Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Sinking feeling...

As Fuku took a called strike three in the 8th inning with runners on second and third, I had my first truly sinking feeling this season. Maybe I should be happy about that because of all the disappointment and wasted opportunities the Cubs have gone through.

The top of the 8th really summed up the Cubs offensively all year long. Great opportunity, no result (especially from a big gun, in this case Sori). You had a nice start with a Theriot single. The baseball gods then practically urged the Cubs to seize the moment, as Jack Wilson made a throwing error on a Milt grounder to put runners on second and third. It is not everyday you get a gift like that from a great defensive player.

Alfonso Soriano is an interesting case. It is really easy to sit here and complain about how he isn't an ideal leadoff hitter and should hit lower in the order. Throughout his time as a Cub I've been a big proponent of that idea. However his performance this season goes well beyond where he should hit in the order. It is getting to the point now where the question becomes whether he should be in the lineup at all.

His .296 OBP and 77 strike outs are suffocating the offense. Not only that, but the 7 errors he's committed already are more than he did in 2007 (6) and 2008 (5). The one aspect of his game that seemingly never leaves him is the home run, and yet he hasn't hit one since June 7. Take the name away, and ask yourself, is the kind of performance the team can afford on a nightly basis?

As easy as it is to criticsize Sori during his cold stretches, it is just as easy to sit there and scoff about how he is Alfonso Soriano and he will without a doubt get hot and then everyone will kiss his feet. The fact is that he is not hot, and I really think a few games off are in order. I'm not calling for him to be traded or DFA'd, that is insanity. Something needs to be done however.

Mike Fontenot is another player that needs to be seriously evaluated. He has struck out in just under 1/4 of his at bats and has a paltry OPS of .661. Statistics aside, you can just that he isn't comfortable at the plate. It seems every at bat the count is against him, and he hardly has what he could qualify as a "good" at bat. I wrote a post suggesting Mark Teahan as a possible target about a week ago, and I still think he'd be perfect. Second base and the bullpen have to be priority for Jim Hendry.

Milt playing center in the 9th inning was very interesting. It leads me to believe that Hendry is looking into the corner outfield market. Adam Dunn would seem to be the most logical target, but would you really want that defensive alignment out there? Yuck. I've read Brad Hawpe might be available despite the Rockies hot streak, but that would be very costly. It is fun to play GM, but the idea of moving Milt to center just isn't a wise one.

I generally don't like to be this negative, but tonight really bummed me out. Here's to a better performance tomorrow night.

No comments:

Post a Comment