Saturday, February 23, 2008

Lineups, Lineups, Lineups...

What's poor Piniella to do? After last season's college of coaches experiment with the lineup, Uncle Lou has pledged to have a more set lineup and rest his star players more frequently to keep them fresh for the stretch run.

If this is true, let's see who on the present roster would be a productive replacement and how the everyday lineup should be set to provide the most production.

First let's look at our likely everyday lineup.

There is no getting around the fact that if Pie and Theriot don't improve, when considering the pitcher's spot, the Cubs have three easy outs. That is at least one to many, no matter how you rearrange the lineup.

If this is a correct assessment, it shows Hendry does not understand the need to make use of the window of opportunity for the Cubs to win now and make a trade for a legitimate leadoff hitter.

The absence of addressing this issue is what will derail any legitimate hopes of the Cubs advancing deep into the playoffs.

It's no surprise that powerhouse teams like the Yankees and Red Sox, produce runs by the boatload because they lead the league most years in walks, not HR's.

Piniella's hands are going to be tied with his present options and Hendry must do whatever it takes to address the team's piss poor lack of OBP, especially at the top of the order. Piniella needs to have the two best OBP hitters in the lineup hitting 1 and 2 period.

With the present lineup, that would mean hitting Fukudome in the leadoff spot and D. Lee second. Even then, the weak bottom third of the order with Theriot, Pie and the pitcher, would suck major donkey dick.

If a key addition is not made, what bench players are going to make a difference without weakening the defense as well?

Ward can replace Lee, Fukudome or Soriano to give them a day off here and there and most certainly should be used more frequently than last year, but that move doesn't improve the team offensively or defensively.

DeRosa likewise can replace A-Ram and Theriot, but that even further weakens the offense and defense.

The key is for the Hendry to add a legitimate leadoff hitter. Much has been made about Hendry paying to high a price for Roberts, but could he possibly pay more for Roberts than he did for Pierre?

It's time, way overdue in my opinion, for Hendry to ship up or shape out.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Tradin' Times

We all realize that the free agent crop this year was sparse and how that development has brought back the trade as the more prevalent venue for teams to upgrade their rosters.

Now more than ever, a GM must be as knowledgeable and shrewd as possible.

With that said, who should our fearless leader be willing to part with and for who?

Most of the trade talk surrounding our beloved men in blue this off-season has centered around B. Roberts, 2B Orioles, so that is the trade I'm going to address.

Everyone needs pitching and the Orioles are no exception, especially with the impending departure of Bedard to Seattle. Still, the Orioles are looking to dump high priced players and Hendry should use that to his advantage in his negotiations.

The most valuable prospects the Cubs have are Sean Gallagher and Felix Pie, but that doesn't mean they should be included in a deal, especially for a 30+ year old who mans a position the Cubs already have a competent player in DeRosa.

The Cubs don't have a center-fielder and Pie just has to much upside. Gallagher has excelled at every level and is probably the Cubs best pitching prospect. Not to mention both of them are only 22 years old.

If the Orioles won't make the deal for Marshall, Veal and some other assorted cast then screw 'em.

Point is, Hendry not McPhail is bargaining from strength and if the Orioles don't want to deal on the Cubs terms, let them see if they do better elsewhere.

Hendry has to remember, trading players is a game of chess, not checkers.