Carlos Zambrano Killed My Buzz

I attended my first game of the season Wednesday night and saw the latest episode of Jason Marquis’ serial drama, “I’m Gonna Prove That All You People Didn’t Know What The Hell You Were Talking About,” co-starring Larry Rothschild as The Mentor. It was a joy to behold, so much so that I was almost oblivious to the fact that one of our hitters left nine of his teammates out on the bases. Anyway, I got home too late to post anything. Now, I’m at the keyboard and in the interim, Carlos Zambrano went out and struck the latest blow in his battle to become our fifth starter. As the game report at cubs.com points out, opponents are hitting .361 against Zambrano in their first-inning at-bats, and Z has yielded 13 first-inning runs in 8 starts. To date, the chief suspect has been arm angle, as in, Carlos’s has been too low or too all over the place. In Carrie Muskat’s piece, Lou Piniella also mentions another possible cause of Zambrano’s problems:
"It's my opinion that we have to get him a little closed," Piniella said of Zambrano's delivery. "I think the hitters are getting a pretty good view of him. A good case in point is we bring [Rocky] Cherry into the ballgame, and he stays nice and closed, and left-handed hitters are having a hard time picking him up. To me, I think if [Zambrano] stays closed, and hides the ball from the hitter, he'll have better success.”
Carlos swears he’s not frustrated, but it sounds like he is getting frustrated by the number of queries about his frustration level. (The unfavorable comparison to Rocky Cherry also can't be a mood elevator.) So if you see Zambrano on the street in Philadelphia or New York, don’t bring the frustration thing up. Just tell Carlos we already have a couple candidates for the #5 job. But we sure wouldn't mind him pitching like a #1.
Return to Homepage

Comments

Could Carlos be suffering from a change in his mechanics to compensate for an underlying injury/discomfort? I know we all think Carlos is superman, but in the words of Devo, "This man is real, not made of steel." Z sure has seen a lot of innings in the last few years.

For a guy who ranked 2nd in 2006 and 2005 in Pitcher Abuse Points and 3rd in 2004, maybe this just be the cumulative effect of being ridden like Lipizzaner Stallion for the last three years.

most definitely possible. He's clearly lowered his arm slot to begin with. He sorta had it corrected last start but then reverted back to the lower angle today. Hence the sinker isn't biting as much and his slider is coming in like a frisbee most of the time. RothSchild better get him straightened out soon. I'll give Larry credit for Marquis' turnaround but he's been poor with Carlos thus far.

Not to remain off topic, but I don't think we should forget to give most of the credit to Marquis. He is the one going out there and consistently performing very well. Rothschild can't throw the ball for him.

is he getting his water? is The Mentor perhaps too busy with the Marquis to remember to keep carlos properly hydrated? does somebody sense carlos has been rubbing out too many on the ol computer? tune in next time on "Hurry up I don't wanna miss the 1st pitch! What? Zambrano is starting? Well, then, take your sweet ass time, I can wait."

Meanwhile, this just in a few minutes ago on the wires: Hee Seop Choi has gone back to Korea to play ball "after signing the largest contract for a South Korean player returning from the United States"
http://ca.today.reuters.com/news/newsArticle....

PIE Fans,
CF Felix went 3/5 with 2 SO's batting 2nd in the lineup and raising his BA to .463 tonight as Iowa won their seventh in a row.

FONTENOT Fans,
Mike Fontenot, all 5'8" of him, hit his 5th home run of the season, added 2 TRIPLES, drove in 5 runs and went 3/4 to raise his BA to .351

By the way, Fontenot batted 3rd in the lineup so** I guess that means he's the I-Cubs best hitter.**
He also started at SS again.

FREE FONTENOT!!!

Thank god Hendry didn't sign THIS GUY

0-6 now, with an ERA over 14.00!
Opponents are hitting .459 against him.

http://mlb.mlb.com/stats/individual_stats_pla...

if that link above doesn't work

FONTENOT Fans! this is for you
(from the NO Times Picayune, May 5)

"To beef up his rèsumè, Fontenot, who prepped at Salmen, has moved from second base to shortstop.

"I think that's good for my game to learn to play other positions," he said. "I played shortstop in high school, so it's fun to get back over there. It definitely helps playing different positions, try to get yourself in at least a utility role."

First-year Iowa manager Buddy Bailey described Fontenot as a versatile athlete who plays a crucial role for the team.

"We've been batting him pretty much in the third spot most of the year, which is usually one of your better hitters," Bailey said. "He's getting better at shortstop, considering he hadn't played there much, he's done a really good job."

Bailey said Fontenot's switch to shortstop is a nice way to showcase his abilities and catch a few major-league eyes.

"With him being able to show he can play the left side more, that creates more value for him and gives us a better support cast for the big-league club," Bailey said. "Obviously he's a left-handed hitter and everybody would love to have a left-handed hitting middle infielder."
=====================================
Sorry, I don't get the people here who insist they know what they're talking about and then blather on about how Fontenot isn't versatile, can't play anywhere except 2nd base, and projects as a minor leaguer forever. These same folks said the same thing about Ryan Theriot. That was nonsense too.

I read somewhere that Carlos isn't following through on his pitches as far as he used to. Apparently he used to bend down and follow through with his back. Lately he isn't bending down and just lowering his arm and whipping the ball. Maybe he is having back problems. He isn't the smallest guy in the world and he has a history of back problems, probably from reading The Cub Reporter...but ahhh who the hell knows, he's not been good. He had 96 pitches through 4 in. of work yesterday. Ugly.

BadGuy--USUALLY, when a pitcher is standing straight up during delivery, it means he's "aiming the ball" instead of throwing it....>>... .....in other words he's trying to guide the ball to a spot.

If you also look at Z now, vs Z a year ago, his arm is stiff (insert pun here)....another sign he's aiming and not letting loose.

My guess is he's got a confidence problem....not an injury from overuse...and no matter what he says, not signing him is PART of the problem.

Joey..almost in Mankato....starting Monday

cwtp: Weaver... lol... isn't that the guy that absolutely baffled the Cub's during ST?

...the fact that him not signing is part of the problem, makes me not want to sign him. If he can't pitch with distractions then he's not worth the money IMHO. I hate to say it, because I love Z and I wish his fire and emotion would be the catalyst of his success all the time instead of his propensity to fall apart. I also know that if he leaves the Cubs, he will be the Cy Young ace we knew he could be.

Personally, I think Zambrano and his agent(s) have handshake agreements with not just Hendry but also Tribune higher-ups, and they're just waiting for the go-ahead from the accountants before they ink the deal.

Otherwise, Z and his agent would be making unfriendly noises, which they're not, as far as I know.

http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news;_ylt=A9G_e9N...

Nice piece about Mike Marshall, in which Jim Hendry is featured.

I thought Rocky Cherry looked terrific yesterday. He gave a clinic in how to use three pitches and throw strikes. He made Doumit and Nady, in particular, look bad.

Wuertz, Howry and Dempster should attend that clinic.

Yea... because Dempster has been really bad this year...

Also on the farm --

- EPat is up to .311 at Iowa
- Good outing for Veal last ngiht
- Smardjza (sp) only threw 3 innings yesterday. Uh-oh (?).

"Personally, I think Zambrano and his agent(s) have handshake agreements with not just Hendry but also Tribune higher-ups,.."

We just don't know, unfortunately. All speculation. I hope you are right b/c "Z", unless injured, still has velocity and movement. He just has 'forgotten" how to pitch...

Carlos has a history of being difficult to coach. No pitching coach or manager can help a player that won't listen. If the right deal came along, I would deal him now.

CWTP,

I couldn't agree more. Versatility is overrated. You pray at that church and what do you end up with: Neifi fucking Perez, that's who. Fontenot is a good hitter who should be hitting for the Cubs. The smarties who want to talk some junk about some hitch-in-his-swing, skip-in-his-step, hole-in-his-hat nonsense are the same folks who thought that Izturis was the better option at short. We need guys who don't make outs. We're a lot better at that than we were last year, but that's no reason to refuse an opportunity to get even better than that.

But why have a 27 yo Fontenot making league min. when you can have 32 yo and $5 mil/yr Derosa who can tell you fun stories about his "glory" days with Texas?

By the way, speaking of versatility, I still cannot believe that the Chicago Cubs actually traded FOR Freddie Bynum. This happened only just last year! Unbelievable!!!

Carlos has a history of being difficult to coach.

He has? Any sources for this?

CWTP:

Florida Marlin/Cub pitchers are looking pretty good right now, sir.

Well, I think Nolasco might be ailing a bit still (7.20 era), but Mitre, Pinto, and Dontrelle are looking pretty good...

The Indiana Kid
Nice piece about Mike Marshall, in which Jim Hendry is featured.

That was interesting, but I don't know squat about pitching mechanics, so I don't know what I was looking at in the video.

HORATIO: Any of the other 29 MLB clubs could have claimed Mike Fontenot off waivers when the Cubs dropped him from the 40-man roster in November 2005 for $20K, and any of the other 29 MLB Clubs could have selected Fontenot in the Rule 5 Draft in 2005 and 2006 for $50K, but in each case, the other 29 MLB clubs passed.

I understand his AAA numbers are very good over the past three seasons, and that he is on a super-hot streak right now. I can see how an MLB club looking for a 2B might take a shot at him (although nobody has), but the fact is, he is just not a good middle-infielder defender. He is below-average at 2B, and well below-average at SS.

Which brings me to Cesar Izturis... ,

I think it was reasonable to believe that if Izturis is 100% healthy, that he is young enough (27) that he could well return to his pre-TJ surgery, pre-pulled hamstring, 2004 form, when he hit 288 with 32 doubles, nine triples, and 25 SB, and won a Gold Glove. It was worth a shot to find out, And if he was somewhere close to his '04 form right now, he would be my choice to play SS. But in fact he has NOT returned to his 2004 form, even though he appears to be 100% healthy. Even his defensive play at SS has been disappointing.

If there was no other option at SS, then I would just let Izturis try and play through his funk and see if he can get going. But with the way Ryan Theriot has played, there is no reason why Theriot (who was a SS in college and also occasionally in the minors) cannot play SS--with DeRosa at 2B--indefinitely. That is the Cubs best option right now. But I wouldn't necessarily give up on Izturis just yet, although I don't think he should be the #1 SS, either and ifI'm the cubs, I would certainly be making plans to exercise the post-2007 contract buy-out.

Back to Fontenot...

Mike Fontenot hits when he plays every day at AAA. Whether that would translate well to being an MLB extra man is unknown. He might be an ace PH. Same goes for Micah Hoffpauir. Then again, maybe not. But Fontenot is NOT a left-handed version of Ryan Theriot. Fontenot has just average speed, and I would definitely not want to see Fontenot play SS in Wrigley Field, and even 2B would be a concern, because Fontenot has poor ball-handling skills and has difficulty turning the DP.

Fontenot seems to be somewhat of a misfit. He is an everyday-type player whose best position (2B) requires at least some degree of defensive proficiency. If he were to hit in MLB like he is hitting now at AAA, then some club would probably just live with his substandard defense at 2B. But it cannot be determined in advance whether he will hit enough in the big leagues to be an everyday second-baseman with defensive shortcomings. And I don't think the Cubs are willing to experiment with Fontenot right now to find out if he will hit enough to be an everyday MLB player, although the last part of last year would have been a good time to do it.

I think it is ridiculous that the Cubs did not give Fontenot a shot in August-September of last season, or even just an NRI to ST in either of the last two seasons. He deserved at least that much consideration.

any club could have signed Felix Pie when he was an amateur. Any team could have dealt flotsam to acquire, Michael Barrett. Just because someone slips through the cracks doesn't mean they are worthless. Fontenot was a 1st round pick and a main component in the trade for Sosa. It's not like he didn't have an amateur profile. He might not turn out to be anything great. However I have a hard time believing he is less than a Bynum or Juan Castro. Mike Fontenot can play MLB baseball. If he doesn't get a shot in Chicago. He will get one elsewhere.

Maybe Carlos has been spending too much time on the internet again. Does his right arm look appreciably bigger than his left?

That's almost as bad as manny's salad tossing comment. Almost.

Damian Miller takes exception to being called flotsam....

......the fact is, he (Fontenot) is just not a good middle-infielder defender. He is below-average at 2B, and well below-average at SS.

It's not just me, the Iowa Cubs manager and no less than Rick Wilken TOTALLY disagree with you, but then what do they know?

Mike Fontenot is getting short shrift because he's surrounded at his position by players the Cubs originally drafted, signed and have invested a lot of money and ego in.

Here's a quote "“He’s a steady, blue-collared player that puts the ball in play,” Wilken said when describing Fontenot. “He’s a solid defensive player and I think all that plays out well for someone, somewhere. Is he going to be a front line offensive player? Maybe not, but he’s going to be a steady one.I can see the guy hitting .280 anywhere he plays and hitting 35 or 40 doubles a year.”

you can call me Ray or...

the other option is calling him Jetsam, but isn't he one of the Japanese relievers?

"Sorry, I don’t get the people here who insist they know what they’re talking about and then blather on about how Fontenot isn’t versatile, can’t play anywhere except 2nd base, and projects as a minor leaguer forever."

well if you'd bother to read what other people write outside of your own shell of ignorance you might learn.

while you're on your fontenot bandwagon check out my post on him from april 28th. yeah, april 28th.

instead of concentrating on your supposed jabs you should probably concentrate on what's being said instead of you just thinking its an attack against your new found beliefs.

your ignorance on this issue is battling with your self righteousness. you're not the messiah of fontenot, he's not new to a lot of people here, and everything you expelled in that article...well, i said it on the 28th.

and i said it last year...and the year before.

he's been on a lotta people's radars for years...read past the first line of posts and you'll see the content, not "omg he said something not fully supportive. that person must think he sucks."

Crunch — April 28, 2007 @ 11:36 pm

fontenot hit another homer tonite…played SS, too…

getting work at 2nd/SS…getting on in age…cedeno not getting much better…

theriot’s little unappreciated buddy could be joining him at some point if he can extend this and show he’s more than just an average 2nd baseman.

-----

#
crunch — April 28, 2007 @ 11:38 pm

4 homers, btw…2/3 night (single)…hitting .306/.360…also had some work at 3rd this year, too…dunno how that went or if it was in games or just working out there pregame.

not that im a huge fan…he’s just someone that’s been on a lotta TCR readers radars for years.

Key stretch of games now. I know eman has his 60 day rule but I think that by the end of the next two series, I will have an idea how good this team is.

AZ Phil,

I hear what you're saying, but are you trying to say that Mark DeRosa is a materially better fielder than Fontenot? You'd have to be, because if you say Theriot/DeRosa is OK, the only reason the $5mil cheaper Theriot/Fontenot infield wouldn't work is the drop-off in fielding would be too great.

And the fact that 29 clubs passed on him means nothing to me. There are a lot of wilfully ignorant people working in baseball today. Heck, people are still trying to tell me "We have to fight them there so we don't have to fight them here." People are idiots!!! Fontenot is EXACTLY the type of guy who they talk about in Moneyball. All he does is get on base and work hard, but because he doesn't look like he arrived from Central Casting as "baseball player" he gets no love from execs and is grossly undervalued.

Plus, the Cubs are doing just fine in the defensive department right now, so we can afford to sacrifice it a bit to big up our offense.

Fontenot walked in his first TWO career plate appearances. Obviously, this was not good enough for Dusty. They say that speed doesn't slump. Well the other thing that doesn't slump is a good approach to the game. That's what Fontenot brings to the table. Again, all for $5mil less than what we're paying to the mediocre, already-had-his-career-year DeRosa.

AZ Phil,

I hear what you're saying, but are you trying to say that Mark DeRosa is a materially better fielder than Fontenot? You'd have to be, because if you say Theriot/DeRosa is OK, the only reason the $5mil cheaper Theriot/Fontenot infield wouldn't work is the drop-off in fielding would be too great.

And the fact that 29 clubs passed on him means nothing to me. There are a lot of wilfully ignorant people working in baseball today. Heck, people are still trying to tell me "We have to fight them there so we don't have to fight them here." People are idiots!!! Fontenot is EXACTLY the type of guy who they talk about in Moneyball. All he does is get on base and work hard, but because he doesn't look like he arrived from Central Casting as "baseball player" he gets no love from execs and is grossly undervalued.

Plus, the Cubs are doing just fine in the defensive department right now, so we can afford to sacrifice it a bit to big up our offense.

Fontenot walked in his first TWO career plate appearances. Obviously, this was not good enough for Dusty. They say that speed doesn't slump. Well the other thing that doesn't slump is a good approach to the game. That's what Fontenot brings to the table. Again, all for $5mil less than what we're paying to the mediocre, already-had-his-career-year DeRosa.

Crap. Sorry everyone.

"if he can extend this and show he’s more than just an average 2nd baseman."

Crunch,

We realize you've been a fan of Fontenot and all, but I still can't understand why you fetishize the versitility stuff. If the guy's only a 2b, weeeeellllll, how's about we play him...ONLY AT SECOND BASE!!!!!

People who can play all over the field are nice to have, but it's just not important enough to sacrifice offense for. Fonty should be everyday 2B, and DeRosa should be the infield/outfield sub. Or we could just go to 11 pitchers forget the whole thing. There's always one guy on the bullpen who you wish wasn't even there anyway (cough...Ohman..cough), so why not just make it official.

Sorry for the double-posting, scoll-lock-causing series of screeds, but this Fontenot thing just gets me on my last nerve. The whole thing plays out like a little Kabuki play about exactly why the Cubs will continue to suck for my entire lifetime.

derosa kinda knows how to field and not just 2nd, but SS/3rd/RF and has a well above average arm with it. if he just played 2nd he wouldnt have gotten his payday, probably.

i mean, todd walker hits similar to derosa the past couple years (not similar swings, though), but well...he's struggled his entire career to even get a chance to start full time cuz of his D, not his bat. mark loretta, 2nd/SS is working bench in houston...

personally, i got no problem with derosa...especially since he's not being used as an exclusive 2nd and is fine with it.

"We realize you’ve been a fan of Fontenot and all, but I still can’t understand why you fetishize the versitility stuff. If the guy’s only a 2b, weeeeellllll, how’s about we play him…ONLY AT SECOND BASE!!!!!"

well, uh...the team has 2 second basemen.

and well...just because you think fontenot rules doesnt mean those 2 second basemen already there disappear.

now, in reality...its his lack of ability to play multiple positions that's hurt him. and its him that hurt his shot...his lack of ability...his tools/skills. if he adapted to 3rd, we would have seen him sooner in 05 and probably in 06, too. his reality is his limitations...

Oh yes, I will continue...

Let's all remember while we're debating the wisdom of bringing Fontenot on the roster someday, RONNY CEDENO IS BEING PAID A MAJOR LEAGUE SALARY!!!!!

Crunch,

Here's the infield:

1: lee
2 fontenot
ss. theriot
3. ramirez
backups: izturis, derosa

Here's the OF

L soriano
C jones
R Floyd
backups: murton, pagan

Izturis? bus to Iowa.

How exactly is Fontenot's lack of the all hallowed versatility even a factor here?

fontenot on the roster someday? well, sure...why not...ronnie cedeno making his 400K...im sure that would worry the marlins, not the cubs.

the "fontenot conversation" is getting to be a every 2-4 month sensation around here. what more is to be said about the guy that hasnt already been said since 2005 aside from "wow, he's getting a shot at SS again."?

I meant Cedeno's on the bus. Although I'd give any money to have Izzy on that bus too.

Crunch,

It's not about the money. It's the message. It's the fact that the Cubs say to their system. Play like shit and get paid. Get on base and play hard and contribute to wins: lunch at the des moines Applebees.

"How exactly is Fontenot’s lack of the all hallowed versatility even a factor here?"

my question to you is why is fontenot a factor at all?

this is mike fontenot here...his only "minus" isnt his defensive liability.

The guy gets on base.

He's a better player than Izturis, Cedeno and DeRosa, so the factor would be the fact that factoring him into the Cubs lineup would increase runs by some factor.

i diagree with 2 of 3 of your assessments of iz/cedeno/derosa...2 of them with very little personal doubt.

the notion that something sucks up top therefore the guy with numbers in AAA/AA must be better is flawed as hell, too.

with 30 teams watching the guy and left unprotected you choose to go with numbers rather than a team of professional scouts.

no, its not a conspiracy cuz of hendry's homegrown boys blocking him...its not that he's universally passed over cuz he's a midget...its not that he pissed off the guy who traded for him in the first place...

if he only had an arm...more speed...better footwork...more power...more consistancy on the inside pitch and low breaking stuff...

that's his issue, though...

aaronb — May 11, 2007 @ 10:39 am
any club could have signed Felix Pie when he was an amateur. Any team could have dealt flotsam to acquire, Michael Barrett. Just because someone slips through the cracks doesn’t mean they are worthless. Fontenot was a 1st round pick and a main component in the trade for Sosa. It’s not like he didn’t have an amateur profile. He might not turn out to be anything great. However I have a hard time believing he is less than a Bynum or Juan Castro. Mike Fontenot can play MLB baseball. If he doesn’t get a shot in Chicago. He will get one elsewhere.

================================

AARON B: I didn't say that I believe Fontenot is garbage.

What I said was that because he wasn't claimed off waivers in November 2005, wasn't selected in either of the last two Rule 5 drafts, or wasn't even given an NRI to ST by the Cubs this year or last year, means he was not worth the $20K waiver price to the other 29 MLB clubs in '05 or the $50K Rule 5 price in December '05 or December '06 or the cost of an MLB ST allowance and per diem to the Cubs the last two STs. . .

Whether that's right or wrong, good or bad isn't the issue, but so far nobody seems interested.

Now if you're saying you don't understand why no MLB club has shown interest in Fontenot when he was available for the taking the last couple of years, that's fine. But don't blame me for stating the obvious.

"Whether that’s right or wrong, good or bad isn’t the issue, but so far nobody seems interested."

not to piggyback your words...but ya know...

its not very "moneyball" for all these "moneyball teams" to not pick up this guy if its all about numbers.

it just simply isnt all about numbers and if you're gonna be an average fielder off the bench you better have power, speed, and/or a multiple arsenal of positions to play.

what's "happening to fontenot" is a product of his inability to add something to his game. with epat in AAA fontenot's getting another shot at SS (after various 05/06 failures trying to adapt to 3rd with glove and especially arm).

Well, I think Nolasco might be ailing a bit still (7.20 era), but Mitre, Pinto, and Dontrelle are looking pretty good…

Willis has been just as bad, if not worse than Zambrano so far this year. His ERA is well above 5.

(Trust me, I have both of them on my fantasy team, and thanks to them I'm now dead last in ERA, WHIP, K/BB, and K/9)

No other MLB taking interest is kind of irrelevant. If he gets a shot and succeeds, who will care what the MLB collective braintrust thought?

"if he only had an arm…more speed…better footwork…more power…more consistancy on the inside pitch and low breaking stuff…"

If only he got on base 39% of the time...

Crunch, speed for its own sake doesn't mean shit. That's how you end up with garbage like F. Bynum. Better footwork?? Cheese and rice, is this dancing with the stars? If you can get on base 39% of the time, I don't care how you do it, just that you do it. If you can play your position adequately, you can stand on your head for all I care.

You're illustrating exactly the point I'm trying to make. Smarties look at Fontenot and say he's not "speedy," he looks "awkward," wish he looked more like A-Rod, his sunglasses aren't cool enough, whatever else, blah blah blah, and ignore the fact that he continues to succeed at every level. Please read that again, Crunch. CONTINUES TO SUCCEED AT EVERY LEVEL. Nothing you can say about his "footwork" is going to change that the fact that he has been successful EVERYWHERE he has gone (including 7 plate appearances with the Chicago Cubs).

And when I say successful I mean "contributed to wins" not "has good footwork."

Horatio — May 11, 2007 @ 2:17 pm
AZ Phil,

I hear what you’re saying, but are you trying to say that Mark DeRosa is a materially better fielder than Fontenot? You’d have to be, because if you say Theriot/DeRosa is OK, the only reason the $5mil cheaper Theriot/Fontenot infield wouldn’t work is the drop-off in fielding would be too great.

================================

HORATIO: What I'm saying is that Mark DeRosa has an MLB track record as a power-hitting middle-infielder, and Fontenot does not. For the 2007 Cubs, that means all the difference. Uncle Lou wanted DeRosa's power.

The fact that Fontenot hasn't been given a fair shot by the Cubs isn't his fault, but it is a factor if you're saying the Cubs shouldn't have spent the big bucks on DeRosa and should have given Fontenot the 2B job instead.

The time to evaluate Fontenot as a potential everyday second-baseman was ST '05 and ST '06 and the last two months of last season, For whatever reason, the Cubs chose not to do that. I believe they should have at least given him a shot, but they just did not.

And as I said, some may discount the significance of Fontenot not being claimed off waivers when he was outrighted in November '05 and not being selected in the Rule 5 drafts of 2005 and 2006, but I believe that is evidence that the othe 29 clubs just don't see much value in Fontenot, either. Maybe they should, but they obviously don't.

Heck, even Jason Smith was selected in last December's Rule 5 Draft! Why wasn't Fontenot selected, too? Answer: because none of the other 29 MLB clubs see value in Fontenot as an MLB player. Maybe all 30 of the MLB clubs (including the Cubs, who didn't even give him an NRI to ST in '05 or '06) are wrong about Fontenot, but my point is not what the 30 clubs SHOULD believe about Fontenot, just what it is they DO believe about Fontenot. That he lacks the speed, arm, athleticism, and versatility to play multiple positions in the big leagues (even though he might be perfectly acceptable performing that role in AAA), and that he isn't quite good enough to be an everyday second-baseman, either.

Personally, if I was an MLB GM looking for second-baseman, I'd give Fontenot a shot. I like Fontenot.

"inability to add something to his game."

Other than to not-make outs, extend innings, and score runs.

Yeah, I don't want that on my team, either. You convinced me, crunch.

AZ Phil,

I'm not sure why you're telling me about what the Cubs DID do. It's pretty obvious what they DID do. The fact that Fontenot is in Des Moines and not Chicago makes that pretty clear. The Cubs did what they always do: Make the wrong choices about player personnel. There's a reason why the Cubs haven't developed a decent position player (except Grace) in about 30 years. Because there's always a Mark DeRosa out there they can hire who'll make them feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

sorry, 5 pa's with the Cubs.

cubswinthepennant — May 11, 2007 @ 11:31 am
It’s not just me, the Iowa Cubs manager and no less than Rick Wilken TOTALLY disagree with you, but then what do they know

====================

CWtP: Oh, sure. The Cubs think VERY highly of Mike Fontenot. In fact, they think SO very highly of him that they risked losing him on irrevocable waivers by outrighting him off their 40-man roster in November 2005, somehow forgot to issue him an NRI to ST in 2006 or 2007, and did not bring him up to the majors the last two months of last season when all was lost and they had nothing to lose by giving him a chance.

Yes, the Cubs are absolutely Cuh-RAZY about Mike Fontenot.

As for Bailey and Wilken talkng him up. that's a nice thing for them to do. If it helps Fontenot get a shot someplace else (which so far hasn't happened), that's great. Fontenot is a good guy. He hustles and he works hard. I'd do the same thing for him if I were them.

But the fact remains, none of the other 29 MLB clubs have acquired Mike Fontenot (for peanuts) when on several different occasions they had the chance to do so. Why? Apparently because the GMs of all of the other MLB clubs disagree with Bailey and Wilken, too. That's why.

This "no one else likes him so why should we" argument is totally nonsensical. The fact that no one does like him is self-evident. But it is circular reasoning (and therefore illogical) to assume that the wisdom of this collective course of action is affirmed by the action itself.

"No one likes him."

"Really? Why not"

"Cause he's no good"

"Seriously? How do you know?"

"Cause no one likes him!!!"

You know, there were also lots and lots and lots people who got on the tee-vee and said that the Iraq war would be a cake-walk and the oil would pay for it and greeted as liberators and on and on and on...

Horatio — May 11, 2007 @ 3:17 pm
AZ Phil,

I’m not sure why you’re telling me about what the Cubs DID do. It’s pretty obvious what they DID do. The fact that Fontenot is in Des Moines and not Chicago makes that pretty clear. The Cubs did what they always do: Make the wrong choices about player personnel. There’s a reason why the Cubs haven’t developed a decent position player (except Grace) in about 30 years. Because there’s always a Mark DeRosa out there they can hire who’ll make them feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

=======================

HORATIO: I'm not just talking about what the Cubs DID do. I am also talking about what they did NOT do as being evidence of what they really think of him.

I also mentioned that none of the other 29 MLB clubs have given him a chance, either, when any club could have very easily claimed him off waivers when the Cubs outrighted him to AAA in November 2005, or selected him in the Rule 5 Draft in '05 or '06.

You claim Fontenot is a "Moneyball"-type player. OK. Let's say you are right. The Oakland A's are THE "Moneyball" team. Correct? So why didn't the A's claim Fontenot off waivers in November '05, or select him either of the last two Rule 5 Drafts?

Why didn't the Cardinals take a shot at Fontenot a year ago instead of making trades for Aaron Miles and Ronnie Belliard?

Why did the Kansas City Royals select second-baseman Richard Lewis from the Cubs in the last Rule Draft 5, but NOT Mike Fontenot? Why did they sign Mark Grudzielanek to a multi-million dollar deal when they could have just taken Fontenot in the Rule 5 Draft?

Why did the Twins make a trade for Luis Castillo when they could have just claimed Mike Fontenot off waivers?

Why did the Indians make a trade for Josh Barfield when could have just selected Fontenot in the Rule 5 Draft?

Why did the Washington Nationals not select Fontenot in the Rule 5 Draft? Instead, they signed Ronnie Belliard as a FA.

The answer to all of the questions above is simply that Mike Fontenot is not of value to other MLB clubs, including the Cubs, but not just the Cubs. It's ALL 30 MLB clubs who aren't interested. Maybe he SHOULD be valued, but he's snot

I predicted in ST that the Cubs would do a "Nice Guy" thing and try and trade Fontenot.someplace where he can at least be an everyday 2B in AAA (which he can't at Iowa because of Eric Patterson). I stand by that prediction.

AZ,

You may well be right about your prediction.

But the litany of people passing up on Fontenot is unnecessary, redundant, and uninteresting. Why? Because I already know it before you said it. How? Because he's in Iowa!!! Telling me Fontenot isn't valued is like declaring that the sky is blue.

HORATIO: Are you sleeping with Fontenot? There somethin' you want to tell us?

Maybe you can start a compaign with the new owners if he's still here then? Like a few of your like-minded bretheren: "FREE Fontenot!" has been thrown out there.

Read This Again: AZ PHIL - "The answer to all of the questions above is simply that Mike Fontenot is not of value to other MLB clubs, including the Cubs, but not just the Cubs. It’s ALL 30 MLB clubs who aren’t interested."

Horatio — May 11, 2007 @ 3:42 pm
This “no one else likes him so why should we” argument is totally nonsensical. The fact that no one does like him is self-evident. But it is circular reasoning (and therefore illogical) to assume that the wisdom of this collective course of action is affirmed by the action itself.

=========================

HORATIO: But you keep criticizing the Cubs for overlooking Fontenot, when actually none of the 30 MLB clubs have shown any interest.

As for the other thing, I was responding to CWtP's post where he claimed that because Buddy Bailey (Fontenot's manager) and Tim Wilken (Cubs scouting director) said nice things about Fontenot in a media interview, that my opinion about Fontenot conflicts with the "experts."

Actually, my opinion of Fontenot is based entirely on my own observations of him over the past three Spring Trainings ('05 with the big club, and the last two at minor league camp), but if CWtP chooses to cite the "experts" (Bailey and Wilkien), then I feel I should respond by pointing out the obvious, that none of the 30 MLB GMs have done anything to acquire Fontenot when they had the chance to do so (several different times in fact), and that the Cubs (for whom Bailey and Wilken work) think so little of Fontenot that he wasn't even given an NRI to ST in either of the last two seasons. That lack of action (disinterest) speaks a lot louder than anything Bailey or Wilken might say in a media interview.

Every team in baseball has several years worth of scouting reports on Mike Fontenot. He is what he is. He didn't just suddenly grow a new arm or cut his 40 time down by a second or become a Gold Glove shortstop. He's riding a hot streak. Good for him. He hustles. I like him. Maybe he'll eventually get a shot at playing 2B everyday somewhere in AAA where is not blocked by one of his club's better prospects. And then maybe somebody will give him a shot in the big leagues. I hope so. He's a good guy.

"If you can get on base 39% of the time, I don’t care how you do it, just that you do it."

This is why OBP is the devil. In no way shape or form is doing one thing and only one thing well every going to make you a major leaguer. OBP is a nice stat when looked at with others. A guy with a high OBP without speed or power is not all that exciting.

My God! Do you even realize how little a difference .070 makes? It's nothing!

Here is something you guys don't realize, the odds of two people getting on base back to back is small. Smaller if their OBPs are low, granted. But if a guy walks, the odds of him making it home from first are not that good. So now, a guy with no speed walks. He now needs probably three straight batters to get singles to get him home. The odds of that are not very good. This is why OBP for the sake of OBP is worthless.

Dusty?

"OBP for the sake of OBP is worthless."

Can we quote you on this?

Well that depends. Will you take it in context? Doubtful.

"Doubtful."

LOL!

Chad. You're a moron.

E-Man:

Read this again - IRRELEVANT

"his 40 time"

The fact that people are actually concerned with "his 40 time" or that any improvement in "his 40 time" would open any eyes proves my point.

Horatio — May 11, 2007 @ 6:27 pm
“his 40 time”

The fact that people are actually concerned with “his 40 time” or that any improvement in “his
40 time” would open any eyes proves my point.

===============================

HORATIO: Of course it would be a good thing if Fontenot were to suddenly run as fast as Ryan Theriot (for instance), because it would instantly make him more attractive to the 30 MLB teams who presently have zero interest in him, partly because it would at least improve his range in the middle infield, and partly because it would make him valuable as a PR (like Theriot was coming out of ST). Speed is a tool that is valued by people who scout and acquire baseball talent.

If that isn't obvious to you, or if you are confused by that, then I don't know how I can explain it so that you will understand.

tone down the insults horatio...

Is it an insult if its true??

I kid, I kid

AZ,

You keep going on and on about the other MLB teams and their relative interest (or lack thereof) in Fontenot. Who cares what they think of the guy? And yes I do understand why 30 MLB teams would take notice of F if he got faster. Or taller. Or had better hair. I also understand that every year at the NFL draft combine many many crappy players wow the peanut gallery with their broad jump and wingspan and route running on an empty field and dupe teams into drafting them. I understand that Marvin Williams was chosen by the Atlanta Hawks over Chris Paul. I understand very well the simplistic prism through which many sports execs view their potential employees. And I remain thoroughly uninterested in hearing about the details of their general incompetence.

What I don't understand is why a guy like Fontenot, who has, I repeat, enjoyed success at every level at which he has played, hasn't been given a chance to ply his craft at the MLB level. If he's an absolute butcher out there in the field, well then the experiment's over. But for the Cubs not to at least try with a guy who consistently gets on base better than 37 38 39% of his PA's is beyond foolish. And if the Cubs even partially base their own opinion of F on what other teams think, they're even dumber than I thought.

Here are the salient facts here. Let's stay focused on them.

1. There are TWO guys on the Cubs who are demonstrably horrible hitters (Izturis and Cedeno)

2. The Cubs have a high on-base % middle infielder a Iowa waiting for his shot in the bigs.

3. If the drop off in fielding is less than the improvement in hitting, than switching one of the dead weights with said hi OBP guy is empirically the correct decision.

4. It is OK if F only plays 2B since Theriot can play everywhere, DeRosa can play everywhere and you still have one of your alleged glove men who can't hit.

F is who he is. If that turns out to be a OBP of .375 and a serviceable 2b, who the heck cares what a) other teams think or thought and b) what his 40 time is?

Again the fact that we seem to be discussing his 40 time proves my point that people do not seem to pay any attention to his actual baseball playing ability and seem obsessed with irrelevancies like how high he can jump and how big a muscle he can make.

HORATIO: We are talkng about two different things.

You are perplexed as to how and why all 30 MLB teams could be so disinterested in Fontenot. I am just trying to give you their reasons.

And I'm not saying they are necessariliy good reasons, just that they are the reasons. I'm not saying the way that MLB clubs evaluate talent is good or bad. Just that things like speed, arm strength, and defensive acumen do factor into the evaluation process, especially when it comes to evaluating a middle infielder or potential utility player.

The Cubs obviously do not value Fontenot. Maybe they should, but they don't. And at least until his recent hot streak, none of the other 29 MLB clubs have shown any interest in Fontenot over the past couple of seasons, either.

But it's possible that somebody like the Washington Nationals (for instance) might take a fresh look at Fontenot now and say "what the heck, let's give him a shot," and acquire him to play 2B at AAA and then bring him up maybe in August or September, and then give him a really good look in ST '08.

I hope Fontenot gets a shot somewhere. I like Fontenot. He hustles. He plays hard. He is a good offensive player, albeit with some defensive shortcomings, but his defensive deficiencies are not because of lack of hustle. He plays with maximum effort.

As I've said, I doubt that he will get a shot with the Cubs, but you never know. If Ward were to go down with an injury, Fontenot could probably fit best into that slot.

Fontenot's best bet would be to get traded to an organization where he can at least play 2B everyday at AAA, and then maybe get a trial with the big club in August-September '07 and ST '08.

X
  • Sign in with Twitter