Sunday, February 11, 2007

Dirty Word!

The mindset of most professional ball players requires them to think of themselves in such terms as, 5 Tool, Starter and Everyday Player. It is a humbling experience and one many ball players have trouble adjusting to when the dirty word, Platoon Player, is used in conjunction with their name. However many ball players are just that, or if not are just unfortunate or fortunate enough depending on your perspective, on a team that has other more considerable talent at their position.

The 2007 Cubs are a team that has a considerable number of players that possibly could find themselves in this position. How these players accept this situation will determine to a large extent the success of the Cubs this season.

Of course players like Lee, Ramirez, Soriano and Barrett, will only be subbed for in order to get a days rest here and there. Izturis, if healthy will also most likely be an everyday player if only because of his purported skill in the field. The Cubs could live with a 250BA out of the 8 hole if he can really pick it.

That leaves LF, RF and 2B, as positions that could benefit from a regular platoon.

Unless Jones is traded, he should ride the pine against all LHSP with DeRosa, who actually has more time playing in RF than any other position, filling in for Jones with a southpaw on the mound. Jones struggles against lefties and DeRosa murders them, so it should be a no-brainer for Pinella to use them accordingly.

Murton and Floyd both believe the LF job should be theirs, but their willingness to accept a platoon role needs to be embraced by them both. When the dust settles, if either one is truly dominant over the other, we can expect Pinella to reward the deserving player with more and more playing time.

DeRosa is projected as the starter at 2B, but a strong spring by The Riot could change that scenario. Especially since DeRosa will find extra AB's because of his versatility at a number of IF and OF positions.

The key to this platoon working will be Pinella's ability to convince the players it's in the best interests of the club as a whole. This new attitude will go a long way in changing the role of a platoon player, from a dirty word to a description of a key player that puts the success of his team first.

7 comments:

assface said...

i agree, our guys need to take a team attitude to really win. and i think having the perception that we might actually have a shot at the playoffs will do a lot for that. if the players think they have something to play for outside of stats and a paycheck, that should help in their willingness to put up with whatever is best for the squad as a whole. for now i am willing to have faith in lou to make the right calls and not be a numb-nutted turdburgler like dusty. it is our only hope. unless mark prior somehow becomes confused and thinks it is 2003 and throws up some retarded numbers. them it may not matter too much. i am not holding my breath. but i do expect a good season.

Clute said...

If Lou can show he's fair minded, he should be able to crack some skulls and bring a level of accountability to the Cubs that has been long in coming.

theantigoat said...

I am pretty sure we are not going to have to worry about the whole Floyd, Murton thing. Floyd is going to snap his....something, he's gonna break. Hopefully he will be used sparingly enough to avoid this. Either way, he's not sniffing 300ab's.

theantigoat said...

Dude,you got a helluva plug over at GROTA, they must not know you went to OK State!!! HA!!!

Clute said...

AG-

All I have to say is if the Cubs would've drafted Robin Ventura, Gold spikes winner at 3B for OK State, instead of Brooks Kiechnick, 156 pitch game in college World Series for Texas, days after the Cubs drafted him, the world wouldn't be spinning out of control.

theantigoat said...

Is'nt Ventura the guy who got his ass whipped by Nolan Ryan? That's all I can remember about him.

Clute said...

It's true Ventura got his head smashed by Ryan. It's also true he has a slew of Glod Gloves and and at least 12 Grand Slams. Where ol' Brooks is a footnote in baseball almanac.