Promotion of the Roster Snatchers

Slowly, the infiltration has begun.

Marlon Byrd’s banishment from the nest cleared the way for Tony Campana’s
temporary custody of the roster spot reserved for Brett Jackson. If Soriano’s
reinvention as a singles hitter who doesn’t even manage many of those goes on,
how long might it be until LaHair takes his team-leading [no, it’s not saying
much] slugging totals to the outfield and defers to Raker Rizzo, the scourge of
PCL pitchers, at first base? We shall see.

In the meantime, today at Principal Park the Cubs-in waiting
wrapped up a four-game set with their Cardinal counterparts from Memphis, dropping a 4-0 yawner in front of a sun splashed crowd that couldn't have cared less. On
the mound for the Redbirds was their prized pitching prospect, Shelby Miller.
Miller’s stumbled a bit out of the PCL gate so far but remains highly touted [#8 prospect in baseball per BA last time I looked] and eagerly awaited in St. Lou as shadows lengthen on the careers of Chris Carpenter and Adam Wainwright.

Oneri Fleita's been in town for this series. I passed him on the concourse just before the anthem and asked if he were here for any particular reason just so he could feel recognized outside of the team offices. He smiled and said it's a routine trip.

Travis Wood took the mound opposite Miller and acquitted hinself nicely. He was saddled with the loss despite yielding only one earned run in six innings while walking two and fanning eight.

After four innings the linescores were identical at 0-4-0. The I-Cubs had a crack at Miller in the bottom of the first when they loaded the bases on two walks and a bloop single by Rizzo that came on Miller's 22nd pitch of the frame. It was the first one put in play and one of only two out of the 33 he threw in laying that first goose egg.

Miller needed just 58 more to hang four more zeroes before leaving after five scoreless innings and giving way to a violent bastard named Maikel Cleto who throws in the upper 90's and reminds of Bob Gibson, maybe 20 pounds heavy. It's not hard to imagine Miller facing a few of these I-Cubs many more times in the years to come. Today he got the best of them. Besides Rizzo's blooper, Wellington Castillo grounded a single to left and Josh [Junior Varsity] Vitters also dinked one safely and softly into the outfield, his fifth hit in his last almost 40 AB's. Brett Jackson drew a walk and fanned twice. He also stole a base and drew another free pass later from one of Miller's successors. He took himself into a couple of 0-2 counts and never stroked a ball fair until his fifth plate appearance when he grounded out in the 9th. He remains tied for the team lead in extra base hits with 10.

Rizzo made a careless error, his fourth, in the middle of a sequence in the top of the 5th that saw Memphis load the bases without nudging the ball beyond the infield grass. His miscue was sandwiched by a walk and Miller getting hit by a pitch while trying to sacrifice. All it took was a glancing single over a drawn-in infield to put the Redbirds in front 2-0 and send the I-Cubs to their seventh loss in eight tries.

Rizzo's splits are as wide as the aisle in Congress. He's now 4/23 against southpaws and hitting righties at damn near a .500 clip!

As for JV, jeez, when's the last time a touted prospect hit eighth in the lineup? It may be early yet in the season but his development is getting on now. Maybe Oneri can take him aside before he leaves town.



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Comments

It didn't look like that on my laptop!

I don't want a platoon player at first, I want a superstar. Banish Rizzo until he ups the score on lefties! Free Lahair!!!

"Banish Rizzo until he ups the score on lefties!"

that's everyone's biggest fear...what he can actually do vs. lefties...the rest of his game is nearly MLB-ready.

Yeah, nobody wants Baker starting every third or fourth game at 1B. But how many young lefty sluggers held their own against southpaws from the get-go? That might be a skill that comes with (painful, ugly) exposure, which might come at the MLB level.

What a uniquely un-Cub problem we may have: two Power Hitting lefty first basemen! Actually it reminds me when Grace / Palmeiro came up. Accept LaHair wasn't really a prospect of late, and Grace never had any power. Still when pushed, will the Cubs keep the right one?

how was the cubs to know palmeiro would get on the TEX diet of roids, roids, and more roids when they let him go?

the 90s phillies, rangers, and A's teams have a lot to answer for in the way of "meds."

I liked the skinny Palmiero better than Grace too. Dude could crush line drives in his sleep.

I'm blanking on this, crunch. Who was crushing/roiding up on the Phillies?

dalton, dykstra, inky

Dykstra has pretty much just roided up on life itself.

and it's hard as hell to get j.kruk to talk about it though you can see on his face he'd love to rat out some of that locker room.

they're a long rumored/known roiding team. one of those "worst kept secret" type things...

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