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junior lake battingI can’t help myself but state, at the outset – and the closure – of these types of discussions, that the Cubs have played seven games this year. Seven. That’s 4.3% of the season. That’s like, less than 3/4 of one football game in an NFL season.

At ESPNChicago, Jesse Rogers writes that 24-year-old outfielder Junior Lake “sounds frustrated” by a lack of playing time this year thanks to Renteria’s platoon system. Lake tells Rogers that he wants to play every day (or close to it), and that he feels he can hit lefties and righties equally well. Lake also mentioned that it can be hard to make adjustments if you’re not seeing a lot of pitches each day.

That’s all fair stuff, and the kind of thing I’d expect a young, talented player to say. I’m not sure I’d characterize any of that as “frustration,” but I wasn’t there. You can read Rogers’ piece for more on Lake and platooning.

For my part, I just wanted to address Lake, specifically, since the Olt/Lake platoon discussion has tended to skew Olt-heavy over this first week.

After tonight’s game, Lake will have started in half of the Cubs’ games. With a deep bench and an outfield full of match-up types (including three lefties, plus Emilio Bonifacio), starts were always going to be tough to get in the early going this year, until some things sorted themselves out. Lake is an extremely talented young player with tons of upside, but he’s also got a ton of refinement needed in his game. When the Cardinals ease a kid in like that with favorable match-ups, they’re lauded for “doing things the right way.” When the Cubs do it, they’re railed on for not playing the youngsters (nevermind that Ryan Kalish, one of the primary guys who’s been starting against righties, is just two years older than Lake, and is about the same age in terms of playing age).

So far, in seven games, Junior Lake has appeared in … seven games. That’s right, he’s played in every single game this season. That’s true of only four other Cubs: Anthony Rizzo, Starlin Castro, Emilio Bonifacio, and (get this) Mike Olt. No, pinch hitting appearances are not the same thing as a full-on start, but it’s game action. It’s time at the plate. It’s a chance to look good executing an approach, even if it doesn’t result in a hit.

And, so far, things have been working fairly well for Lake. He’s hitting .278/.350/.389 (104 OPS+), although, admittedly, most of that damage has come off of righties (sample sizes, and all that). That is to say, so far, in this tiny stretch of games to start the year (during which Lake has sat primarily against heavy-sinker guys who are brutal on right-handers), there’s very little to be upset about.

If Lake is still showing well in the field when he plays, and still has that OPS+ over 100 come mid-May (far from a lock, given the downside risk), and at that point he’s not starting three out of four games? Then we can talk about a need to rethink the Lake approach.

Seven games. Tonight is eight.

  • pinkstonaa

    If you want to get depressed, read the comments section of the ESPN post on this issue. I don’t agree with all of you here, and I can’t say it is always classy, but at least most of you know what you are talking about.

    • joejoe234

      Yea the espn comments are pretty depressing, I was just looking at them. If anyone is interested I’m not using my season tickets for tomorrows game (press box view) and posted a message over on the message board with a picture.

    • waittilthisyear

      i did. so glad i don’t have a facebook and thus couldnt respond

    • ame1908

      Wow, I went to read those comments. Why are people so angry about Sweeney playing? How quickly people forget that he was putting together a decent season last year before he got hurt.

      • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

        They’re just made because their wives can’t stop staring at him. Seriously, have you seen Ryan Sweeney?

        • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

          *Mad

        • ame1908

          Total dreamcake.

    • Funn Dave

      I thought making people use Facebook would clean up their comments, but nope.

    • Don Eaddy

      My favorite comment I saw:

      “Rick Renteria has the IQ of a tangerine. The evidence is his baffling platoon system, which has Lake & Olt starting against left-handers and Valbuena & Sweeney starting against right-handers. This affords two painfully average players–if I’m being very kind–the majority of the playing time and interferes with the development of two potential members of the Cubs future core. And there’s not much development happening when you’re riding the pines 4 games out of 6. But never mind that. It’s all good because it’s “The Party of the Century” at Wrigley Field! Whatever……………………………………………..”

      Some may find that sad, but I find that hilarious. HAHA

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

        Any prospect that is destroyed by limited playing time for a few weeks in the bigs was no prospect to begin with.

        • mjhurdle

          except for Logan Watkins. THAT GUY WAS HOF BOUND UNtil svuem ruined his career by not starting him.

  • Blackhawks1963

    It’s a meritocracy Junior ! Demonstrate success when you do play, then more playing time will undoubtedly come your way baby. Same applies to Mike Olt.

    • TK

      . . . and Sweeney, Schierholtz, Ruggiano, Barney, etc…????

  • Patrick W.

    Playing devil’s advocate: When the Cubs are as talented as the Cardinals, they might also be considered doing it the “right way”. The Cardinals are more equipped than the Cubs to ease their very talented youth into line-ups because they are in their window to win with better players around whom to spread playing time. The people who are arguing for more playing time for Olt and Lake think that their ceilings are higher and their futures brighter and their presents more skilled than the guys who are “taking” their at bats. I don’t think that’s often the case with the Cardinals.

    • Blackhawks1963

      Ricky and the Cubs are putting these young players in a position to succeed. And via performance earn the right to more playing time and possible everyday starting status. I am 100% supportive, particularly on a club that is going to be among the most offensively challenged in baseball. NOTHING is going to get in the way of OIt and Lake playing more but themselves. It’s on them to perform. And neither is in the lofty status of a Kris Bryant, Javy Baez or Albert Almora who should be legitimately handed a starting job to establish themselves.

      • Patrick W.

        I don’t disagree with the approach at all. I’m just saying it’s a little easier to understand why the Cardinals don’t get hammered for easing guys in. They don’t have mediocre players taking playing time away from future stars (in most cases). The argument can be made that if you know you’re not going to win, what difference does it make to play guys who might fail a little. I don’t agree with that argument, I think it’s always best to give players the very best chance to succeed. I just don’t think the Cardinal comparison is apt.

      • TK

        Who plays instead of lake? And do those guys fare against RHP? No point in platooning him!

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

      Winning cures all. If you win 100 games, it doesn’t matter if you batted your pitcher 1st, you played the right way.

      It also helps if you have guys that are talented. If a player becomes broken after some sporadic at-bats over the course of a couple weeks…what will happen if he ever gets injured?

      • TK

        I have no problem whatsoever with Lake saying what he said and how he said it. First, don’t lose sight of the fact that Jesse was asking pointed questions, probing for those answers. Lake was honest and professional about it. And I actually luv that he didn’t just cower to saying anything less than he did. He stood up for himself, and is willing to fight for his baseball life. Whats wrong with that? Tells me he actually does have what it takes, inside, to be successful! He knows he’s good. He knows he belongs. He’s gonna go for it. Should he just accept a scenario that makes little sense . . . looking at THE BIG PICTURE?

    • TK

      Not just that . . . You also have to get some of these guys (like Olt & Lake) reasonably established so we CAN be like the Cards . . . where the kids coming up have the TEAM around them to carry them, and not be the best talent on the field. The sooner you start getting the youngens (Olt, Lake) transitioned/rooted/established, the better and easier it will be to continue bringing them (Alcantara, Bryant, Baez) up.

  • J. L.

    “He’s hitting .278/.350/.389 (104 OPS+), although, admittedly, most of that damage has come off of righties”

    You meant lefties, right?

    • Patrick W.

      Nope. Against Righties he’s hitting: .429/.500/.571

      That’s the point… “admittedly” because Brett is advocating for the platoon but Lake is outperforming against RHP. But SSS.

      • Patrick W.

        This season.

      • itzscott

        I pretty much agree that at this point Lake should be a fixture until he demonstrates that the mediocre player he’s platooning with is on a par or better than Lake is.

        As far as easing a player in, didn’t the Cubs do that last year when they brought him up?

        He did great last season and he’s doing well in his limited ABs this year.

        So what’s to ease or prove that he’s the better player??

        • Edwin

          His contact rate. He’s K’d in 38% of his PA so far.

          • TK

            Hard to hit MLB pitching when you don’t play everyday. Guys who do well off the bench and in platoons are usually guys who have been around MLB for several years. Rarely can young kids make the jump to MLB and be successful in the situation Lake and Olt are in.

        • TK

          And i think he hit .251 vs RHP last year? That ain’t bad post-PED era. Thats around league average, ain’t it? And he’s played spectacular defense so far this year. So, why does he need to be platooned?

      • J. L.

        I see. Thanks.

  • Picklenose

    Rogers wrote an article a day or two earlier criticizing the Cubs for their platooning, and advocating playing the young players more to see what they can do. So I wonder if Rogers isn’t playing up Lake’s desire to play every inning to suit his (Roger’s) take on the platooning issue.

    • terencemann

      That’s what this seems like to me. First of all, we’re barely one week into the season and I think Renteria is doing a good job of getting everyone playing time and trying to help ease them into the season.

      Secondly, and most importantly, Lake has appeared in every game this season and has 21 plate appearances in 7 games. There is absolutely nothing to complain about there for a 24 year old player who was seen as nothing more than a fringe player a couple years ago.

    • pinkstonaa

      Rogers also advocated that the Cubs start the year with Bryant and Baez on the team. I want to like the content that comes out of ESPN, but I just can’t do it.

  • CubsFaninMS

    So Jackson and Vitters, our two high-upside, make-it-or-break-it prospects both hit home runs today. Hey, maybe one of them will pan out. My guess is that Vitters has a higher likelihood of being a Major Leaguer.

    • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

      Ya if you watched Jackson’s other at bats, they were pure garbage. I really wish there was room for Vitters in Chicago, I think he could still be a successful big leaguer

    • ame1908

      I’m pretty sure that Jackson would give Adam Dunn and Mark Reynolds a run for their money for most strikeouts if he was given a whole season in the Bigs.

      • Kyle

        I think he’d lap the field.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

          Does that field include George Springer?

          • Kyle

            Yes.

            George Springer K-rate 2013: 27.3% at AA and AAA

            Brett Jackson: 33.0% at AAA

            B-Jax wishes he only K’d as much as Springer.

  • CubsFaninMS

    Blackburn: 5 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BB, 4 Ks. Not overpowering but he kept them in the game.

  • Kyle

    Lake still can’t make enough contact. The .500 BABIP will come down. Then his stats will suck and we’ll all pretend we never wanted him to get more PT, or just say “well, it was worth a shot.”

    Meanwhile, Cubs are dead-last in pitch-framing/getting calls:
    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/the-yankees-the-cubs-and-early-season-team-framing/

    • Edwin

      The Cubs ruined him by playing him too much when he clearly wasn’t ready.

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

        No, the Cubs ruined him by not playing him every…er..starting him everyday!!!!

        • DocPeterWimsey

          heh, this does illustrate nicely how unsound the assumptions are in this classic argument. If a guy fails and he played full time, then his development was impaired by being over-exposed or lost his confidence by being over-matched or whatever; if a guy fails and he played part time, then his development was impaired by not playing enough or his inconsistent time wrecked his confidence or whatever. And, of course, if a player (especially on another team) succeeds (no matter how incomparable his basic tools are) after playing full time OR playing part time at first, then he succeeded BECAUSE they let him develop properly by playing full/part time.

          Here’s a simple rule of thumb: if you can make a 2X2 contingency table and fill up all 4 categories (part-time early + successful, full-time early + successful, part-time early + unsuccessful, full-time early + successful), then the simplest conclusion is that the two don’t have anything to do with each other.

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

      Nah, Lake is just the sort of player that is going to maintain an obscene BABIP.

      Unless you think luck is a thing and TWTW isn’t!!!!

    • ssckelley

      I have a feeling we are going to hear about this from Kyle every day now.

      Thanks to whoever brought up pitching framing last night.

      • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

        I know CubFan Paul has been banging that drum for a while, don’t know if he’s the one who brought it up last night though

      • Kyle

        It’s odd to me that you assume that because *you* noticed me bring it up last night, that it was the first time I’ve brought it up.

        • ssckelley

          You didn’t bring it up last night, someone else did and then all of the sudden you were convinced that Castillo was the worst pitch framer in all of baseball.

          • Kyle

            This came up during the offseason when there were a very convincing series of articles on pitch-framing as a persistent, measurable skill, with Castillo being pretty bad at it.

            I’ve brought it up in several game threads.

            • Edwin
            • Edwin

              Seems like Past Kyle was pretty skeptical at the time.

              • ssckelley

                He was but the light went off last night for him during the game and then he went on and on about it. Which is fine, we all go off on something at times. It is not a big deal, I don’t know why Kyle has to act like his ego is all bruised.

                • Kyle

                  The light went off on Opening Day.

                  You take an interesting fact about a Cubs player, turn it into a personal referendum on me based on an inaccurate assertion, I correct the assertion, and you think that it must be because my ego is bruised?

                  You have an … interesting … way of looking at things.

                  • Kyle

                    Here’s me posting on April 2, the second game of the year, in the Northsidebaseball.com game-day thread:

                    “I’m going to blame Castillo for every called ball all year. Learn to frame, jerkstillo.”

                    http://northsidebaseball.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=26&t=62753&p=3049100&hilit=castillo#p3049100

                    Is that enough proof for you that this isn’t some new thing that just came up last night?

                    • MightyBear

                      I notice you don’t go get your old posts when you’re wrong.

                    • ssckelley

                      Whatever Kyle, you do not need to get all butt hurt about it. It was meant to be a light hearted jab not to bruise your ego.

                    • blublud

                      Kyle wrong, yeah right. The only person who is right more than Kyle is CubsfanPaul.

                    • Kyle

                      Why would I?

                      To make you feel better, here’s one from 2010 in which I advocate the DFA of Jeff Samardzija:

                      http://northsidebaseball.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=57189

                    • Kyle

                      “Whatever Kyle, you do not need to get all butt hurt about it. It was meant to be a light hearted jab not to bruise your ego.”

                      Apology accepted.

                      I was right, everyone else was wrong, thus shall it ever be.

                    • ssckelley

                      No apology issued, I am right and you know it.

                  • MightyBear

                    I do feel better. Thank you.

            • ssckelley

              My gawd, you gotta act like you discover everything don’t you? This was when the light bulb went off for you last night:

              Kyle
              April 8, 2014 at 9:37 pm | Permalink | Reply

              I hate to say it, but I think you’re right. Castillo’s pitch framing is awful.

              • Kyle

                I don’t see anything in that quote that says “I never thought of it before you just mentioned it.”

                • ssckelley

                  [img]http://brotherlapin.files.wordpress.com/2013/10/badgers-moving-goalposts.jpg[/img]

                  • Kyle

                    Cute picture. Completely irrelevant.

                    You’ve been proven wrong. You can laugh it off and say you were only joking, or try to make this somehow about me, or we can talk about Welington Castillo’s pitch-framing, which is a real problem.

                    • ssckelley

                      So we are right back where we are started!

                      “I have a feeling we are going to hear about this from Kyle every day now.”

                      “or we can talk about Welington Castillo’s pitch-framing, which is a real problem.”

                      Right, we should put our heads together on this one and figure out a solution. Complaining does seem to help, just the other day I was complaining about EJax and he started hitting that night. So if we complain about Castillo’s framing problems maybe it will magically go away.

                    • Kyle

                      I see you’ve chosen “make this about Kyle.” Odd choice, imo.

                    • ssckelley

                      Nah, let’s figure out this framing thing.

                      You got any ideas? Perhaps you can copy something over you posted on another site.

                    • Kyle

                      Your sarcasm at the idea that we should discuss what is happening with the Chicago Cubs on this blog is odd.

                      But treating it for a moment like something besides the petty, sad defensiveness that it is, then the solution long-term is probably to replace Castillo. I’d rather not see him be our starting catcher beyond this year.

                    • Jason P

                      If we are talking about baseball again, I still don’t get your Castillo hate. You can still be a very solid catcher and not be a great pitch framer. And pitch framing is the kind of thing that can be improved.

                    • cubsfan08

                      He is damn good at blocking pitches in the dirt – and his commitment to it leads me to believe he truly cares about his defense. So I would think there is hope and drastic measures don’t need to be taken.

                    • ssckelley

                      So because he struggles at framing pitches, which affects 1.3 pitches per game, you want him on the bench?

                      Yeah, makes sense.

                    • Kyle

                      How many runs per year do you think 1.3 pitches per game is (and it’s more than that, anyway)?

                      “If we are talking about baseball again, I still don’t get your Castillo hate. ”

                      I also think his offense is going to take a dive when his BABIP settles in the .280s.

                    • Rebuilding

                      Fangraphs says that the difference between the best pitch framers and worst pitch framers is about 60 runs a year. That’s massive. And I’m the one who got this all started last night

                    • Drew7

                      Personal jabs, huh?

                      Classy.

                    • Jason P

                      I don’t think he’s going to “settle into” a .280 BABIP. Maybe .290-.300, but not .280. He makes too much solid contact.

                      I think he’ll wind up average at worst. Offensively, the bar is set so incredibly low for catchers that he’ll have trouble not being at least average. And a couple months ago, we were talking about him as one of the best defensive catchers in the league. The recent advancements in framing statistics have disproved that some, but not so much to make me think, as I stated last night, that his defense isn’t at least neutral.

                    • ssckelley

                      “Fangraphs says that the difference between the best pitch framers and worst pitch framers is about 60 runs a year. That’s massive. ”

                      So if the Cubs traded Castillo for the #1 pitch framer they will save a run per series? I find that hard to believe and I would think the pitchers have something to do with it, a lot of control type.

                      “And I’m the one who got this all started last night”

                      Thanks for getting Kyle on this, now we get to hear him complain about Castillo every day.

                  • blublud

                    Dont worry Kelley, some people just have miserable lives.

                    • ssckelley

                      Yeah, I’ve noticed the poor guy doesn’t go out much.

                    • Kyle

                      What does it say about you as a person that you feel comfortable making statements like that?

                    • cubsfan08

                      Uncalled for comment – disagree all you want about the Cubs, statistics, future predictions, and who was first to suggest a player was terrible at something when everyone reading this agrees that said person is not good at “it” – personal digs at specific commentors is bullshit

                    • cubsfan08

                      ^in response to blublud’s comment

                    • Drew7

                      (Insert previous comment here)

          • Funn Dave

            He is the worst pitch framer in all of MLB. Or, at least, he was last year, and does not seem to much better this year.

    • TK

      Yes, I would say it was worth a shot! A least then we would know. I really doubt Junior Lake and Mike Olt will prevent us from making the playoffs and even win the WS this year!!!

      I really don’t think we are any better, regardless of the opposing pitcher, with Barney, Sweeney, Ruggiano, Schierholtz in the lineup!!!!!! Olt is a pretty good defensive 3B. So far this year Lake has been all-world on defense. So what exactly is the advantage of playing lefties who can’t hit RHP any better than those 2 ?

      When do you propose we find out what all of these kids, most of whom will likely be ready within a year of each other, can do? How do you propose they determine who will be on the 2016 team? What . . . just bring all of them up for that season, purging the entire 25 man and platoon every position every day of the 2016 season to see who is for real and who is a poser?

      Well, lets hear how you would manage the situation other than the scenario above. Cause if you think for just 3 seconds, what you people are saying would actually end up in going into 2016 having no clue what the roster should look like, except Castro, Rizzo and Castillo, because you never gave any of these kids a chance to prove/disprove themselves.

      The right way is to do 1 or 2 at a time. Rizzo, Castillo, and Castro are in. Now we should be breaking in Olt and Lake. Mid-season . . . Maybe Alcantara and Baez? Start of next year . . . Bryant and ________ . And we should be committed to these guys when they do come to the MLB team! Otherwise they should be in the minors, or traded for SP.

      I feel confident in saying . . . you are off base.

  • http://bleachernation.com woody

    Honestly Lake and Olt have been vitims of bonafacioitus. A rare condition that if left untreated may cause sores on their butts. Seriously who knew that Boni was gonna come on like gang busters? What the hell is RR supposed to do? Not play him? Personally if I were calling the shots Bonifacio would be playing second base daily until he cools off. Somebody has to suffer with lost playing time because clearly this guy is the key to an energized offense. Personally I would be sitting Sweeny and playing Lake every day until he proves that he is a liability. Somebody has to get the short end of the stick as things stand.

    • willis

      That is some of it. Bonafacio has been lights out, so damn right you play him every day. But I’d play him in CF against Lefties and at 2B against Righties. Start Lake in LF against lefties and CF against righties. Simple.

      And when Bonafacio cools down, you can mix and match some Valbuena at 2B against righties so Olt can get a little more time at 3B.

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

      Junior Lake hasn’t really shown all that much this year even. Despite half of his batted balls falling for hits, he is still batting below .300.

      Right now, out of the top 30 BABIP guys (of all players with at least 20 PA), only 2 of them (Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Lake) have a batting average below .300.

      It’s a trend that is continuing from his minor leagues. He isn’t making enough contact to be an effective offensive player.

      • blublud

        You keep saying this, but the numbers suggest something different. I feel Lake, Olt, Kalish, Rizzo, Castillo and Castro should play everyday. Not because they are stars, but because they are yound and all could have possible upside. I’m tired of playing players for trade value. If we are not playing to win, we should be playing to develop.

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

          “You keep saying this, but the numbers suggest something different.”

          What numbers?

          • blublud

            The only numbers that Lake have produced in the MLB suggest he’s a very usable, above average, starter. We can talk all day about SSS, what the minor league numbers show and how he can maintain at this level of production, but the facts is, since his call up, he has made enough contact to be an effective offensive player. Could that change? Yes. But until it does, what you stated above is false.

            • Kyle

              “the only numbers” if you only look at superficial, notoriously unreliable numbers.

              • blublud

                You mean like OBP, SLG, OPS, wOBA, ISO and a few others, all which combined, suggest Lake has been much better than average.

                • Kyle

                  Yes, those are exactly what I mean.

                  • blublud

                    Ok, so even your WAR stat that you love so much says he is above average. 1.3 WAR in 275 PA suggest Lake would be a 3 WAR player over a whole season. So are you now going to shoot down WAR to further you imaginary narrative.

                    • Kyle

                      WAR is a tool, same as all those stats you mentioned.

                      They are all very good at describing what a player has done to date.

                      They are all very poor tools at predicting what a player will do in the future, especially in the amount of time that Lake has had so far.

                    • Kyle

                      More specifically: The statistics suggest that Lake has been very productive to date in ways that he is unlikely to be able to continue, and that he will probably be unproductive going forward.

                    • blublud

                      In 2011, Castro had 700 PA. He had 3.1 WAR. Lakes performance so far pushed out over 700 PA would have him at 3.3 WAR. Castro was an all-star that year.

                    • blublud

                      But the convo is not about what Lake will do, it’s about what he has done. So.times I worry about you.

                  • Kyle

                    ” The only numbers that Lake have produced in the MLB suggest he’s a very usable, above average, starter. ”

                    That’s a projection of future production, based on past production, not merely a discussion of past production.

                    • blublud

                      That is saying, that currently, Lake is a very usable player. However, my projection for Lake is that he will continue to be a very usable, non star, type player. I know he’ll be better than Sweeney or Ruggiano going foward.

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

                      Your interpretation of the numbers is wrong.

                      Even if lake maintains a 109 wRC+ he is still a barely average starter at CF. (He was 12th last year, had he qualified) however, based on what is known regarding BABIP, he is incredibly unlikely to maintain that level of production.

                      He is a low walk, high k non slugger. There are few examples of successful major leaguers to compare him to for a reason.

                  • TK

                    There’s only 1 “tool” here, and it aint WAR.

            • craigp

              Absolutely right blublud!

  • Edwin

    Trevor Bauer throwing well for The Cleve today. 4 IP with 0 BB and 6 K. I’m curious to see where how he ends up doing in MLB.

  • http://bleachernation.com woody

    So far Ruggiano is hitless and Sweeny is hitting a buck eighteen. If Ruggiano doesn’t pick it up soon I see no reason to platoon him at all. I also don’t see why Lake could not play right field if neccesary. He certainly has the arm to make the throws. Ruggiano needs to make the most of his PT tonight because at some point RR has to play the guys that are producing regardless of the the pitching matchups.

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

      I’d give Ruggiano a few more than 11 PA to declare his season a waste.

      • Drew7

        No kidding

  • MightyBear

    Personally I wouldn’t want Lake or Olt or any young ball player that DIDN’T want to play everyday or more playing time or get more AB’s. I think the kids should want to play more and I think it is up to management to put them in the best position to succeed.

  • ChrisFChi

    Love this kid, he’s got it all. TWTW,bellyfire,sCRAP.

  • Medicos

    Give hitting coach Bill Mueller some credit: the Cub hitters are going deeper into the counts and taking more walks. It was also great to see Rizzo going to the opposite field for all 4 of his hits. Many of Hammel’s pitches in his 1st start in Pittsburgh were up in the strike zone and I thought if he pitches the same way in the Friendly Confines some of those pitches were going to wind up in the bleachers and sure enough tonite he surrendered 3 HRs. If he keeps his pitches down, he could easily win 12-14 games this year. Sad to say he’ll probably be flipped to a contending team by August.

  • TK

    I think it all depends on from what angle you view the matter, and what you see the goal being. Is the goal to become a winning team next year, or 2016? Or is it to win this year? If the goal is to win this year, and RR really believes the platoons are the way to do so, then thats the plan. If you want to win next year or 2016, you probably should be letting the guys like Olt and Lake play at least 2/3 of games so they can adjust to MLB pitching and game play BEFORE they are needed to impact the season. You surely aren’t going to win jacksquat when you have a lineup with 5 or 6 guys trying to learn and adjust MLB. If you feel they have no potential, then why even have them on the roster? Why not have other potential impact players? If you feel they could have impact, they do have potential, they need to play most games or go to the minors. Seems to me that if these platoons are to continue for a significant stretch of the season, that the goal of winning (serious readiness to win and fielding a team that reasonably has a chance to win) has been (internally) pushed back to 2017. Otherwise, they’d get the guys who they are likely to need to be impactful acclimated to MLB . . . get the growing pains out of the way.

  • TK

    . . . imagine Olt, Bryant, Alcantara, Baez, Soler all in their 1st/2nd seasons, all at the same time . . . Not likely to be a well-oiled winning-machine. Castro and Rizzo should be pretty established after this year. We ‘should’ be getting Olt and Lake all the PT they can handle to a) weed out the phonies and b) start their adjustment periods so by the time the others arrive, those 2 can already have their feet planted firmly. Also, you do it as such and it reduces the need to sign FA’s for that “veteran presence.”

    Because after all, why are we enduring all of these seasons of AAAA baseball (BAD baseball)?????? Its because we’ve been waiting for THESE GUYS!!!!!!!!!!! Well, they’re here! Let them play so we can stop getting so excited about our draft pick being higher than our place in the division!

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