The Ides of April

Déjà Vu all over again, Alfonso? For the second time in two years during mid April, Cubs star left fielder Alsonso Soriano injured a leg.

Last year he missed just a week from a mild left hamstring strain on April 16th. He returned to the lineup by April 22nd but was limited in his running as well as his outfield play for a few weeks after that injury.

Here was the immediate reaction to last April's injury on cubs.com:

...his status is day-to-day. The center fielder was injured when he dove trying to catch Clay Hensley's single with one out and a runner at second in the fifth. "I don't like to be hurt," Soriano said. "I like to play every day. We'll see how I feel tomorrow."

This isn't to be confused with his more significant right quadriceps strain last August 6th. I vividly remember seeing Soriano pull up lame after rounding 2nd base against the Mets in the game Tom Glavine got his 300th win. Third base coach Mike Quade helped Alfonso off the field that evening. Soriano returned to action by August 28th.

In last night's game vs the Reds, while making the third out in the top of the 1st inning by catching a flyball from Ken Griffey Jr. and doing his signature hop to make the catch, Soriano once again came up lame. He needed to use CF Felix Pie to limp off the field. In the bottom of the inning he was replaced by Mike Fontenot with Mark DeRosa taking his spot in LF.

Again cubs.com says (Carrie Muskat must have a macro key for her Word application regarding this stuff. Ironically, when she hits the F7 key, the macro spits out something about being day-to-day):

Cubs outfielder Alfonso Soriano had to leave Tuesday's game after the top of the first inning with a strained right calf. His status was day-to-day.

This time the preliminary diagnosis is a strained right calf. To recap the anatomy, the quadriceps is the major muscle in the front of the thigh. The hamstrings are the muscles behind the thigh. The larger muscles that make up
the calf are the gastrocnemius which
is more superficial and the deeper soleus which blend together as they go toward
the lower portion of the leg until they connect with the achilles
tendon
. They are responsible for pushoff in running activity. Just like
any other muscle injury they are graded by extent of injury, rarely
need surgery and usually take from 2-6 weeks to heal.They shipped Soriano off for an MRI Tuesday night so the results will be available in the morning. Hearing Lou Piniella on the postgame interview, he didn't sound optimistic with the most recent comp injury being Phillie OF Shane Victorino who was put on the 15 day DL the day after his calf strain on Saturday. Matt Murton, Jake Fox or Eric Patterson...please check your answering machines.

It could be worse. The Ides of April ruined the 2006 Season on April 19th when Scott Eyre fielded a Raphael Furcal bunt. The sooner they get this month over with the safer I will feel.

UPDATE: It's official.  Eric Patterson gets the call-up as Fonzie goes on the 15 day DL. Stay tuned for the Patterson brothers reunion deathmatch tonight.

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Comments

I'll just say it:

If Soriano is going to the DL...

Barry Lamar Bonds
Sammy Peralta Sosa

Discuss

We couldn't do Bonds because Carrie Muskat doesn't have an MS Word macro tied to "will miss several games owing to obligations in federal court."

 Great write-up, Doc.

 I'm glad we still have Murton and I hope he's the guy who gets the call. DeRosa cannot and should not be in the outfield.

We'll know if Barry is on his way to the Cub's if we see these things getting installed around the clubhouse:

http://www.gokulamhealthcare.com/images/products/N...

Discuss

Nope.

Pretty sure we caught "gastrocnemius" in Vegas last year... little penicillin clears that right up.

TLFC,

Can Ted play left? He sure as hell can't pitch but maybe we can get something out of that big contract.

Bonds-no
Sammy-no

April 2005-Nomar goes down
April 2006-Dlee goes down
April 2007- Prior is shut down

Any idea how long it will be before the results of the MRI are known?

Pinella is already saying Soriano could be "out a while"

Good thing we kept Murton.

Maybe it's just me, but it always seems like this type of injury could only happen to the Cubs. Could another option for Lou be to play Pie in CF and move Reed over to LF?

It's just you. This type of injury happens to every team in the league.

No this injury does happen when running out ground outs, stretching extra base hits, or chasing fly balls into gaps.

Hopping like a retarted rabbit for a routine fly ball and getting injured is a new one.

RE: Discuss

I'd rather have Murton than either one of the them. I'm actually kind of happy for the big friendly red-head. Go get em Orange Guy.

I really hope Murt gets the call. Soriano's contract is already an albatross and we have 7 more years of the guy. Not only will he likely never again get close to 46 HRs, but we'll be lucky to get 15 SBs out of him. Along with his requisite 150+ ugly Ks we've got ourselves Sammy Sosa circa 2004-05, without the bad attitude but with an untradeable contract.

We know Murt can hit ML pitching. He might never develop huge power, and he doesn't have blazing speed, but we need to keep him since "Glass Leg" Soriano can't stay healthy.

I like Murt alot, but lets get a little grip on reality here.

Soriano who "can't stay healthy" played in 135 games last year, and that was the fewest games he'd played basically his entire major league career. Now he might be out for a couple weeks -not a couple of months- maybe a couple of weeks. If he's made of glass, then you can certainly say the same thing about ARam, and about 50% of the league.

And Soriano's contract is hardly an albatross at this point. When Torii Hunter and Andrew Jones are making $18 million a year as Free Agents, Soriano's contract starts to look very affordable.

You're right. I definitely overreacted a bit, and obviously Soriano is a better player than Murton. I think the frustration over all these leg injuries and the poor start is catching up to me.

I really dont want this happen, but Soriano is turning into one of those players that I hate to watch. A) He doesn't belong at leadoff but somehow he's convinced that's the only spot in the lineup he can produce at, B) He can't steal bases anymore, which was a huge reason why he got the big contract (Power + Speed = Big Contract), C) He swings at TERRIBLE pitches and strikes out constantly, D) He gets injured doing idiotic things like hopping unnecessarily for fly balls.

He seems like a generally good guy, and I'm sure a hot week or two will cure me temporarily of my disdain for him, but I just can't see how this will look like a good signing in years 5-8 (and I hope it doesn't turn horrible even sooner than that).

To summarize my thoughts:
Soriano > Murton
Murton > Most LF bench options
It's damn good we didn't trade Murton, because who knows how many more leg injuries Soriano's got in store for us.

lol @ TCR and it's man-crush on a mediocre AAAA player.

Wait someone wants to play Felix "Oh shit its another curve" Pie AND put Reed Johnson in LF? Wow just wow.

wait, someone thinks Reed Johnson is going to keep hitting .300 if he has to start facing righties consistently?

top IOwa Cubs hitters right now...

Bobby Scales: 304/360/652
Murton 294/442/294
Andre Torres 292/393/542
Jake Fox 261/261/565
...
...
...
Epat 222/282/444

Based on Lou's comments at the end of ST, I think it's quite obvious Murton gets called up to replace Sori.

Ohh and Rich Hill's next start will not be pushed back now. Which means Hill's starts wont be skipped if he was the #5 guy.

See, nothing more than Lou doing his version of motivation.

Lou is a motivational juggler in this circus of a team.

if it is not matt
murton now it will
never be matt murton

"Wait someone wants to play Felix "Oh shit its another curve" Pie AND put Reed Johnson in LF? Wow just wow."

I wasn't suggesting that should be what the club should do here, but was it a viable option. And what if the club had succeeded in finding Murton a new home before the end of ST? You don't think they had considered what their options would be in that case if Soriano had gone down with another injury?

"Soriano's contract is already an albatross"

Climb back off the ledge Doug.

Duly noted, and see my response above to Bleeding Blue.

I wonder if the Cub's could make an offer good enough to net David DeJesus from KC.

Pie, Murt, and Hart for DD? Fuck yea, I'd do it.

"we've got ourselves Sammy Sosa circa 2004-05, without the bad attitude but with an untradeable contract."

The biggest Myth Cubs fans readily believe. Based on nothing more than Sosa is an Ass-Hole because he couldnt keep hitting 60 HR's a year.

Sosa is just as nice and fun loving as Soriano. Soriano will likely end up with the label of a "bad apple" by time he leaves Chicago as well.

2002, 2003 people were calling Sosa a bum because he hit a shitty 49 and 40 HR's. I never saw a player take so much crap from a fan base for doing nothing more than being human.

Ohh but it was because he sucked with RISP those years. Yeah i guess a 1.000 OPS sucks.

You can get away with a lot when you're hitting 60+ HRs a year. I don't know Sosa personally, and I expect neither do you, but it seems that anecdotally most of his teammates thought he was a prick.

Be interestign to see who smashes Fonzie's boom box when he leaves.

DeJesus is Murton with a slightly better glove, less power, and way more injuries. How exactly is he worth Murton/Pie/Hart?

Oh no you di-int!

Murton is a 4-A player who will be really good in the outfield... for the Iowa Cubs. David DeJesus on the other hand is the perfect mold of a baseball player and would instantly give the Cub's that big-time feel. CF... lefty... awesome... he has it all.

This is satire, right?

lol... NO! Okay, maybe I'm playing up my DeJesus enthusiasm a little bit, but he would be a great fit for the team and doesn't he have family on the coaching staff, too?

And yes, I think Dejesus is far better than Murton.

Careers, majors:

DeJesus: .282/.358/.414 OPS+: 102
Murton: .296/.365/.455 OPS+: 108

Careers, minors:

DeJesus: .301/.383/.464
Murton: .312/.383/.467

DeJesus is a lefty.

Murton is two years younger.

So how is DeJesus better than Murton?

And even more, how the hell is DeJesus worth Murton, Pie, and Hart?

Seriously... I know you hate Murton, but David DeJesus? Seriously?

I would put $5 virtual dollars on the fact that DeJesus will out hit Murton in the bigs this year... that is if Murt sees any playing time.

I would take that bet.

But even so... lets say that DeJesus is slightly better, which I don't agree with. But for the sake of argument, lets say it is true.

Do you really think that DeJesus is that much better than Murton that you would also give away Pie and Hart for him?

I think that is a haiku that's gone through the Cubs PR department.

I didn't realize that a player who has hit .297 in a full season and has a career average of .295 with good OBP and acceptable slugging qualified as a AAAA player. Just because he's not a big-name star doesn't make him worthless. Isn't a AAAA player a guy who performs well-to-great in AAA but stinks it up in the majors? Like Jason DuBois.

Assuming Murton gets the call (regardless of current numbers in AAA, he's the best overall option), how does this change the Cubs top of the order? Theriot to the leadoff spot? Does Fukudome make a move to the #2 spot?

What if the Cubs call up Patterson in search of a lefty-hitting leadoff option? I'm not saying he's ready to produce at the major league level, but if you're looking for prototypical leadoff guys, E-Patt is probably at the top of the list.

"Based on nothing more than Sosa is an Ass-Hole because he couldnt keep hitting 60 HR's a year."

No, based on said asshole acting like the prima donna he is and blasting his farkin' boom box 24/7, despite repeated requests from teammates to take it outside. Then said asshole bails on the team at the end of the season, sulking and whining all the way out of the ballpark. Ernie Banks or Andre Dawson, he ain't.

How come nobody seems to remember the extra inning night game at Wrigley against the Expos earlier in the 2004 season when Sammy went home during the game? Sammy was hurt but could pinch hit (I think it was his back that kept him out of the lineup for a few days, but I don't remember all of it now), but the game went extra innings and Dusty started looking for Sammy to pinch hit and they found out he left the park several innings earlier. That's a great teammate.

When he left the park during a game at the end of the season it was the second time that year he had done it.

I also want to ad that he was the sniper shooting at Hillary Clinton.

Anyone remember the details of when Glenallen Hill stepped out of the box, wasn't granted time by the ump, then stepped in as the pitch was on the way and got a hit?

Details, as in who they were playing, whether the hit was a single or a double, etc. Thanks.

The GREAT BOOM BOX SCANDAL!!!! OMG!!!

Thats all you got? No pushing old ladies down? No not hustling on the field?

During that great 2004 meltdown everyone on that club was acting like a self-important jerk than worrying about winning games, except one person....Sammy Sosa. He went out played hard everyday and kept his mouth shut. People forget that. Who was the bad apple again?

Sure as HELL wasn't Sammy Sosa, but he was the one who took all the blame. I have always believed he walked out at the end of that season because he was sick of how that team acted (and how it played down the stretch). Sosa NEVER EVER took his personal baggage onto the field and let it get to him unlike the scrubs of the 2004 team.

Sosa went out every day and gave it 100%....not many on the 2004 team can say they did that. Not many during his entire time with the team can say that. I will take a whole team of Sosa's who play their ass off everyday.

You're conveniently forgetting the whole lineup controversy with Sosa in '04. And while you dismiss the boom box thing, it's probably a good indicator of how his teammates (you know, the ones who were actually around him constantly during this time, unlike you or I) felt about his attitude and hustle.

But either way, Sosa's downfall was his waning ability on the field. Cubs fans will put up with bad attitude/behavior (they forgave him for corking his bat, for Christ's sake), but the guy was steadily declining in just about every offensive category from 2002-2004 (and back to 2000 if you set aside '01 as an outlier), and that was very obvious by the end of his tenure here.

Dude, there are about ten seasons in all of baseball history that wouldn't represent declines from Sammy's '98-99 seasons. And one of them is the one you would have us ignore (Sammy '01).

Mike is right in that there was always a faction of fans that hated Sosa pre-boombox, pre-2004 meltown, pre-cork, etc.

I never understood it then, and I don't now.

"Sosa went out every day and gave it 100%....not many on the 2004 team can say they did that..."

And I for one would like to add that Sammy Sosa is a great American, having stormed the beaches at Normandy and helping his fellow comrades - in - arms at great peril to his boom - box.

"I have always believed he walked out at the end of that season because he was sick of how that team acted..."

Right - as usual, none of it was Sammy's fault. Not one iota, not his problem, it was everyone else, just doin' his job, always a team player, the rest of the team was dogging it all the time.

Your Sosa Man - Love is duly noted.

So let me get this straight Vorare....Sosa's downfall was getting old? Wow, you just proved my entire point about Sammy Sosa and why people like you hated him.

If he wasnt a 60 HR machine, he was washed up.

And there was no lineup controversy. You the fans and Dusty started that crap. Sosa had a .933 OPS hitting in his normal spot at #3 in the lineup. .275 BA, .365 OBP. Sosa said he would like to remain in the spot he has batted virtually his entire career.

When he was moved out of that spot he had a .773 OPS in the #4 and a .824 OPS in the #5.

Like i said most of the Sosa hatred is based in myth, lies and bullshit.

Sorry to derail this lovely Sosa conversation, but I caught a little nugget from the Herald regarding lineup construction this morning.

If Pie does start hitting, Piniella said he'd like to move Pie up to second from eighth in the order and move shortstop Ryan Theriot down to eighth.

http://www.dailyherald.com/story/?id=173590&src=152

A great idea IF Felix wants to hit. Also, if a frog had wings, it wouldn't have to bump its ass on the ground all the time.

There's nothing wrong with Pie that a few hundred ABs won't fix. It's been pretty obvious lately that he's been working on fouling off pitches that are low and away that he can't tell will be a ball or strike. His game winner was one of those kinds of pitches and he reached down and got it. He's still striking out a lot but that happens when you're trying to rework a kid's approach at the plate. Let him hit 8th for awhile, for christ's sake.

A few hundred?!?!? How many hundred? 200? 400? 800? One full season? Two full seasons? I'm a patient fellow and I'm willing to let him work through some problems for the next month or so. I've said that several times. Give him until the middle or end of May to try and get this thing figured out. He can still turn it around. But, we're now 230 AB's into his pro career and his OPS is right around 560. He hits straight ball very much. Curveball, not so good.

And you're telling me that you think it requires another few HUNDRED PA's to fix that? Come on, dude. That's never going to happen. We're not going throw this season away so Felix can strike out 40% of the time with a 339 OPS in 500 AB's. That's just having your priorities in the wrong order.

maybe i'm wrong here but...Didn't the red sox do just that last year with Dustin Pedroia? And didn't it turn out great for them? I don't follow them that closely, but I recall announcers during the playoffs talking about how they gave him the entire year to work it out and he pulled thru. (they did mention though that because the sox were winning, it removed pressure to on management to find a new solution. they had the luxury to let him figure it out) 2 seasons is out of the question though. If he hasn't figure it out by the end of this season its time to either recognize we have a weak hitting but great defensive CF, or look elsewhere.

I for one could care less. There are no better choices (that the team will consider at any rate) than letting him play unless a big trade is made. A platoon will work nicely for him. He'll get lots of at bats without being a 100% liability to the team. Not only that, he plays fantastic defense which is a great thing.

Finally, whether he hits or not, he will not be the sole reason this team will lose the division. Bigger reasons right now will be Soriano batting leadoff and a starting pitching staff that looks clueless.

In his first 200+ AB's a certain player was so bad he hit in the .220's with an OPS in the .500's and struck out over 30% of the time (pretty much what Pie is hitting now). If you were in charge, then this player would never have gotten a legitimate shot to work out his problems. Congratulations, you just prematurely ended the career of Alex Rodriguez.

While Pie may never turn out to be another A-Rod (or maybe he could; the point is we don't know), we should at least give him a season to find out what he is or is not.

Read it again. I didn't say bench him tomorrow. Or next week. For the second time in this thread, we still do have to give the kid 200 or 250 ABs or so to figure it out. If he doesn't get it, he's got to go down. Does he have anything to learn down there? Not really, but that would be a large enough sample to convince me that it isn't working for him right now. The 30 ABs he has right now isn't a big enough sample. 100 or 130 probably isn't either. If it doesn't happen this season, does that mean we need to dump him for a couple rosin bags and a bucket of BP balls? No it doesn't. We can still continue to let him progress and try it again in '09. He's still very young.

This isn't a development league. Wins and losses do count. This isn't AAA. This franchise's #1 priority is not cuddling its top prospect and nursing him along. It's to win baseball games. If Felix isn't going to hit, there's no point in playing him in the second half of this season (note: this season. 2008 only) in the middle of what ought to be a tight pennant race.

ARod sucks. What's your point? :)

...and why people like you hated him.

Nice strawman. Want to point to where I said I hated him? I wasn't sorry to see him go, but that isn't the same thing as hatred.

That said, I think you're very much looking at his tenure here through rose-colored glasses. There were contract issues, there were rumblings of trade demands, there were issues with his teammates. There was cheating. There was the "gladiator" BS in the face of his plummeting abilities. He left here on a bad note, and a lot of that was his own doing.

Damn right the glasses are rose colored. He hit 500 home runs for our ballclub. That's a good player, not a bad one.

Soriano hurt.
Murton gets some time in left.
Ward will play some, too.

Sosa was selfish.
Corked his bat. Juiced his body?
Wished he'd gone sooner.

If called up where should Murton hit?

If called up where should Murton hit?

Second.

Still hatin on Sosa because he grew old. Would you like to keep provin my point vorare? Because your doing an excellent job.

We get it Sosa sucks because he couldnt keep hitting 50-60 HR's. I guess doing it for 5 years straight (and then finishing up with 2 40+ HR seasons) wasnt enough.

Also people forget, and this goes the for lots of players in baseball. Sosa was paid for those fantastic seasons in his new contract. Because he was essentially underpaid. He wasn't being paid that large sum of money for the future.

I liked Sosa because he played hard, had a hall of fame worthy career, and never went out of his way to lose games to settle personal scores. If the biggest complaint is a bunch of self important pricks who couldnt carry a team if their life depended on it didnt like his radio, then who really cares.

Maybe if someone actually stepped up and carried some of the offensive load instead of worrying what song Sosa was playing they would have won more games.

You can like Sosa as much as you want, I don't have a problem with that. But some of what you are aruging is a bit much. It's not like Sosa just had 20 less homers in 2002 and 2003; the rest of his stats dropped precipitously. I mean from 2001 to 2004 his batting average dropped 75 points!! He tailed off quite a bit towards the end of his career. I can respect what he did in his career, but I am in no way obligated to always feel he should be playing on the team. Many people, in 2004 especially, simply felt that the money could be spent better elsewhere and that the team might have been better without Sosa. We are perfectly in our right to think that, whatever his stats during the late 1990s were. I don't hate him and I'm greatful for what he did for the franchise, but I was not happy to see him come to the plate during the end of his tenure with the Cubs.

The idea that he was carrying the team is simply not true. His teammates did just fine. In 2004 Sosa was 5th on the team in runs, 6th in hits, 6th in doubles, 3rd in HRs, 4th in RBI, and the only starter he hit for a higher average than was Ramon Martinez. Lee, Ramirez, Alou, and Patterson all had better seasons, and even the 2B tandem of Grudz and Walker outperformed Sosa. Paying $16 million for the 5-6th best offensive player on the team - who could not run, whose defense was not great, and who struck out nearly 30% of the time he batted - was simply seen by many fans as a waste. Let's not forget he hit .174 during the last 17 games of 2003. And he hit only .227 in September 2004. In the same period Ramirez hit .333 with 9 HRs. Alou hit .342 with 20 RBI!! I don't think they were worrying too much about Sosa's boombox to hit.

Not to get bitchy, but picking on drop offs from 2001 is the cheapest attack against Sosa. Pick a player's career year, then pick a year after. Yes, there will be a drop off.

Your other points are pretty legit. It just peeves me when people talk about how his totals or percentages lowered from his best year ever.

Still hatin on Sosa because he grew old. Would you like to keep provin my point vorare? Because your doing an excellent job.

Okay, I'm going to try small words and simple sentences so you can understand this.

1. I don't hate Sammy Sosa.
2. Sammy Sosa was no longer able to play baseball well by the end of the 2004 season. (See: Baltimore, '05.)
3. Keeping a player because he used to be good is stupid.

MikeC--

I never hated Sammy but I wasn't sorry to see him go by the time he left. I got tired of the missed cutoff throws from the outfield and his falling in love with the home run and his "showmanship" to the detriment of his hitting approach after 2001. Hitting 60 homers covers a lot of sins but when he's no longer hitting 60+, the sins became more glaring. By the time he left, I was just tired of him.

epat to be called up if sorry goes on dl, according to wscr

I guess this means DeRosa to left and Fontenot at second.

WTF? Seriously?

Was that actually quoting a source? Or just the Score making stuff up again?

As I often ask, as the Score ever been right on a story that they broke first?

Wow-

Epatt over Murton?

Don't know about that

Fbomb
Murton
dlee
aram
Dero
Soto
Pie
Theriot

If I had a vote.

Could mean DeRosa to LF and Epat to 2nd (and leadoff).

That would get my vote. AZPhil is EPat's defense ready for every day play in the majors?

If it is EPat, I would be quite surprised of EPat moved into the starting lineup.

Would he really jump over Cedeno and Fontenot at 2b?

Doubtful.

Paul Sullivan is also reporting that it's more likely to be Patterson than Murton.

http://blogs.chicagosports.chicagotribune.com/spor...

The Score may have gotten the E-Pat rumor from this Rotoworld write-up:

http://www.rotoworld.com/content/playerpages/playe...

Rotoworld got their information from this Tribune article:

http://blogs.chicagosports.chicagotribune.com/spor...

After quickly scanning through the Sullivan article, I don't see anything concrete concerning E-Pat. Appears to be pure speculation at this point concerning an "infield prospect" after this statement concerning Murton:

It appears that the obvious choice to replace Soriano -- Matt Murton -- isn't the one on Jim Hendry's radar.

Haha... Sullivan wants Fontenot to hit 5th.

And yea... it would seem that Sullivan's comments on EPat/Murton are more speculation than anything else.

He hit the ball off the top of the centerfield wall yesterday!!! Doesn't that qualify him!?!?!?

And if the wind wasn't blowing in.....what? it was blowing out straight away center at 25 mph????.....nevermind.

If Soriano is a few weeks, I think it makes sense to bring up EPat & Murton (send Fontenot down--or out...I'm not impressed) and platoon the pair. EPat can do the flip/flops at 2B that arise with late inning pitcher changes, as well.

I'm guessing if EPat does come up, he's going to be in LF, not 2B....because if I recall correctly he's a butcher in the infield.

At least check, E-Pat had only been playing 2b in the minors this year.

You are correct--only one start in CF this season and eight starts for E-Pat.

Both Fuld (.100/.217/.250) and E-Pat (.222/.282/.444) are off to slow starts, so Murton is the only one they could plausibly call up.

If you're gonna haiku Soriano/Murton, make it a proper one that mentions the seasons..

'Tis Spring, watch him hop!
The blue-legged left fielder
Makes room for Orange.

Ok...so his OPS sucks. He has has 203 AB's so far.
Please, I'm looking at you Wes, and I can't believe I am, we all know for a hitter in baseball, rhythm and timing, as well as self confidence are crucial to success. Pie has some playing time, several stretches last season of consistent playing time. This is true. He was then demoted, yanked in and out of the line-up, he had basically half a month of play in April, and the month of June, and that's about it. This season, he went 3 for 11, had a couple of hitless games, and now he's in and out of the lineup like a yo-yo.
Sitting against some lefties? Sure...but geez...by "getting a few hundred at-bat's," maybe that'd be playing consistently, not sporadically.

Wasn't A-Rod 19?

The point is not to compare A-Rod with Pie. The point is not to make premature judgments and give young players enough time to show what they got.

A-Rod also hit 36 HR, drove in 123 runs, hit. 358, slugged .631 and had a .414 OBP in his first full season.

Are you suggesting Pie could even approach that?

I think we all see your point, but I don't think it was the best example you could've used.

Actually it was a damn good example, cos like I said the point is not to compare players, but to show that they should get enough AB's before making a premature evaluation on what the rest of their career holds.

No... it really isn't a good example.

Pie and ARod are and were nothing alike. ARod was a can't miss prospect who was 19 years old.

Pie isn't and wasn't a can't miss prospect.

They are not anything alike, and in turn, it doesn't make sense to use their experiences as such.

Barry Bonds hit in the .220's his first 400 AB's.
Sammy Sosa hit in the .230's his first 1000 AB's.
Gary Sheffield hit in the .240s. his first 400 AB's.

You want more examples? Go look them up. By the way, there is no such thing as a "can't miss prospect". That's what they called Billy Beane when he came up as a player.

First of all, I don't feel like doing the research, but one's ability is related to more than batting average.

For example... Pedroia, who was mentioned earlier, had a batting average below .200 through April last year, but was still able to show the patience to have an obp over .300.

Second, I never said that Pie was a bust. My biggest issue with this conversation is that you think comparing a 19 year old Alex Rodriguez (first pick in the draft, very, very few holes, etc) to Felix Pie is somehow relevant.

Third, I am not sure what point you are trying to prove by giving a few batting averages of the early careers' of superstars. Can Pie turn out to be a good baseball player? Absolutely... and I still think that can and will happen.

Because the whole point is not to compare any of the mentioned players to each other, but to show that you cannot pre-judge a players career based on how badly he begins it. The point is just to let the guy accumulate more AB's so that he has a chance to show what he can or can't do.

I don't disagree that you need to let a player play long enough before you can make a judgment.

But how long do you let a struggling player hurt your team's chances of winning?

That is the bigger issue to me. The Cubs are built to win, and win now. Can they really afford to allow Pie to play through his struggles?

But like was mentioned earlier, Boston did the same thing to the struggling Pedroia on a team that was built to win now. And win it all they did. We should give Pie till the all-star break at least.

But again, as I mentioned earlier, Pedroia was showing other things at the plate in that first month. His OBP was 126 points higher than his ba, and he only had six strikeouts (in 65 pa's).

Pie hasn't shown anything. And already has 10 strikeouts in just 26 plate appearances.

Again, you can't just look at batting average. Pie has not shown much of any ability that would help the Cubs offensively.

I'm not sure that I follow most of this. Exactly how long was Pedroia struggling? He was hitting over .300 already by the end of May and never looked back. Pie's current average is lower than Pedroia's ever was during the year. Pedroia basically had the last two weeks of April where his BA sufferred. That's it. His OBP was only under .300 for 2 days the ENTIRE SEASON. Did you know it took Pedroia until June 5th to get is 10th strike out - Pie's current total in only 26 ABs?

Also, put Pie in a lineup hitting 9th in the AL with the likes of Youkilis, Ramirez, Lowell, Ortiz, and I'd say play him too. The Red Sox were 16-8 in April last year, they could afford to let Pedroia ride out a couple of rough weeks. Especially since their alternative was Alex Cora, career average of .245.

We have one less hitter in our lineup, don't have as potent of a lineup otherwise, Soriano was struggling and is now injured, and we have Reed Johnson with a career OBP of .344.

I agree that Pie should be given a little more time, but keep in mind that A-Rod had 645 minor league at bats. Pie has had 2,190.

He's done pretty well in those 2190 at bats, too. My main motivation for wanting to see him play more at this point is that we could have gotten a lot for him in a trade awhile back. It's too late for getting real good value for him now, so play him for awhile. If after 300 ABs he sucks, throw in the towel and move on to plan X.

Of course you think it was a good example, it was your example.

A-Rod was also more of a sure thing as a prospect, so naturally they were going to be patient with him.

And by the way, I would be fine with just sticking Pie in CF and letting him succeed/fail (as painful as it is to watch him hit right now), so I don't disagree with your premise. I just think any comparison using A-Rod isn't that great, given the situation and the talent involved.

How about a comparison to Ryne Sandberg when he started with the Cubs? There was no hype for him in 1982 or 1983. He started one of those seasons really slow. Maybe it was 1982 because he led the club in outs at 494. Real horrible start actually. He ended up with a .260 - .270 avg. for the year because they let him play through it. The difference was that the team didn't really have high expectations that year, so it was probably easier to let him play through it.

OK last edit...he started the season batting 1 for 32 in 1982.

BTW, fella's, the wind is INSANE in the Chicago area today, way stronger than yesterday. And it's blowing out again.

Confirming Paul's point -- went out for a late lunch in the Loop, and nearly got blown over. Powerful wind out of the south. Also, it's sunny for the first time in about 6 months, so everyone is walking around squinting.

On Pie -- I am a supporter, but, my goodness, he's not even making contact against RHP. Either play him regularly or send him down (and tell him to learn a) the strike zone and b) what a breaking ball looks like)-- he's not going to learn to hit MLB pitching by playing occasionally, or by getting one AB as a defensive replacement like he did last September.

I think I have the solution:

We make up injuries for both Pie and Lilly. Have Lilly throw curve balls to Pie until Pie can hit lefties/breaking balls and Lilly can find the strike zone.

One problem. Lilly won't find the strike zone and Pie will still swing. Where's the learning come from?

zing.

It's fine for Pie to "get off to a slow start", but what he's going through right now isn't "getting off to a slow start". There's a very specific reason why he's struggling: His absurd swing. All he has to do is shorten up with a more compact swing, sure he'll sacrifice some power, but that's why God made him fast. It will give him more time to pick up the pitch before he commits to it.

Agree about the swing. The question is WHERE he needs to correct that swing. Some think it should be in the minors which is a bad idea to me since that swing seems to work pretty good down there and he won't find a need to change it if he gets sent down.

I think Pie is doomed. Lou, contrary to you know who, will play anyone that produces. Unless Pie starts producing and real quickly, he will not be given a chance much longer. I don't think Lou is capable of slowly bringing a rookie along until he starts producing. I could be wrong, there could be some examples in the past of him being patient with a rookie, but this is what I believe is Lou's method. I don't mind it so much, because the same applies to veterns, if they don't produce, they don't play. Simple as that.

Didn't ARod break in under Lou?

He was patient with ARod! :)

And he was patient with the entire Tampa Bay Devil Rays.

that's cos on the Rays, young players made up most of the team!

Speaking of Lou's tough love -- did you catch him when he went to take Weurtz out last night? Cursed as he walked to the mound, said "Gimme the ball", and never said another word or showed any sign of support. Rough.

Loved it.

Fox Sports says Sori has been placed on the DL and Eric Patterson has been recalled...

http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/8041784/Soriano...

Chicago Tribune confirms it and adds this...

"The team recalled infielder Eric Patterson from Class AAA Iowa to take Soriano's spot on the roster. Patterson, who is batting .222 in 11 games with Iowa this season, will be in the opposite dugout tonight as his brother, former Cubs and current Reds outfielder Corey Patterson."

So Murton is hitting .300 or so, plays the position Soriano does, but we call up another 2b? WTF?

Here's the official press release: http://mlb.mlb.com/news/press_releases/press_relea...

This is probably part of Lou's new "Put more pressure on the defense with speed on the bases" experiment.

I guess that means Fontenot at 2B and DeRosa in LF, with E-Pat taking Fontenot's place on the bench. Pretty weird move to me.

Anybody think Lou would try Patterson in LF?

What an awful decision.

A LF gets hurt. The Cubs happen to have a very good hitting LF in AAA who happens to have red hair.

So lets call up another 2b! And oh yea, a 2b who is currently hitting .222 in AAA.

We all know Hendry can never have enough 2nd basemen. Wouldn't be surprised if he is trying to contact Cintron again...

It's such a bizarre, illogical decision (Career .300 hitting LF doesn't get called up to replace an injured LF) that something else must be going on -- is Murton about to get dealt? Does some team want to trade for E-Pat, but want to see him hit MLB pitching?

Man, it sucks to be Matt Murton right about now.

Fucking ridiculous. I'm not one of those that thinks Murton is amazingly good or anything, but he'll be better than Eric Patterson in a backup role. It's pretty clear that this team is way down on Murton for some reason, despite their comments to the contrary, and will trade him for a bag of balls at this point. But, in typical Hendry style, how can any team be expected to make an offer for him if he doesn't even warrant a call up when the MLB player that plays his very position gets injured? Expect him to be dumped for a PTBNL within the month.

This will probably be EPatts last shot with the big team. Its make or break time for him, IMO.

Wow from Lou, to Hendry....what a fucking stupid idea to go with Eric Patterson.

It's LF Murton's natural position and they recall Patterson. Does Murton not have any options left or what? That is the only reason i can think of for not bringing him up.

According to the TCR Roster page... Murton has 2 options, so that shouldn't be a problem.

From rotoworld as they scratch their collective heads...

Cubs recalled outfielder Eric Patterson from Triple-A Iowa.

They might as well just give Matt Murton away then. They've been holding out for a good offer, but why would anyone make one if the Cubs think so little of him that they won't even recall him when their left fielder goes down? Patterson will serve as a backup at second base and in center field for the next couple of weeks. He shouldn't have any fantasy value.

Yay, more AB's for Reed, Pie and Fontenot....i can feel "the suck" coming on.

I'm guessing Hendry consults with Lou on who gets called up and I believe Murton is on Lous sh!t list for misplaying a fly ball or two in outfield last year.

I think he was aiming the outburst of "players who can catch the ball!" at Barrett and Murton from last year.

I'm hoping it means that Soriano's injury isn't very serious and they expect him back full time as soon as he's eligible. If that's the case, it's somewhat understandable that you wouldn't want to bring Murton up (and burn one of his options) knowing that you'll have no choice -- no matter how well he performs -- but to send him back down in 15 days.

The cynic in me thinks that Lou really just dislikes Murton.

That doesn't make sense to me.

15 days would be 14 games. I see no reason why the Cubs would say, "Sorry Matt, you would only be up for 14 games, so instead we are going to bring up a lesser player who doesn't even play the position that the injured player plays."

i'd much rather have soriano than anyone in the cubs system even if they area a qualified MLB replacement player...

still...this is a weird one.

reminds me when pitching was going down a couple years ago and hendry/whoever kept bringing up theriot insted of another pitcher...until the last couple months of the season where theriot got established and threw every guy with a pulse to the bigs to pitch. cubs 2006 pitching for cy young!

replying to my own thread...STAY CLASSY CRUNCH...

anyway...

the only way this makes legit sense to me is if lou and hendry are on the same page about throwing pie to the wolves and getting him playing time...even if its in LF.

other than that it's just...meh.

I added the DL/EPat update to the original post. Hope EPat isn't late to the ballpark tonight. [Ahem] That is unless Murton set Eric's watch back an hour or so.

Mamu-"Hey Eric don't forget Chicago is an hour behind Iowa!"

Eric (grabbing his gear)"Thanks, Matt I know I could count on you!!"

Mamu-"No problem, take your time and get to the park safely." ~girlish giggle~

AZ Phil has been a strong proponent of E-Pat's offensive potential for quite some time -- maybe he (E-Pat, not AZ Phil) can be this year's Fontenot (hit .400 for a few weeks before reality sets in).

Az Phil is a strong proponent of any Cubs rookie. I still remember him saying how Murton was going to hit .320 or something, have 30 HR's and drive in 100 RBI his first year.

If you're serious about that, I'd like to see reference to the archives. That seems a little over the top for AZ Phil to me -- but I've been wrong before....

A .320 average wouldn't be such a far-fetched prediction for Murton, especially if you were expecting a power boost that would allow him to break into the 20-30 homerun range. As it is he's hit .295 in majors while hitting about 15-20 homeruns in a full season's worth of ABs. And back in the day he was hitting more line drives and fewer hard choppers, which made the whole scenario seem even more likely. I'm not sure why he's become such a ground ball hitter. I remember last year, or maybe 2006, Murton was talking in spring training about trying to get on top of the ball more and my reaction was, "why?"

Not sure about this. Didn't he say (prior to last year) that Soto wouldn't go anywhere?

Ask Az Phil about it along with any long time member of the board. He had an outrageous prediction for him.

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