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Monday, August 14, 2006

Chicago Sports: Baker downplays not utilizing Theriot (RR)

Well there’s Theriot going on
‘Cause it’s player demonstration time

Even when Cedeno rested Sunday, manager Dusty Baker started Neifi Perez at second instead of Theriot. Are the Cubs stunting Theriot’s development by keeping him around as an insurance policy?

“I really can’t say because I wasn’t around to see where he came from exactly,” Baker said. “Or where he’s going, depending on what we need. There are a lot of teams in similar situations with young kids. Look at the Rockies; they have a bunch of them.

“You’ve got to fill your roster with the best people you can. The majority of his time has been in Triple A. How long has he been here? A month? At this point Ronny is the second baseman, so where’s he going to play?

Repoz Posted: August 14, 2006 at 11:17 AM | 32 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: cubs

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   1. Chest Rockwell Posted: August 14, 2006 at 12:07 PM (#2139993)
Dusty quotes make my eyes bleed.
   2. Jimmy P Posted: August 14, 2006 at 12:15 PM (#2139994)
"Look at the Rockies; they have a bunch of them."

And they play their young guys.
   3. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: August 14, 2006 at 12:23 PM (#2139996)
And they play their young guys.

...and they're right in the middle of the playoff race, losing record or no.
   4. 100 Years is Nothing Posted: August 14, 2006 at 12:30 PM (#2139998)
He always plays Theriot in spring training! All his kids play then!
   5. BFFB Posted: August 14, 2006 at 12:46 PM (#2140009)
To be fair it must be hard finding playing time for that many second basemen!
   6. LSR Posted: August 14, 2006 at 01:11 PM (#2140017)
I'd like to make a practical suggestion:

Let's give Dusty the "Moe Jorgan" treatment.

Once upon a time there was a BLOG called Baseball Primer that had many witty posters with a rather sarcastic streak combined with a sabermetric bent. It was only natural that they would focus much of their wit on a former ballplayer named Joe Morgan.

Poor Little Joe had one tremendous quality that should have made him a favorite of the saber wielding crowd: he was a sabermetric giant, doing all the things that Jamesian disciples say you should do to win a baseball game.

Unfortunately, Joe had a really big flaw: He didn't know what made him a great player - he had a basball IQ of about -15.

So every day there were new links to stupid things that Joe had said. Every day there were dozens of witty posts about how clueless the man was. He even got a new nickname: Moe Jorgan, which perfectly illustrated how fundamentally screwed up he was.

Eventually everyone got sick of the Moe Jorgan jokes. How long could they beat this long dead horse? So gradually, slowly, and without anyone actually noticing (much less caring), the Jorgan Jokes just faded away.

We all know that Busty Daker is a bad joke. Any one of the regular posters on this site could easily do a better job as manager of the Cubs (and we'd settle for a lot less money as well). He, probably more than any other manager in recent history, proves that managers do indeed have a real effect on the fortunes of a team - unfortunately his is negative.

So ... let's just stop posting about the man. At least until the end of the season. It's bad enough that he manages my favorite team - I really don't want to read about him anymore.

Of course, if Hendry rehires him for 2007 ... then it's open season!
   7. Jimmy P Posted: August 14, 2006 at 01:12 PM (#2140018)
...and they're right in the middle of the playoff race, losing record or no.

Gotta take advantage of every oppurtunity. If that means being in a playoff race because the NL consists of some horrible teams that have no clue of what they are doing (Cubs, Pirates, Phillies, Giants), then you have to take it. Colorado made the decision last year to play young guys, and they have. Atkins, Holliday, Hawpe, and their group of CF, 2B, and SS not to mention starters is making them look smart.
   8. My guest will be Jermaine Allensworth Posted: August 14, 2006 at 01:44 PM (#2140031)
Does he know the Rockies have a better record than the Cubs? That's really an honest question, because I have no idea how that quote fits in with the rest of his statement.
   9. Spahn Insane Posted: August 14, 2006 at 01:49 PM (#2140033)
Does he know the Rockies have a better record than the Cubs?

No, way, dude! The Cubs sell out every game!
   10. Hang down your head, Tom Foley Posted: August 14, 2006 at 01:56 PM (#2140036)
Neifi has darker skin than Theriot, and it's August, people.
   11. Jerry Mumphrey Posted: August 14, 2006 at 02:05 PM (#2140046)
Theriot doesn't play because there's already two guys ahead of him on the depth chart of "who must bat second in Dusty's lineup".

This quote makes me nervous:
"At this point Ronny is the second baseman, so where’s he (Theriot) going to play?"

So that's it? Cedeno is our 2B of the future? The next Sandberg? No reason to audition anyone else? And Clines is going to teach him how to strike out less? Yeesh!!
   12. Biscuit_pants Posted: August 14, 2006 at 02:23 PM (#2140057)
Dusty always seems to have a “logic” behind why he is not playing player X. His reasoning’s are not good but he has them. His interviews are starting to look like Steve Martin’s answers to the cops in the movie My Blue Heaven. It helps me to picture Dusty answering the questions in the same fashion that Martin did in the movie. That way even though they do not make sense they are at least entertaining.
   13. Kiko Sakata Posted: August 14, 2006 at 02:32 PM (#2140063)
Question for somebody who knows/does MLEs: What would the adjustment be for Iowa (AAA, PCL)?

At Iowa, Theriot's put up a .367/.379 in about 307 PAs (AB+BB). What does that translate to?

I have this crazy notion that Ryan Theriot should be the Cubs' starting second baseman next year. Is that completely nuts? He has a major-league OPS of 0.989 this year!
   14. guelphdad Posted: August 14, 2006 at 02:45 PM (#2140068)
"I really can't say because I wasn't around to see where he came from exactly," Baker said. "Or where he's going, depending on what we need. There are a lot of teams in similar situations with young kids.


Isn't Theriot 26? That isn't exactly a young kid is it? Well he's young compared to Dusty, but by 26 you should have some idea of whether or not the guy can help your team in some capacity right?
   15. The Hop-Clop Goes On (psa1) Posted: August 14, 2006 at 04:23 PM (#2140157)
What would the adjustment be for Iowa (AAA, PCL)?

Iowa is roughly neutral in the PCL. Adjusted, his .749 OPS translates to .621 MLE. More detailed MLE line (bottom of the table).
   16. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: August 14, 2006 at 04:30 PM (#2140164)
Are the Cubs stunting Theriot’s development by keeping him around as an insurance policy?

“I really can’t say because I wasn’t around to see where he came from exactly,” Baker said.


When you came to the Cubs, Dusty, Ryan Theriot was in Lansing (A) ball. He's been with the organization since then and you've had plenty of chances to learn about him.

That said, with the exception of Theriot, Dusty *is* playing his young kids this season. Of course, he really doesn't have much of a choice either.

I'm also skeptical about Theriot in the long run (see psa1's link, for instance) and believe that if they are going to give Cedeno a legitimate chance to develop into a 2Bman, giving Theriot significant playing time won't help.
   17. Kiko Sakata Posted: August 14, 2006 at 04:35 PM (#2140170)
psa1,

Thanks. So his MLE is right in line with Ronny's major-league numbers (OPS of .618), probably a smidge higher when you factor in his actual major-league numbers (admittedly, all of 25 at-bats), but Ronny's younger.

At psa1's link, I was surprised to notice that he's actually played more SS than 2B at Iowa. How's his defense (at any position)? I recognize that my Theriot love is probably overblown and, honestly, is in part because, as dJf says, he's the only young guy getting screwed by Dusty right now..
   18. Randy Watson and Sexual Chocolate Posted: August 14, 2006 at 04:49 PM (#2140181)
Honestly, I suspect that the main value of Theriot is not so much that he's going to turn into a viable everyday starter but rather that he's capable of doing everything that a backup middle IF that Hendry would pay $1-2 million to pick up in free agency can do. If his presence on the roster means that he's one less place where they pay retail for replacement-level talent, he helps save the Cubs from themselves.
   19. Meatwad Posted: August 14, 2006 at 04:51 PM (#2140183)
dont forget murton batting .429 in his last 15+ games, dusty is clueless murton is tearing it up at the plate and yet he doesnt get put out there every day, this man is a danger to the team.
   20. McCoy Posted: August 14, 2006 at 05:03 PM (#2140197)
Oh Dusty has a choice on whether or not he plays the youngsters. He has Neifi, Mabry, Nevin, and Rusch. He could very easily stunt some growth with that core. Lee's injury makes a bit easier for him to play the youngsters but yes he has played them more this year. But he didn't have, he had the same ingredients in years past in which he refused to play youngsters.
   21. Kiko Sakata Posted: August 14, 2006 at 05:12 PM (#2140208)
Honestly, I suspect that the main value of Theriot is not so much that he's going to turn into a viable everyday starter but rather that he's capable of doing everything that a backup middle IF that Hendry would pay $1-2 million to pick up in free agency can do. If his presence on the roster means that he's one less place where they pay retail for replacement-level talent, he helps save the Cubs from themselves.


Exactly. When guys like Ryan Theriot and Mike Fontenot are in your system, there's just no excuse for paying $2.5 million per year to Neifi Perez. This was why I was surprised to find that Theriot was playing shortstop in Iowa. I assumed that he wasn't being used as their primary utility infielder because he couldn't play shortstop. If he can play a passable shortstop, then there becomes even less reason to have Neifi Perez around - and the reasons for having Neifi around were already a huge negative number.
   22. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: August 14, 2006 at 05:26 PM (#2140224)
If he can play a passable shortstop, then there becomes even less reason to have Neifi Perez around - and the reasons for having Neifi around were already a huge negative number.

Or Cesar Izturis.
   23. Jerry Mumphrey Posted: August 14, 2006 at 05:54 PM (#2140258)
If he can play a passable shortstop, then there becomes even less reason to have Neifi Perez around - and the reasons for having Neifi around were already a huge negative number.

Or Cesar Izturis.


Or Tony Womack.
   24. Hurdle's Heroes (SuperBaes) Posted: August 14, 2006 at 07:01 PM (#2140330)
At least there's no more Todd Walker.
   25. Bunny Vincennes Posted: August 14, 2006 at 08:12 PM (#2140422)
I'm still pissed they traded Todd Walker, and got #### for him. He was my favorite Cub. #### you Dusty.
   26. dcsmyth1 Posted: August 14, 2006 at 08:30 PM (#2140443)
On the days that Cedeno doesn't play 2nd (for whatever reason), it really doesn't matter whether Dusty plays Theriot or Neifi. They are both back-up/replacement type players. Just because Theriot is younger doesn't mean he is a *prospect* to be a regular, who needs playing time for development and evaluation. Some young (how young is 26) players are simply bench quality, and have no more reason to be played than a vet like Perez--especially if there are strategic reasons to play Perez, like the platoon advantage in a particular game. That's why we have good projection systems like Pecota, which look at the minor league records.
   27. The First Pitch Express Posted: August 15, 2006 at 12:22 AM (#2140826)
Isn't there one more year on Neifi's contract? Is there a possiblity that we'll see a four-headed monster of Izturis/Cedeno/Perez/Theriot on the team next year? (Oh, and how about Bynum and Pagan?!) Because that would just be awesome. First, the Cubs could break the all-time record for players on a 25-man roster with a sub-.700 OPS (current record held by 2006 Cubs). Second, we could actually see a black hole of offense form every day in the Cubs dugout. It would be so powerful that it would keep the Cubs from scoring runs, even when Neifi or one of his clones are out of the lineup.
   28. Kiko Sakata Posted: August 15, 2006 at 12:32 AM (#2140854)
Isn't there one more year on Neifi's contract?

Yes.

Is there a possiblity that we'll see a four-headed monster of Izturis/Cedeno/Perez/Theriot on the team next year?

No, because I don't think Theriot has a future with the Cubs. Replace Theriot with Freddy Bynum in your hypothetical, however, and I have every confidence that's exactly what we'll see next year.
   29. Walt Davis Posted: August 15, 2006 at 09:35 AM (#2141398)
Yeah, your 2007 Cubs bench is gonna look something like this:

Mabry equivalent
Neifi
Bynum
Pagan
Blanco equivalent

Our hope is that the Mabry and Blanco options are better than this year's.

There is a reasonable possibility that the Cubs will sign a new LF, putting Murton in the Mabry slot -- and no doubt NOT platooning with Jones cuz that would be disrespectful or something. It's always possible we'll just drop the Mabry slot and put in another 2B. :-)
   30. CFiJ Posted: August 15, 2006 at 10:35 AM (#2141401)
I'm still pissed they traded Todd Walker, and got #### for him. He was my favorite Cub. #### you Dusty.

The whole Walker thing blows my mind. Granting that we don't know the whole story, here you have a guy that doesn't suck, and seems to love being a Cub, and tries to do everything he can to stay a Cub. And the Cubs treated him like....crap. I wanted to use a better metaphor there, but nothing that could do the situation justice came to mind. The fact that Neifi Perez got a multi-million, multi-year contract while Walker was on the trading block is mind-boggling.
   31. Clute Posted: August 19, 2006 at 03:21 PM (#2147579)
Let's face it guys, the Tribune Co. lies to us. Their mouthpiece Hendry, is becoming a master at doublespeak and their field general Baker, just shakes his head in bewilderment when his players act like the cartoon cops.

After last season you would have thought some heads would roll, but with zero accountability, except for the cash register, things get spun like a Johnnie Cockran defense.

Just look at the Sosa trade. The Tribune Co. had Hendry spin the 2005 payroll at $95 million, but on closer examination they were counting the money they had to pay the Orioles to take him off our hands. Ok you say, that's the way they do there accounting. Well consder this, Phil Nevin's contract is counted towards this years payroll, however Texas is paying almost all of it. Can't have it both ways boys.

If you look at both the Walker and Maddux trade you'll see we are paying for their salary as well.
Whether Hendry is a puppet or not you have to at least question his judgement.

It's true Baker has had less than he thought he would have entering the season, but do you really think we had nearly the type of players to compete on the highest level. Baker's more concerned with being a players manager than being a winning one. He lost control of this team when Sosa walked out. It's not hard being a players manager when none of you're players, unless they're a stone cold rookie, are held accountable for the way they play.

Tell me how trading Walker for a prospect 4/5 years away from the majors if he's ever ready to play in the majors is a good trade.

Tell me how trading Maddux for a SS that is only marginally better than your young prospect.

Can you say salary dump?

If we had any faith that Hendry would go after Stud free agents their might be some hope. But his track record doesn't bare that out. Hendry continues to load up on middle of the road free agents. 3 year contracts are for stud free agents, not players that can't hit lefties or make a decent throw.

It's a mess and with the present decision makers in place, it looks like more of the same with just a black hole starring us in the face.
   32. SouthSideRyan Posted: August 19, 2006 at 03:44 PM (#2147609)
Well consder this, Phil Nevin's contract is counted towards this years payroll, however Texas is paying almost all of it. Can't have it both ways boys.

I've never seen Nevin's contract accounted for as Cubs payroll other on stuff like espn.com where they simply list the salaries of everyone on the team.

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