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ricky renteria speaksThe Little Boy is home with me again today, and it turns out that he’s got pneumonia. That’s obviously a little scary for a one-year-old, but fortunately he’s still in good spirits and mostly just wants to snuggle (not that you’d wish for your kid to be sick, but, if he’s going to be sick, I can think of worse byproducts than him sleeping on my chest while I watch baseball). He also is being a good boy about getting his rest, so I should have near normal opportunities to write today (and I wrote a couple pieces ahead of time last night).

  • Ricky Renteria told ESPNChicago that he’s sticking with Jose Veras as his closer for now, and called it premature to even be considering a change. That’s pretty much where I landed earlier this week in my discussion of the situation, and Veras had an effective inning of work last night in a high-leverage, but non-save, situation. He should have had two strikeouts in his inning of work, but a come-on-that-was-a-strike-a-half-inning-ago was called a ball, and RR lost his cool, getting booted from the game. I think the fact that it was Veras on the mound, after his control issues the first two times out, probably made it even more important for RR to make a show of the blown call. Veras may have needed that.
  • RR is also sticking with the platoon system for now, emphasizing that it’s early in the year, and you’re trying to put guys in positions to succeed (Cubs.com). Eventually, some guys will show that they deserve more regular playing time against same-handed starters, but that has to develop organically. I especially like that RR reminds folks that isn’t just about results – it’s about seeing, when the guys do get their opportunities, that they have a good approach at the plate, and are doing what they can with the time they’re given. As I said yesterday, with respect to Mike Olt and Junior Lake, this will sort itself out over time. But it’s been eight games (if you count tonight), and half of them have been against lefties. Going with an even split over that stretch, especially considering Olt’s shoulder and Ryan Kalish’s possible emergence, is both understandable and laudable.
  • Starlin Castro, who broke out last night with a three-hit, two-homer game, says he’s feeling like he’s back to himself at the plate (ESPNChicago). More on Castro in a bit.
  • Jesse Rogers with the story of how Emilio Bonifacio wound up with the Cubs, rather than the seemingly numerous other teams that could have (and probably should have) used him. It’s super early, and there’s plenty of regression ahead, but it’s hard to say that the Cubs (and Bonifacio) aren’t looking pretty damn smart right now. Bonifacio, 28, is a free agent after this season, so we’ll see what happens if he’s still playing well come midseason and the Cubs are a dozen games out. He’d be a valuable guy to keep around for a few years after this one – that bench versatility cannot be overstated, especially in the NL – but he could quickly price himself out of a range that would make sense for the Cubs.
  • Tribune business guy Phil Rosenthal weighs in on the Ricketts’ possible plan of selling minority stakes in the Cubs, and his take? Well, uh, duh, why wouldn’t they? Totally not a big deal, and a better way to raise cash than hiking prices or trying to place ads on jerseys or something crazy.
  • CubFan Paul

    “but a come-on-that-was-a-strike-a-half-inning-ago was called a ball”

    Castillo didn’t didn’t help much. At some point his framing will have to get better.

    • gratefulled

      Couldn’t agree more. There is a huge difference between Castillo’s and Martin’s ability to a gain an extra strike. There was another pitch in the 8th, when Strop was struggling, where Castillo seemed to stand up before the pitch even crossed the plate. The pitch looked like it could have been a strike at an important time of the game, and Castillo didn’t even give it a chance. I like Castillo, and I understand that Martin is a seasoned veteran, but I’m not seeing a whole lot of progress in this area of his game.

      Heading to see Baez & Co. with my pops in about an hour. Woo-Hoo!!!

      …and Ryan Braun is a douche.

      Go Cubs!!!

      • ced landrum

        He has made huge strides behind the plate. He was an even bigger butcher when he was at Iowa. You could see the tools but I was always astounded at how sloppy he was.

  • Hee Seop Chode

    Did Rickey explain why he’s infatuated with giving away outs, game after game after game?

    • Sandberg

      I was right about to ask this. I’m getting tired of it.

      • cub4life

        what did he do wrong?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Hopefully that’s an issue that gets fleshed out in the coming weeks. I don’t think we’re going to see a change, though. He likes sac bunts, especially in the cold.

      Unfortunately, most managers do.

      • TWC

        Most managers should beat their hot-hitting players in the head with a fungo bat when they try to bunt for a hit in the bottom of the 9th.

      • Patrick W.

        Boy is it irritating. My theory is that there are enough players on the team who hate the bunt that they are intentionally screwing up so Renteria stops calling for it. I don’t drink coffee, so when my wife asked me to brew her a pot once or twice I screwed it up so badly I’ve never been asked again.

        • TWC

          I’m trying to call you passive-aggressive in the most passive-aggressively way possible, but it’s just not working out. Maybe you can suggest a way.

          • Patrick W.

            I didn’t do it intentionally. I’m just saying if I had, it would have been a decent strategy.

            Also, that’s not really my theory. Also, I’m just plain aggressive.

            • TWC

              I tried “accidentally” breaking dishes when I was a kid to get out of washing them. Didn’t work. Instead, I needed to do *more* dishes to pay for the ones I broke.

  • Blackhawks1963

    So the Cubs are 2-5. These first 7 games have been kinda sorta painful. Which, truth be told, aligns fully with the widely held belief that the Cubs are a 95 loss type team in 2014. Nothing has really be surprising, or even disappointing. Nearly everything has aligned with lowly expectations for this 25 man roster.

    Still an unabashed and enthusiastic supporter of the Theo plan. But this year most definitely will suck, and there are probably even darker days to come in future weeks. It is what it is.

  • newsguy23

    It seems as if you enjoy when someone of the Theo regime, RR validate your opinions.
    Here is my opinion from a 95 year old grand dad that I know well. You have shitty players you lose. You have good players you win. You will not know what you have in a player if they do not get consistency. Facts are the outfield completely sucks. You have a bunch of should be center-fielders with no stick. You have E Jax who all I ever here is he has bad luck. Are you crapping me .. He blows and should be in the pen and you take the loss with this guy. I suppose you can continue to look at a rainbow somewhere but this team is crap. The bullpen may be a glimmer of hope but with no bats, you lose. Mr. Scherholz also will never produce what he did last year and he claims he can hit lefties.. WOW that is a joke.

    • Edwin

      “You have shitty players you lose.”

      Truly ground breaking stuff right there.

    • ssckelley

      I do think the Cubs may have missed the boat on trading Schierholtz when they had a chance. Hopefully he turns it around but he has not hit very well since before last years trade deadline.

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

        Oh boy…this discussion again.

        • ssckelley

          We already had it? Damn, I must have missed it!

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

            Ya, we determined that Schierholtz was one of the greatest hitters ever after last year’s deadline.

            It’s a scientific fact.

    • TWC

      Yesterday you said the old man was 93.

      (http://www.bleachernation.com/2014/04/08/enhanced-box-score-pirates-7-cubs-6-april-8-2014/comment-page-1/#comment-557318)

      I wonder how old he’ll be tomorrow when you post essentially the same comment all over again?

      • ssckelley

        BOOM…nice catch TWC!

      • mjhurdle

        for his sake I hope he gets younger in the next comment. No one deserves to lose two years of their life in one day.

        • Edwin

          Like that guy in that indiana jones movie?

        • Goatherder_ATX

          To be fair, I feel as if I am aging 2 years everytime I watch the Cubs play this year.

      • J. L.

        Perhaps that is his other grandpa and they both happen to think Edwin Jackson should be in the bullpen.

      • Patrick W.

        Maybe he took up smoking overnight.

      • newsguy23

        It could be because I was typing so fast because I think the Cubs suck. But no worries I realize some of you need to make fun of others instead of looking at your own self.

  • ssckelley

    It was a smart move by Bonifacio to sign with the Cubs knowing the opportunity he had to play every day. Right now he is playing like a guy who wants to get paid and he should get himself a nice contract this off season if he keeps performing well.

    I will hold off buying that Bonifacio jersey as I doubt he remains a Cub for very long.

    • Blackhawks1963

      It’s been 7 games. Bonafacio is probable to come crashing back down to earth and be the guy he has always been. Which is a versatile utility player with a lot of speed. But who most definitely has offensive and defensive flaws. I’m rooting for the guy, but I’m not going to make him out as something that can be a good regular contributor here.

      • ssckelley

        Oh heck no, Bonifacio is going to hit .500 all season!

        Even if he is nothing more than a utility player there is money to be had for someone who has speed and can play both middle infield and center field. At the trade deadline he might be a useful trade chip to a contending team.

      • D-Rock

        Bonifacio ALWAYS starts out the year hot and turns into a mediocre bench player by midseason or sooner. Trade him now while he’s hot!

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

          If you consider a career .300 wOBA in Mar/Apr starting the year hot…

        • DarthHater

          Bonifacio’s aggregate career OPS and wOBA are: .669 and .300.

          His career OPS and wOBA for March/April are: .674 and .300, i.e. almost exactly the same as his career numbers.

          His best month is actually July, when his career OPS and wOBA are: .749 and .334.

          In the first half of the season, his career OPS and wOBA are: .657 and .294.

          In the second half of the season, his career OPS and wOBA are: .682 and .306.

          In sum, your statement that Bonifacio always starts hot and turns mediocre by midseason or sooner is pretty much completely factually inaccurate. The more accurate statement would be that Bonifacio is a mediocre bench player at all times.

          • bbmoney

            Why don’t you take your stats, make like a tree, and get the heck out of here Darth.

            Clearly my observations about Bonifacio’s hot starts are more accurate than your statistics……..stick to memes.

  • Los_Capitanos

    Ricky Renteria had a point, however the ump wasn’t being too generous with the outside zone all game. There were quite a few breaking pitches Morton was throwing to lefties, trying to backdoor the out side corner and looked like strikes but were called balls. All in all, it was nice to see Renteria sticking up for his guys.

    It’s not uncommon for managers in their first year with a team, play around with different lineup combinations. Lou Piniella did the same early in the 2007 season. It shouldn’t be surprising to see Kalish and Olt get days off here and there in the early going. I would like to see Lake out there every day though. He’s earned it.

  • bobww1959

    To be honest, I’m not as disappointed with the start as many seem to be. Yes, the lack of consistent offense makes everything look worse, but the positive signs in other areas are encouraging. The defense has been consistently solid so far, the bullpen and most of the starters have been good, not an embarassing number of baserunning mistakes, and good at-bats from the players you wanted to see improvement from. The lack of results in some areas should improve over time (positive regression, the new buzz-word), and even though the losses are frustrating, at least the games have been competitive enough to give us optimism while waiting for the prospect river to begin flowing in.

    • FFP

      This. I think the games have been frustrating because we are competitive. These aren’t blowouts, even last night when it looked early like it might be a blowout.
      If anything these games could indicate that our need that extra push over the cliff may come sooner rather than later.[img]http://stevefeinberg.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/spinal_tap_but_it_goes_to_eleven.jpeg?w=580[/img]

      • FFP

        our need *for* that extra push

  • IndyCubsFan

    Do you keep Castro at the 6 spot if he’s hitting so well there? Kind of like, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” sort of thing?

    • Edwin

      I’d say yes. Normally I’m not a big believer in this type of thing, but if hitting 6th helps take some pressure off of him and lets him just concentrate on his game instead of worrying about where he’ll hit in the lineup or worry about what type of hitter he’s supposed to be, then I’m all for leaving him in the 6 spot as much as possible all season. It’s probably where he projects to be long term anyways.

    • ssckelley

      Yes, one thing I wish they’d stop doing with Castro is moving him around the batting order. He is not a #2 hitter, never was, I think he is perfect at #6.

    • Patrick W.

      I honestly don’t think where he hits matters. In the long run, he will hit about the same in any position in the line-up. 6th is about right based on his skills, and those skills have been proven at almost every spot in the line-up. He won’t hit better batting 6th than he does batting 2nd, given 1000 plate appearances in both spots.

      • Edwin

        Normally, I believe that. But for some reason, at least for now and in this particular case, I just feel like he actually would hit better staying at the #6 spot than hitting in the #2. Less pressure from fans/media, and less pressure to “be” a certain kind of hitter. Also, less worrying for him every day about which spot he’s hitting in. Players are creatures of habit, so if keeping him in the 6th spot helps him to relax even a little bit more due to not worrying about where he’ll be in the lineup, I think it’s worth it.

        This feels very odd for me, to make this kind of arguement.

  • terencemann

    14 runs over 2 games and people are complaining about platoons?

    • cub4life

      you have to be kiding me…..if we can’t average 8 runs a game how do we expect the young guys to produce?

    • blars82

      I only complain about the platoons because I don’t really care about the win/loss record this year. I just want to see the young guys play. But maybe being part of a platoon is better for their confidence? I’m an accountant, so I’ll just trust the experts. I like RR and like this roster a lot better than last year’s. Should be a fun year.

      And on an unrelated note, the video game RBI Baseball is back today!

      • cub4life

        I might have to go by the store and check that out.

      • Edwin

        I’m also an accountant. Don’t sell yourself short, we’re pretty much experts when it comes to all things baseball.

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

          I took accounting once so do I get to be an expert?

          • Spriggs

            You have to take it at least twice.

            • Oregon Cubs Fan

              I’m married to an accountant, how about that?

              • Edwin

                As long as he/she concurs, you’re opinion is expertly validated.

                • Funn Dave

                  Hey, so he’s got an auto-win for any BN argument! That’s almost as good as my un-counter-able “but I’m bigger than you.”

              • Spriggs

                only if the accountant is a tax accountant and a CPA,

        • Spriggs

          Shouldn’t you guys be up to your eyeballs in tax returns right now? I am. But I think I gave up a few days ago. Too much baseball going on.

          • blars82

            I am smart and got out of public accounting a few years ago. I make more money and work a lot less working in the private sector. I just hope my employer doesn’t ask me why I spend so much time on Bleacher Nation each day. I don’t know if “because it is awesome” is a good enough reason.

            I lasted 7 tax seasons and that was enough, but I mostly did audit work. Tax people are impressive, that wasn’t for me.

            • Spriggs

              Only did a few audits… really hated that.

      • Funn Dave

        Your comment, coupled with a ridiculously large ad on cubs.com, prompted me to look into this RBI Baseball game. The most interesting gem I found in my search: the 1985 Cardinals were supposed to be in the original game–they’re coded into the game and everything–but were inexplicably left out. Ha!

    • Spoda17

      The runs came from the regulars (Castro and Rizzo)… not really the “platoons”.”

      • CubsfaninAZ

        Exactly what everyone leaves out. Last night Castro did the damage as the lone righty in the lineup. I think platoons are overrated. I understand that its cold and its early in the season and they’re trying to get everyone going. But I also think they got themselves in a pickle where they have to many guys log jammed in certain positions. They should have dealt Sheirholtz and Barney to clear space and the problem is now you have to play these guys for them to have any value. Problems only going to get worse when you have no place to put Baez and Bryant if they get hot in the minors.(are they gonna leave them down if theyre on pace for 30-40 homers?) Got 2 guys already at 2b and 2 guys at 3rd. OF move for Bryant will be hard especially since the Cubs have virtually the same guy in Sheirholtz , Sweeney, and Kalish taking turns. I know they want pitching in return , but i’ll take a low level catching prospect for any of the platoon guys.

        • DocPeterWimsey

          “I think platoons are overrated.”

          Platooning often is worth a few wins a year. The difference between the A’s and the Rangers last year was about equal to the extra WAR that the A’s got from platooning, for example.

  • Ron Swansons Mustache

    Any chance we can stop referring to him as ‘Ricky’? Not sure why but I just can’t stand it – it’s just so ‘Cubbie’ to call him that. He’s listed on the Cubs website as Rick.

    Just a respectful request from a regular reader.

    • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

      He actually told the Chicago media that he prefers to be called Ricky

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      He asked to be called Ricky, so I’ll frequently call him Ricky.

      • Ron Swansons Mustache

        Fair enough – I’ll just prepare myself to be annoyed by it daily.

        • DarthHater

          Come on, lighten up, Ronnie. :-P

        • CubsFaninMS

          It’s okay Ronny. We all have our vices around here.

      • ssckelley

        Well can you at least tell Ricky to keep his guns and bullets locked up? With these young players in the locker room we don’t need a accident.

      • blars82

        Ricky Ricky he’s so fined, he’s so fined he lost his mind hey Ricky.

        Glad to see that the Cubs are leading the majors in one category, manager ejections. Take that teams with winning records.

    • http://bleachernation.com woody

      Since that is what people familiar with him have called him for years I doubt that anything will change. Let’s see there was Ricky Ricardo and Ricky Nelson and the list goes on and on.

    • jp3

      Don’t worry Ricky won’t be around long to wonder about his name preference if he loses 100 games this year (SSS alert) because somebody has to take the blame for all the L’s. No matter how much it isn’t their fault, just ask Dale.

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

        Dale wouldn’t know. Theo and Jed blamed the losses on themselves, not Dale.

        • jp3

          Dale did say he was blindsided when he was let go, I’m sure he thought something had to have done it. I like that theo and Jed broke up with him saying it’s not you, it’s me.

          • terencemann

            I think, after 2 seasons, they felt they saw enough to evaluate him and felt he wasn’t the best manager going forward. I guess you could say Sveum was “Mr. Right Now” but not “Mr. Right”.

      • cubfanincardinalland

        Ricky keeps Castro and Rizzo hitting .300, he has a job for life.

  • http://bleachernation.com woody

    The few times that Veres has gotten his curve ball over the plate it has been very good. But for the most part he has hade no feel for the pitch at all. I don’t even remember him throwing one last night. Although his fastball command was better last night he just doesn’t have the velocity to get by with one pitch. Strop and Russell were pretty disappointing in the eighth inning too. You just can’t walk batters in a tie ball game. I’m not going to get too worked up about anything because I don’t think this team is going anywhere anyway. To me the most important thing is to see a few of the guys that are up here already establish themselves for the future. I am not worried about Castro at all after last night. And Rizzo is showing signs of progress too. I’ll have my eye on Kalish, Lake and Olt going forward.

  • Austin8466

    So, I know the Cubs are only 2-5, but this team feels different this year. I’m sure they’ll still finish below .500, but this team is way more fun to watch than last year’s. The youth movement is starting to take shape, with a fair amount of success and the starting/relief pitching (aside from Jackson’s 1st inning last night) has looked really good.

    I may have a reason to keep my higher end Dish Network package this summer, instead of cutting WGN and MLB Network from my subscription around July 1st.

  • Cornish Heat

    I’m still not in agreement with Olt receiving less than the majority of plate appearances – early part of the season or not. It shouldn’t be about seeing what Olt does with the opportunities given to him; rather it should be about him getting as many PAs as possible and developing at the major league level. More pitches (repetition) is a good thing.

    As much as I really do like Luis Valbuena as a team-member (and hope he stays with the Cubs for the next several+ years), I see little justification for him getting even PAs with Olt given their respective ceilings. Now if Valbuena were getting more starts at 2B, I’d be thrilled. But that’s not the case. Instead, Bonifacio starts at 2B against righties, and Sweeney starts in CF….

    I know it’s early, but my displeasure is fair and my concern is growing. Now if there legitimately is a lingering shoulder issue, then that’s one thing. But if not…

    Brett, even though you think Renteria is “right” on this, I’m not sure that’s an absolute.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      RR is right about the way he’s handling the platoons right now, and about his understanding that strict platoons won’t always be the thing.

      I think you agree with RR as much as I do.

    • BJones6

      If Olt sits against rhp, why then pinch hit him against a rhp twice?

      • Patrick W.

        Three of his plate appearances as a pinch hitter were in the pitcher’s spot where there were no left handed batters on the bench or the only one was John Baker, the back up catcher.

        The other one came against a lefty where he pinch hit for Valbuena.

  • another JP

    The record isn’t nearly indicative of how competitive the Cubs have been in the early going. If Castro, Rizzo, and Bonafacio continue to have stellar seasons and the pitching holds up this team could be better than advertised. Need to win the next two against the Bucs to stay close…

  • itzscott

    I was a skeptic about the RR hiring initially, but I’m admittedly impressed with his managing thru the 1st week of the season. Handed a virtual 2nd string roster with the expected losing aside, I’m seeing more in-game managing and strategy to offset the lack of talent than I care to remember with so many of the previous “big name” managers who were basically comatose during games. I actually like the positive vibe and hope he can maintain it thru what’s expected to be a tough season.

    So far I give him an “A” and feel a Cub GM finally got it right in hiring a new manager.

    • Spriggs

      From what I’ve seen so far, I too am very pleased with Ricky and the decision to hire him. I really like his positive attitude. He also shows a little fire when it seems appropriate. And I did like him sticking up for Veras last night.

  • V23

    What’s the beef with sac bunts?

    If it’s 1st-2nd, no out and castro is up, I’m bunting. If Rizzo is up against a Lefty, I’m bunting.

    The math is there.

    • Norm

      Those are terrible ideas.

      • V23

        You like double-plays with 1st-2nd and no outs?

        Have you watched any other game this year besides yesterday???

    • terencemann

      No it isn’t. Outs are sacred.

      • CubFan Paul

        “Outs are sacred.”

        So is every game, but…

        • Funn Dave

          hahaha

      • Picklenose

        I am confused. No more sacrifices to JoBu? Now we give sacrifices to the sacred outs?

        • blars82

          Should’ve gotten a live chicken…

    • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

      99 times out of 100 just a really bad idea

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

      “The math is there.”

      Yes it is. Based on what has actually happened in baseball last year, runners on 1st and 2nd with X outs generated more runs than runners on 2nd and 3rd with X+1 outs.

      There are years where you get a marginal increase in the 2nd scenario; however, those situations don’t factor in failed bunts.

      Really, the only time to sac bunt is with a runner on 3rd and the defense not anticipating the bunt. Or against the shift.

      • Oregon Cubs Fan

        Or when a pitcher not named Travis Wood is up.

        • Spriggs

          Or when Darwin Barney is up (sorry Oregon).

          • Edwin

            Or when Matt Garza is on the mound.

            • Fishin Phil

              +1000

      • http://obstructedview.net Myles

        To actually put numbers to this:

        In 2014, the expected value of men on 1st and 2nd, no out, is 1.3123. The expected value of 2nd and 3rd, one out, it 1.3067. Even if you were 100% successful, you’re trading away .006 runs. In 2013, those numbers were 1.4089 and 1.282, respectively, so the difference was much more pronounced.

        • V23

          Myles- Those numbers are fine, but what’s get lost is who is up. Is it Trout or is it a .191 hitter with RISP?

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          And the biggest problem: you’re never even close to 100% successful!

          • http://obstructedview.net Myles

            Yep. Something like a quarter of bunt attempts end with 0-2 or 1-2 counts, in which that out is more-or-less academic.

            • V23

              Then take those quarter out of my equation with a position player up.

        • cubfanincardinalland

          That seems flawed. The data you are using for a success rate on first and second no out, would include runs scored after bunting them over.
          You have to separate the numbers when sacrificing or not to get a true picture.

      • http://obstructedview.net Myles

        Also, a nitpick. If you squeeze with men on 1st and 3rd, one out, and score + move the runner, you pick up .17 runs. If you squeeze and score the man from 1st even without moving the runner, you pick up .07 runs. Finally, if you have men on 2nd and 3rd, you get roughly the same benefit from bunting.

        What do these scenarios all have in common? They are all squeeze plays with one out. Squeezing makes more sense than a sac fly because you can move trailed runners (and if you have Tony Campana at the plate, he can’t even hit sac flys). If I was a manager, I’d bunt, probably a lot. I just wouldn’t bunt in the situations that managers bunt now.

      • Spriggs

        Another thing that doesn’t get factored in is when a guy bunts foul a couple times and gets behind in the count with 2 strikes… then they take the bunt off. The hitter is now at a huge disadvantage.

      • 70’s Cub

        Might have something to do bunting with the bottom of the order and pinch hitting for the next scrubbie hitter, compared that to the top and middle of the order first and second nobody out managers tend to let the better hitters hit. High end play off teams like the Card’s when managed by Tony had no fans bitching about the bunt strategy!

    • DocPeterWimsey

      Bunting with a force at 3rd is a bad idea unless the runner at 3rd is really quick. It’s just much too easy for the fielders to force the guy at 3rd, to the point where you almost are relying on the fielders to screw up rather than on your guys to execute.

      It would make much more sense for the guy on second to steal third. If he’s not quick enough to steal third, then he’s not quick enough to bunt over to third if it’s a force play.

  • V23

    Sorry, one more thing above from Ricky.
    I get his want for putting people “in the position to succeed” but, he’s failing at that who goal by starting Olt 2 times a week and adding in a couple pinch hits. That is no way to get a guy going.

    • mjhurdle

      So if a guy is 1 for 14, the answer is to start him more, against tougher pitchers that statistics show he struggles more against?
      I am hoping that Mike Olt becomes the Cubs everyday starting 3B, but he still needs to show that he can actually play in the big leagues.
      Not hitting the pitchers that you are supposed to hit is not a way to show that you also deserve starts against pitchers that you don’t hit very well.

      • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

        Exactly, hopefully he’ll have a nice game against Wandy tonight

      • V23

        So the way to develop a guy is to have him watch the game? If that was the case, I’d be an all star.

      • CubFan Paul

        “the answer is to start him more, against tougher pitchers that statistics show he struggles more against?”

        Charlie Morton isn’t as scary as you think he is. He’s Charlie Morton.

        • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

          I think with Morton it’s more about how bad he is against lefties than how tough he is against righties

  • Illini Cubbie Fan

    All that bunting last night was soooooo frustrating to watch. Please tell me someone has a statistic that tells me I’m not crazy and that bunting actually isn’t worth the out/attempt…..

    • DocPeterWimsey

      Earl Weaver had those numbers 40 years ago! However, baseball still is filled with people who think that WWI could have been over in a week if one side or the other had simply shot their rifles accurately.

  • jp3

    This is going to be very Diehardian of me but I’ll say it anyways, you can’t make chicken salad out of chicken shit and all RR has been given to this point has not been very tasty.

    • Funn Dave

      That’s kind of an awesome analogy. I may have to use that one.

  • Ballgame17

    Outside of baseball ops (who most of don’t call him “Ricky”), noone in FO calls him that. It’s “Rick” or “Mr. Renteria”. It doesn’t bother me at all, just sayin for what it’s worth..

  • Ill see you at Sluggers.

    I’m not upset with RR sticking with Veras and the platoons, but I am pretty upset that Ryan Sweeney is getting as many AB’s as he is. Let Junior Lake play, Sweeney isn’t a long-term piece. And I’m drinking the I-ragret-Edwin-Jackson koolaid. No ragrets.

    • Funn Dave

      This.

      • Funn Dave

        Although I find myself confused by those last two sentences.

  • NorthSideIrish

    Polling FO execs and BP writers about which SS prospect they would pick. Some great quotes in here…

    Jason Parks ‏@ProfessorParks 53m
    ICYMI: Polling the Industry: Pick a Shortstop Superprospect http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=23246#.U0Vb71t3vpY.twitter

    • Blackhawks1963

      Lindor is the total package offensively and defensively. He should become a perennial all-star. Baez on the other hand is a potential “big bat” with classical boom or bust traits and who defensively speaking isn’t in the class of Lindor, Correa or Russell. That’s not a knock on Baez perse.

  • Blackhawks1963

    I have mixed opinion on Wellington Castillo. He definitely leaves something to be desired behind the plate, hence why I think the Cubs went with John Baker as the backup in hopes that Castillo can learn from a guy who is a respected veteran who works well with pitchers and is solid behind the plate.

    I need to see improvement defensively out of Castillo.

    • CubFan Paul

      “I need to see improvement defensively out of Castillo.”

      His defense is above average.

    • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

      His defense is well above average (Was tops in the MLB in defensive runs saved last year), however his pitch framing is among the worst in the league.

  • DoodtheDood

    I would gladly pay E Jax his full salary to never leave and never come back. That way, I wouldn’t have to watch him pitch every fifth day. He’s trash and always has been. Here’s the thing, if your peripherals are always “decent” and you still put up terrible ERA, WHIP, and wins. You still SUCK. People lean on peripherals way to much now, its about results. Also, RR really needs to play Olt every damn day. Why bring someone up who needs PA’s and platoon him? Such a mistake.

    • 70’s Cub

      I at this point in time I rather the cubs pitch Jackson 200 innings, he is not “trash” he is a professional pitcher who is in a slump. The FO MO is the opposite of treating players like trash!

      • DoodtheDood

        A career long slump? Seems like a bad pitcher to me…

  • Stu

    Does anyone notice a little inconsistency with Theo’s mantra about when a minor league player should be promoted?

    Did Olt dominate AAA last year? I know he had his vision issues, but is that the exception to the dominate at every level argument?

    And if can dominate AAA, why is he being platooned? Will that last all year?

  • Picklenose

    Is it too early to consider removing Veras from the closer’s role? No, its not. It is way too early for anyone in the Cubs dugout or FO to be speaking about it publicly, but it is not too early for them to be thinking about it. In other words hope and play for the best, but prepare for the worst quietly, just in case.
    Veras has one below average appearance, one horrible appearance, and one above average appearance. There is still room for hope.

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