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Today’s home opener was swell for a number of reasons that had nothing to do with the actually game, which was disappointing. Travis Wood had a decent start, but the Cubs’ bats couldn’t really do anything against Roberto Hernandez, even with the wind howling out. That was pretty much that.

april 4 box

  • SenorGato

    I want the good version of Castro again.

    • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

      He’s coming back. Jesus dude had an injury. Settle down.

      • SenorGato

        Thanks for the advice, I was a little wild and crazy there.

      • TommyK

        Did he have an injury all last season too?

  • Required

    You mean the one where pitchers didn’t know his weakness and now exploit it by throwing up at his head and still finds a way to swing? Ya me too!

    • Funn Dave

      You know teams scout the minors, too, right?

  • Required

    BTW Brett, nice of you to post a EBS. Even though there really wasn’t a need to. Hardcore. No sarcasm intended.

  • Required

    One last thing before bed, get rid of Wesley Wright. The south paw version of Marmol. Please!

  • SenorGato

    Welp, Bryant hit a home run and Rivero struck out 4 in 2. Good night for Tenn, though Bryant did K twice.

  • Required

    Yay!

  • Required

    My biggest anger is Olt needs ABs. Play him or trade him to a AL team where he can have 500-600 ABs or trade him for pitching.

    • TommyK

      Why trade him to the AL? He’s a slick fielder. He could get 500 at bats in the NL if he hits enough.

      • Required

        True. My point was he needs to play to get regular ABs.

  • Crockett

    I said it in the other thread too.

    It is a JOKE that Darwin Barney is getting starts. He was outhit last year by Travis Wood. He has ZERO trade value and is basically a 6th infielder.

    It just boggles my mind that he would ever start over anyone at all. Last year with Watkins and now this crap.

    What is going on with these decisions?

    • Required

      Agree 100%. Barney is a good utility man a on a great team. Said it before his GG. Clean house now get what you can. I’m thinking Schierholtz and the purple dinosaur get us four B-C+ pitching prospects.

    • craigp

      Couldn’t have said it any better. Right on the money

    • Funn Dave

      I’m agreeing with this sentiment more and more. It’s too late now for us to fool teams into thinking he’s worth anything.

    • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

      Do you realize how tone deaf this looks After barney went 1-2 with a walk?

      • craigp

        One game against 200. Great point

    • TK

      I want Barney to stay a Cub his entire career. I just think his days as a starter should be done. We need to turn the corner and start trying to win. If Olt is for real, and Lake can do anything like he did last year, and Castro and Rizzo pull their heads outta their crapsandwiches, this team could start doing fairly well. Then when you call up Baez, Bryant, and Alcantara, they can play on a 1/2 decent team and not be the main story.

  • Diehardthefirst

    Appears Castro needs to move closer to plate and more up in the box to prevent his bailing out swing which is getting worse each year

  • Diehardthefirst

    Speaking of Fergie Jenkins Tanaka showed same type of bounce back tenacity and could be real deal provided pitches once per week

  • Jim

    The EBS additions are direct quotes from Brett too.

  • TK

    Must read article about yesterday’s lineup:

    http://espn.go.com/blog/chicago/cubs/post/_/id/22699/olt-and-lake-sit-while-cubs-lose?ex_cid=espnapi_public

    I agree 100% with Jesse on this. You could say its only 4 games in, but that argument works both ways. Bottom line is we need to find the guys who will be with us moving forward. Those guys should NOT need to be platooned. And we need to figure it out sooner rather than later, lest we continue the pathetic seasons unnecessarily. Olt should’ve been in there, PERIOD. Same with Lake. We need to see what we have in these guys.

    • itzscott

      Interesting comment by one of the posters along the lines if Sveum and Renteria have the same approaches, it’s not the manager calling the shots but Epstein & Hoyer.

      Don’t know if that’s true or if it’s just that Sveum & Renteria share the same philosophies in regards to playing rookies.

      • Funn Dave

        I imagine Jedstein has a lot more influence over lineups than we may suspect.

      • TK

        I dont know that they are getting very involved with daily baseball activities. If they were, they surely would have Olt and Lake playing in more than 50% of games. Remember, they are all about the youngens, especially Olt, as they traded for him. They would have guys like Barney, Schierholtz, Sweeney, etc…, the guys who will likely not even be in Chicago in 2016 (except maybe Barney as a def sub), as the guys who sit to get other guys PT. This crap has been going on for years now. It was happening with Hendry as well. I say its just a sign of poor managing. Platooning is NOT a good thing. It is something you do only out of necessity. Some managers get way too carried away with it & it a clear sign of someone who perhaps doesn’t belong in the position he’s in.

        • Patrick W.

          So after today Olt and Lake will have started more than 50% of games. Satisfied now or is 5 games not enough at this point to judge?

          Also they have “played” in more than 50% of games.

          • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

            So is this a damned lie or a statistic?

          • TK

            Patrick, these games count. ST is over. And like I said, the small sample size works both ways.

            I seriously doubt anybody needs a break already, except maybe Castro, as he is not used to playing bc he missed most of ST. STRONG wind blowing out from L to R. Less than spectacular opposing SP. Olt hit a HR the day b4. Barney has no bat. Castro not much better last year, and missed most of ST, and recovering from leg injury (playing in cold).

            The offensive woes of this club are crystal clear. RR knows Barney has no bat. Barney is not part of the future. Olt and Lake may be. They have better bats. They should not sit for Barney, regardless of whether its game 4 or 104. Thats just poor managing, PERIOD. That nearly equates to forfeiting. Its NOT trying to win the game. Its pathetic.

            No, Im not happy. Im skeptical. Only 4 games in and RR already has managed to expose his lack of experience, and made several questionable decisions. FOUR GAMES IN! That should not happen. You may think these games don’t matter, or that losing a game here and there is no big deal. Hey, if you like being a Lovable Loser, thats your deal.

            So you seem to think it shouldn’t matter much bc its only 4/5 games in . . . kind of like giving the rest of the league a head start? Thats good in your book?

            Just out of curiosity, do you by chance have one of those old shirts that says “Lovable Losers”?

        • fortyonenorth

          “It is something you do only out of necessity.”

          Considering our roster, one might conclude it is a necessity.

          • TK

            Not really. Does it really give us any advantage? Should we platoon guys like Olt and Lake, who could be part of the future? Turning them into platoon players will surely hurt their development, and their ability. They are not the guys you platoon (much). You let them play (almost) everyday so you can see what they really are, and set this thing in motion. You (primarily) platoon guys like Barney, and Castro (as he is presently).

    • Canadian Cubs Fan

      Thanks for the link, TK. And thanks to Jesse for writing it. It’s like our managers are running a union shop where seniority matters most.

      Olt and Lake will play today (per the platoon rules), and I guess RR would rather they face a really tough lefty than a mediocre righty?

      This is his first kick at the can as a manager, and I think Cub fans will be patient when it comes to in-game decisions, but the lineup stuff will grow old very quickly.

      • Funn Dave

        That really is kind of what it feels like. Hell, it’s felt that way for two years with Barney.

        • TK

          And if ANYBODY sits for offensive advantages, it should be (at this point) Barney and Castro! They are the 2 weakest links right now. Crazy that they play, with the hurricane blowing toward RF, somewhat OUT of the park, while two of your better power guys, and certainly better all around offensively (at this point) spectate. And Olt just bombed one the day before. Aaaaaaarrrrrrggghh!!!!!!

    • mjhurdle

      I would disagree with Rogers in this.
      I think it is Renteria’s job to get the most out of his players and win ballgames.
      IMO he should not be saying ‘well, this lineup has the best chance win us the game, but instead lets use this other one that has a lesser chance to win, but at least everyone will get to see rookies!!”
      There are 158 more opportunities to “see what we have” in players like Olt, Lake, etc. No need to freak out game 4 simply because the lineups are not exactly what you want them to be.

      • TK

        In what universe does Barney and Castro (at his current level) give us better chance to win than Olt and Lake???????? BTW, i read yesterday that Lake has already saved us 4 R on defensive! So, again . . . what universe?

        • TK

          And YES, Olt And Lake could both play while Barney and Castro sit . . . we have these guys named Valbueno & Bonifacio, who are on this team for exactly that reason! That way Olt and Lake play, the same LH bats play, and we have a much better chance to win. It ain’t rocket science.

  • Canadian Cubs Fan

    If Castro is still in “Spring Training”, maybe he should be hitting 7th in the order until he sorts it out? If he ever does? Thank God we’ve got a SS waiting in the wings at AAA. June can’t come soon enough.

    Plus, I’d rather see Kalish get AB’s in the outfield, with Bonifacio at 2nd, at least until he goes ice cold. Then platoon him and Barney or Valbuena. Olt should play 90% of the time. Ditto Lake.

  • baracus

    3 hits?

  • Blackhawks1963

    Excuse making for Castro has to stop. He’s been a massive disappointed for a long time. Everybody wanted to throw Dale Sveum under the bus form” ruining” Castro’s hitting. Horsebleep.

    Barney? All he did was chip in with a hit and a walk yesterday for a team that is severely offensively chalenged? And he’s being ripped? Please.

    • TK

      He’s not “being ripped.” Renter is. Thats 1 game. We know who Barney is. We know he is all glove, no bat. WE KNOW HE WILL NOT BE A STARTER NEXT YEAR!!!! The longer we stay loyal (regarding PT) to guys that are NOT a (significant) part of the future over guys who very well may be, the longer it will take to reach that future . . . The MORE LOSING SEASONS we will endure. What don’t you get about that? Its time! We have the pieces. Its time to see how they all fit together. Barney fits on the bench. Olt may fit as our starting 3B. Its time!

      BTW, Barney is a great guy to keep around . . . On the bench. The guy who needs to play to build more trade value is Valbo! Theres no reason to have sat Olt yesterday when Valbo can play 2B. Its not barney’s fault. Renter is obviously drunk on platooning. And when Castro (hurt and not in playing condition) and Barney (no bat and not a big part of future) have more starts than Olt, during the regular season, there’s reason to question Renter’s decision making.

  • nkniacc13

    I see where C.Colmen was sent away from Iowa in roster move right?

  • another JP

    This daily argument about what the lineup should be is rather tiresome. What it really boils down to is the Cubs lack impact talent and these results are totally expected when constructing a lefty righty lineup with a mediocre roster. I looked at this as a Valbuena vs. Olt decision instead of Barney vs. Olt…. which I’m OK with.

    • SenorGato

      Yeah, lineup construction is going to to be a very tedious discussion with the group of players currently on the roster. If Castro and Rizzo hit then eventually I’ll want them 1-2, but even then…

      Poor Barney. You’d think in today’s penny pinching, numbers crunching environment he’d get some appreciate from his own fanbase.

    • TK

      Wow! You basically said Olt is nothing to write home about, Castro and Rizzo . . . ? . . . & we know what we have in Lake . . . nothing impressive (to you, obviously).

      So, to go a step further . . . is Baez just about OK? Bryant mediocre? Does Almora project as a stopgap?

      I say if Castro gets his act together, we actually may have a rather formidable offense. That is if RR would play the guys who could actually get the job done.

    • TK

      And I think it really boils down to a Barney vs all comers situation. Olt should get 90% of starts at 3B until (if) he proves he cant hack it. The question should be who plays 2B. We have Valbo and Bono who can both play adequate 2B and give much better offense than Barney. And if RR really wants to have certain guys in there, for L/R matchups, that extra RH bat that sits should be Castro (at this point) NOT Olt or Lake. Castro has a road to travel before he should again be seen as a lock at SS. He SHOULD NOT be above platooning, while Olt & Lake sit in his and Barney’s favor.

      • another JP

        A ten-year old has better reading comprehension than you.

        • TK

          . . . and a bigger unit than you.

          Insults are easy! Shall we, internet tough guy?

        • TK

          . . . and a bigger unit than you.

          Internet tough guy slinging insults from behind a keyboard . . . I really admire you. Really.

        • TK

          . . . and a bigger unit than you.

          Internet tough guy slinging insults from behind a keyboard . . . I really admire you. Really.

          You sound a lot like the guy who gets totally throttled, either physically or intellectually, and responds with a “You’re such a Dick/fag/ass/(etc…)” in response to his demoralizing defeat, in some lame attempt at retrieving some degree of manhood.

      • craigp

        100% agree with everything u have posted.

        • craigp

          That was to TK. I don’t agree w the insults. Lol

  • mjhurdle

    I’m not sure i have ever heard so much crying over mediocre players not starting over other mediocre players.

    • TK

      Well, Olt is currently considered one of our better prospects. Lake is not thought of poorly, in that regard, either. So, i guess, according to you, our farm system is greatly overvalued? Is that reasonable to deduce from your statement about mediocre players?

      • Jon

        Olt is a mediocre player, unless discussed in the context of garza trade. Then he’s part of the massive heist of the rangers

        • mjhurdle

          Olt was part of a massive heist of the Rangers.
          Olt is currently a mediocre MLB player.

          These things are not contradictory.

          • YourResidentJag

            Massive heist? Right.

        • TK

          And YES, Olt And Lake could both play while Barney and Castro sit . . . we have these guys named Valbueno & Bonifacio, who are on this team for exactly that reason! That way Olt and Lake play, the same LH bats play, and we have a much better chance to win. It ain’t rocket science.

      • mjhurdle

        Im talking about players who are playing in the major leagues right now.
        Not sure where you got to farm systems out of that. I like the Cubs farm system. I find it very encouraging that they have so many highly ranked prospects.
        But none of that really has anything to do with what I was talking about.
        I was referring to the constant whining for the last day about Renteria not starting a guy who currently has 1 hit in seven ABs, with 3 Ks (but OMG THAT HIT WAS A HR!! PREPARE HIS BUST FOR COOPERSTOWN!!!). The same guy is coming off an injury that limited him to DHing most of Spring Training, where he also struck out over 30% of the time. The same guy with no proven track record as a major league player.

        I think Olt has an opportunity to be good. Heck, i think he has the potential to be a special player. But right now, he is mediocre, if not a touch below. i want him to get ABs, but not to the point that he HAS to start every game.

        • TK

          Your last paragraph is the key! He does have a chance to be very good. He also is our best option to play 3B, regardless of the SP! If we dont let him play, he will never realize his potential. Barney has reached his full potential. Olt is better than him, right now. So is Valbueno and Bonifacio. If you want more offense, and L/R matchups, you do so at BARNEY’S expense, not Olt and Lake.

          And I think he’s currently better than you give him credit for (Olt). I think you are judging him largely on the past and not on who he is NOW.

  • nkniacc13

    I kinda like todays lineup

  • Rebuilding

    Rotoworld: “Cubs third base prospect Kris Bryant blasted his second home run of the season on Friday.”

    “Bryant has hit a home run in each of his games so far this season, putting up a 1.143 slugging percentage. He has a .286/.444/1.143 slash line so far, indicating that he will put up similar (if not better) lines in Double-A to what he did in Low- and High-A. He may not stick at third base long-term, but he could be a perennial MVP candidate if he ends up in right field.”

    • TK

      Cant wait to see him sitting on the bench at Wrigley with the wind blowing out!

      • TK

        Because when he first comes up, he wont be GREAT at the MLB level, so we may as well platoon him in favor of guys who have proven to live at the mendoza line.

  • Rebuilding

    Rotoworld: “Cubs right-handed pitching prospect C.J. Edwards went four shutout innings in his first start of the season.”

    “Edwards only threw 64 pitches while allowing one hit and one walk, and striking out four. The Cubs are clearly managing his pitch count, which could signal that he may be called up in the latter half of 2014. Edwards has struck out 11.7 per nine innings for his career, so he could be a solid pickup down the stretch.”

    • nkniacc13

      I doubt he gets called up. Early season not having stamia and if they make the playoffs he will throw a bunch of innings at tenn,

      • TK

        He could come up in Sept. Probably not b4.

  • TommyK

    I love when people compliment the Cubs lineup as “versatile”. Sure, we’ve got crappy left handed hitters and equally crappy right handed hitters. A wide variety of crappy hitters to choose from. This blog is making me understand how fans of other teams see us. The irrational optimism is maddening.

  • nkniacc13

    Olt is in Saturdays lineup

  • http://bleachernation.com woody

    So far Baez is hitless in 7 at bats with four strikeouts. That Memphis team seems to be loaded with talent (St Louis). Taveras homered and Garcia hit two last night against the I-cubs. I know it’s way to early to draw any conclussions, but don’t be shocked if Baez struggles a little bit this year. The problem as I see it with Baez is that he only has one swing which is the violent one. I have read that he has said that he only knows how to swing one way. It would serve him well if he could learn to shorten his stroke and be a singles hitter when needed. He was striking out a lot at the end of ST. He seems to be one of those guys flirting with a 30% strikeout rate, which is unsustainable at the MLB level. Edwards was dominant last night against Pensacola. I suspect that some of these Latin players struggle with the cold weather so it may just be a case where Baez gets hotter as the temperature rises.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      There is no such thing as a “singles hitter”: there are guys with power and guys without power. “Swinging for a single” = “desperately trying to make contact.”

      Baez offers power. It comes with a lot of K’s, but those are due much more to his inability to recognize pitches, not to his swing: Baez actually starts swinging much later than do most hitters, which is the benefit of shorter, quicker (and less powerful) swings. In his (very unique!) case, a “just make contact” swing might well require more time from trigger -> bat in hit zone and thus actually be counter-productive.

  • nkniacc13

    Today’s lineup vs. PHI: Bonifacio CF, Castro SS, Ruggiano RF, Rizzo 1B, Lake LF, Olt 3B, Castillo C, Barney 2B, Samardzija P

    Whats wrong with this lineup?

    • craigp

      Barney is in it.

  • Medicos

    To everyone who’s complaining about the Cubs hitting problems, I wonder how many u have attempted to hit a MLB pitch in weather such as the players have experienced in each of the first 4-games????

    Best Starting lineup against righthanders:

    Bonifacio—2B
    Castro—SS
    Rizzo—1B
    Olt—3B
    Schierholtz—RF
    Castillo—C
    Lake–CF
    Sweeney—LF

    If the team continues to get decent starting pitching, I’ll bet the Cubs could win at 75-games this year.

    • TommyK

      Of course they can hit better than me. That’s not the standard The Phillies somehow managed to score 7 runs in the same conditions.

    • Kyle

      “To everyone who’s complaining about the Cubs hitting problems, I wonder how many u have attempted to hit a MLB pitch in weather such as the players have experienced in each of the first 4-games????”

      It doesn’t matter whether they are better than us. It matters whether they are better than other MLB teams. And so far, they haven’t been.

  • Kycubs

    Renteria has to play people other than prospects. Play the guys to try and build trade value. Prospects play everyday after the trades happen.

  • MightyBear

    You know it was the EBS that first caught my eye to BN. After seeing them I would always check them out. Win, lose or draw, Brett always seem to put something on them that made me laugh. I don’t care what the score was yesterday, I’m so glad the Cubs are back and the EBS too.

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