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   1. Dan The Mediocre is one of "the rest" Posted: March 31, 2008 at 02:46 PM (#2724372)
With a heavily right-handed lineup, the Cubs have also managed to assemble a pretty weak righty bench: Blanco, Cedeño and Johnson.


Johnson isn't terrible against lefties. Besides, they have Murton if they need a bench righty with power.

Dempster as a starter...well, we’ll see how that goes. We’ve discussed this “he’s not capable of doing his job, so let’s promote him” strategy already.


We still have Marshall in the minors, so I'm not too worried about Dempster starting.
   2. Meatwad Posted: March 31, 2008 at 02:50 PM (#2724376)
whats nice is that this year we have solid options when some of these guys fail. the rotation im not too worried about im sure dempster wont last long. and well the bullpen is going to be solid.
   3. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: March 31, 2008 at 02:55 PM (#2724385)
Piggy & Hart on the roster? I don't have a real opinion on the wisdom but it's a surprise to me.

Do the Cubs really need Mike Fontenot more than Matt Murton?
   4. Dan The Mediocre is one of "the rest" Posted: March 31, 2008 at 02:56 PM (#2724386)
whats nice is that this year we have solid options when some of these guys fail. the rotation im not too worried about im sure dempster wont last long. and well the bullpen is going to be solid.


It only has 1 lefty at the moment (Pignatiello), but it still looks good.
   5. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: March 31, 2008 at 02:56 PM (#2724387)
Interestingly, the roster has exactly one switch hitter. Guess who?

I had to think about this because I was thinking of the hitters.
   6. Neil M Posted: March 31, 2008 at 03:06 PM (#2724397)
I’m not happy with Dempster and Marquis filling in the back end of the starting rotation

Me neither. I'm not thrilled about Theriot either, especially in the lead-off spot (only 2 walks in over 70 PAs this Spring is discouraging). Maybe a light will come on in Cedeno's head. I will not be holding my breath.
   7. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: March 31, 2008 at 03:09 PM (#2724402)
I'm thinking Dempster will either be in the bullpen or on another team by the end of June.
   8. Andere Richtingen Posted: March 31, 2008 at 03:13 PM (#2724408)
Do the Cubs really need Mike Fontenot more than Matt Murton?

Strangely, I think the answer is sort of yes. Replace Fontenot with Murton and you have one left-handed hitter off the bench. Now, Murton might project to be roughly the same hitter against RHP as Fontenot, but given that Ward really counts more as an OF than an IF, Fontenot's defensive utility is probably more useful to the team.

Mind you, I think this discussion is more a reflection of poor roster construction than anything else. Once again, the Cubs have very little right-handed power off the bench, a problem that has existed for some time now.
   9. DJ Endless Grudge Can Use Multiple Slurp Juices Posted: March 31, 2008 at 03:32 PM (#2724445)
Strangely, I think the answer is sort of yes. Replace Fontenot with Murton and you have one left-handed hitter off the bench. Now, Murton might project to be roughly the same hitter against RHP as Fontenot, but given that Ward really counts more as an OF than an IF, Fontenot's defensive utility is probably more useful to the team.


With a 12-man pitching staff, you're limited to a five man bench. You can't avoid having a backup catcher, and if you're a useful hitter you're not a backup catcher, so you really get to pick four players who could perhaps be meaningful off the bench.

Because of how short the bench is, a guy who can do a number of things poorly tends to be more useful than a guy who can do something really well. A team can't afford to carry three outfielders and one infielder on the bench, at least not comfortably.

Now, you're probably correct that having Ronny Cedeno as your biggest right-handed home run threat off the bench is not the best idea. What's really amazing is that the Cubs collected such a punchless bench without managing to get a single guy who can pinch run especially well in the bargain. That's why I really think Eric Patterson was a better fit for this bench than Mike Fontenot.
   10. Spahn Insane Posted: April 01, 2008 at 12:01 AM (#2725829)
Someone in my section today said Hill's not starting the year in the rotation. That can't possibly be right, can it?
   11. Dr. Vaux Posted: April 01, 2008 at 12:09 AM (#2725838)
No.
   12. Spahn Insane Posted: April 01, 2008 at 12:34 AM (#2725857)
Didn't think so. And MLB confirms Hill's scheduled to start Friday. (Actually, the person who told me this supposedly heard it from her kids, who supposedly shared a flight from Arizona to Chicago with Hill. Somehow, this gave her statement that Hill wasn't in the rotation even less credence with me than the statement would have standing along. Not sure why.)

I can now go back to viewing my sectionmates with the contempt they deserve...
   13. Walt Davis Posted: April 01, 2008 at 01:02 AM (#2725881)
The Cubs bench is OK by modern standards -- one decent bat! As #9 points out, you have to have a backup C and almost all teams will carry a legit backup SS (probably not that good an idea) and legit backup CF (also probably not that good an idea). So you've generally got at most two guys who can hit at all on your bench. And since many teams seem intent on carrying a second backup MI, most teams have just one decent hitter on the bench. As bench-hitters go, Ward is good. Welcome to 12-man staffs.

I'm not that worried about the Cubs' RH-heavy lineup. As long as that lineup includes Lee, Ramirez, Soriano and Soto, it's not like there are a lot of better LH options available. And we actually do have a lefty MI option to plug in when beneficial.

But yes, Murton should be on the team. He could be there in place of Johnson (with Fukudome sliding over to CF when needed) or Fontenot/Cedeno (with DeRosa shifting to SS for a game or two when necessary if Cedeno was sent down ... and Cedeno called up when there's a real need). Note, I don't know if Cedeno/Fontenot have options left. And presumably the Cubs have decided a full-blown CF platoon is called for and don't want Fukudome shifting on that regular a basis (which is a reasonable decision if you've decided to go with a CF platoon).

The big offseason boo-boo was doing nothing about SS.
   14. SouthSideRyan Posted: April 01, 2008 at 02:17 AM (#2725937)
So what's the over/under on when the casual fan base turns on Theriot?
   15. Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: April 01, 2008 at 02:29 AM (#2725946)
We still have Marshall in the minors, so I'm not too worried about Dempster starting.

Why are there people here who still think Marshall can pitch? He sucks. It's my mission to make everyone understand how much he sucks. I can't do that unless he pitches, so I'm hoping everyone just has to take my word on it. (And no, I can't explain the decent ERA from last year). I'd rather have Dempster in the rotation than him. And it's much more likely, IMO, that Marquis is out of the rotation or gone by June.

The bench is ok, not great not terrible. If they had traded for Roberts and De Rosa was the righty on the bench, there'd be nothing to complain about. I think when it's all said and done the Cubs will get above average production from their bench on the season.
   16. Andere Richtingen Posted: April 01, 2008 at 01:42 PM (#2726156)
Why are there people here who still think Marshall can pitch? He sucks. It's my mission to make everyone understand how much he sucks. I can't do that unless he pitches, so I'm hoping everyone just has to take my word on it. (And no, I can't explain the decent ERA from last year). I'd rather have Dempster in the rotation than him. And it's much more likely, IMO, that Marquis is out of the rotation or gone by June.

Disagree about Marshall. His ERA was probably lower than expected, but he had decent BB and HR rates. These are patterns that reflect his minor league career. His BABIP was right in line with the team's defense.

I'm not saying he's going to be anything great -- in fact, I think he's great trade bait. But I think he's a decent back end of the rotation starter, and a superior option to both Dempster and Marquis, IMO. Seems like most projection systems put his ERA in the high 4's -- I think mid-4's is more reasonable. What I don't like about him is his Jerome Williams-like inability to go deep into a ballgame, but he's still fairly young.
   17. Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: April 01, 2008 at 05:12 PM (#2726383)
I just can't stand watching him, and I get the impression Lou feels the same way. He doesn't look like he's a good pitcher. He almost never gets anyone to swing and miss. His control isn't that great, his stuff is mediocre. Yes, sometimes looks can be deceiving, but so can the numbers. It wasn't a good reason to go get Trachsel last year, but both Lou and Hendry felt like it had to be done. That should tell us all we need to know about how they feel about him.

I would love to see him traded, but I think most other teams see the same stuff I think I'm seeing.

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