be selectively aggressive. If it’s a muffin then crush it. Even if it’s the first pitch.

      • WilliamGlass721

        True, but still, that strike was high and too far inside. Travis Wood is not getting the same strike zone. We’re getting hosed by the umpire!

  • Edwin

    Maybe Wood can pitch another 20K game.

  • Jaime Lannister

    I don’t need your pandering King Ricketts.

  • Crockett

    I really wanna see Mike Olt!

  • Picklenose

    Clearly hit Barney in the arm. challenge!

    • Picklenose

      Bat don’t lie?

  • lnfihDeL

    Yes, have one of our better pitchers who can hit, bunt.

    I hate hate hate the sac bunt.

    • Thiscantbegood

      I was just about to write that. Travis wood is one of the Cubs best hitters besides being a pitcher. He should be batting 7th or 8th, especially ahead of Barney even though he just got a hit.

    • C. Steadman

      Probably wouldn’t have gotten that run without the sac…Pitchers should sac with a runner on first no outs 24/7/365.

      • Head and Heart

        Bunting in that situation lowers the run expectancy. Lowers it. So no they shouldn’t.

        • C. Steadman

          Does it though? Wood’s career OBP is .193, Run expectancy with runner on first no outs is 0.8262. RE with runner on 2nd one out is 0.637. RE with runner on 1st one out is 0.4934.(based on 2013 season) There’s an 81% chance that the RE drops about 35 points by letting wood swing away. I’d take the RISP with the top of the order coming any day.

          • Head and Heart

            As far as I am aware .637 is lower than .826

            • C. Steadman

              You’re looking at it wrong. 826 is when a league average hitter comes to the plate, not a pitcher. 637 is when a league average hitter comes to the plate not a red hot Bonifacio. Both will regress towards the middle making the runner on second probably higher.

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