Friday, July 3, 2009

The Curious Case of Sam Fuld

How should Lou handle the Sam Fuld/Sori situation? I believe that has to be first and foremost on his mind, and it is not at all an easy task for him. Fuld has taken good at bats, gotten hits, and played great defense in his two games. You can't ask for much more.

My favorite thing he has done so far was the 10 pitch at bat walk to lead off last night's game. That put McClung in a hole early and let the Cubs lineup have a look at his pitches from the dugout. Was it the sole reason they pounded McClung? Doubtful, but it didn't hurt. Those are the type of at bats you expect out of a traditional lead off hitter.

Now I know that Sori has his advantages as a lead off hitter as well. Namely the ability to go up 1-0 right away and put pressure on the opposing pitcher when the lineup turns around and men are on base. I also recognize that he is infinitely better than Sam Fuld, and that if he doesn't produce this year, the Cubs will not go anywhere.

The Cubs not facing any righthanders anytime soon compounds the issue because Lou's hand is not forced to take Fuld out for that reason. How long should Fuld stay in the lineup and Sori on the bench? There is no legit reason to take Fuld out now, other than that Sori "deserves" playing time due to prestige/contract. Play on the field favors Fuld as does the team winning. I know it is only 2 games and Sori has won the Cubs far more games in his time here. However, with the way this season has gone, Lou can't change something that has worked, even if its a small sample size.

Another factor compounding this issue is Kosuke has hit in the last two games as well. A light-hitting Kosuke is clearly ripe for replacing in center with Fuld, but if he is showing signs of life, paired with his stellar defense, you can't take him out. Here is my proposal for how to handle this:

Today's outfield alignment should look like this: Sori in left, Kosuke in center, and Fuld in right. Keep Fuld at the lead off and put Sori in the 5th slot. If Fuld keeps hitting/contributing, rotate Sori with Milt. Saturday put Fuld in left and Milt in right. Keep this rotation going until Fuld stops contributing, which I am sure isn't too far in the future. Also, I clearly understand that this team's ideal outfield configuration includes both Sori and Milt, and as I said before, if those guys don't contribute this team won't go very far.

Anybody have any other suggestions or thoughts on the Fuld situation?

I'll be in Kansas City this weekend so posts will probably lacking a little until Sunday. Ken and I are going to the Sox/Royals game which looks to be a nice pitching matchup between Danks and Greinke. Hopefully the Cubs pull another one out today and jump start the season the same way they did last year, with a four game sweep of Milwaukee (JFoss pointed that one out).

1 comment:

  1. 2 Things.

    1) That picture is awesome for the name of this post.

    2) Does this story have anything to do with Benjamin Button. Because if it does I bet everything works itself out in a few years.