The Curious Case of Mike Olt
Time for a new thread but got some work to get done this morning...but the comments in the last thread had some interesting "Why isn't Olt starting talk?" So here's some numbers to assist in the discussion.
Olt since being called back on Sept 5.
11 G, 8 GS, 250/382/357 29.4 K%
Valaika since Sept 5
10 G, 8 GS 290/333/355 27.2 K%
Of course Valaika's started the last 2 games and Olt hasn't started any of the 3 games since Rizzo returned, so that's where the angst is directed. But unfortunately for Olt, I think the real reason behind all this, is that the Cubs just like Luis Valbuena more and don't want to move him off third base or think he's just a disaster at second base. Olt's a third basemen or a first basemen and with Valbuena (who's had quite a fine season) and Rizzo manning the corners, the at-bats just aren't there.* I'd certainly like to see Olt get some more playing time, but I can understand why he's behind Valbuena at third base. Valbuena has been 6th in overall WAR and 5th in offensive WAR among NL 3rd basemen this year and that definitely deserves a starting spot in the lineup. At just 28, I don't think we can just assume Valbuena is having a career year, he could be very capable of this and with the ability to hit from the left side, have quite a bit of value going forward for this club that looks to be very right-handed over the next few years. And once again, while I'd love to see what Olt has, hard to imagine he'd much better than the 5th best third basemen in the NL. The obvious solution is to move Valbuena to second base right now and play Olt at third base, but for whatever reasons that haven't been revealed to the viewing public, the Cubs seem hesistant to do so. It doesn't mean the reasons aren't valid (or hogwash), it's just that we don't know, which can be of course quite frustrating for us fans.
*Yes, I know that Watkins and Ride of the Valkyries started on Tuesday and Rizzo and Olt didn't. Maybe Capt. Happy just doesn't like Olt, maybe he's still shell-shocked from Olt's previous K happy ways and thought the matchup against Cueto was a bad idea. Maybe it was just one game...