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  1. Why does 2nd grade need an upgrade? Theriot is the second basemen, not Fontenot.

    Comment by John — May 28, 2010 @ 6:44 pm

  2. oops..meant, 2nd base…

    Comment by John — May 28, 2010 @ 6:49 pm

  3. Well John, that would be because Theriot only gets on base 32% of the time he comes to the plate, and that has been rapidly declining through the month of May. He’s only taken 1 walk in the month of May and that was on the first day. He has absolutely no power, so in order to have offensive value, he needs to get on base at an above average rate.

    Comment by Nate is not nice — May 28, 2010 @ 7:04 pm

  4. 2nd needs an upgrade! Theriot is the second basemen, not Fontenot.

    There you go, John. That’s more like it.

    Comment by shawndgoldman — May 28, 2010 @ 7:10 pm

  5. Alternatively, I could suggest you answered your own question.

    Comment by shawndgoldman — May 28, 2010 @ 7:10 pm

  6. For Dempster’s sake, I almost hope the MLBPA doesn’t allow him to defer his salary. Frankly, the Cubs would need to make some pretty outstanding trades to have a chance at the division (something like swapping their entire roster with the Yankees or Rays). What the Cubs should alternatively do is eschew this season and sell at the deadline.

    Comment by Bradley — May 28, 2010 @ 7:20 pm

  7. Well, that’s all well and good, and most Cub fans are disappointed in Theriot’s free swinging ways this year, but the article refers to Fontenot as the reason the Cubs need an upgrade at 2nd base.

    Comment by John — May 28, 2010 @ 7:35 pm

  8. On one hand, its good to see Dempster wants to win, but he shouldn’t defer the money. Baseball is a business, but if anyone in an organization is going to sacrifice to win it should be ownership.

    Comment by DavidCEisen — May 28, 2010 @ 8:13 pm

  9. Mark Teahen can play 3rd!


    And of course this will lead to about eight thousand articles on why Alfonso Soriano and Carlos Zambrano are selfish little twerps who can’t help poor old Tom Ricketts out a little. Hooray predictable Chicago journalism!

    Comment by dickey simpkins — May 28, 2010 @ 8:43 pm

  10. Dempster should’ve given the money to charity and told the Cubs mgmt. to screw off. It wouldn’t have made a one whit of difference in their post-season chances.

    Comment by GZ — May 28, 2010 @ 9:24 pm

  11. Sorry but this piece seems to have gone way off the tracks. As John mentioned, the article sure does seem to imply that the author, Jack Moore, believes that Mike Fontenot remains the Cubs starting second bagger which of course isn’t the case since Theriot moved over following Starlin Castro’s promotion.

    However that’s a minor issue compared to what really ails the post. It’s been reported over at espn Chicago that Dempster went to the Cubs during the offseason with this offer and that the money the Cubs cleared for this season was already spent on, wait for it………….Xavier Nady!

    So sorry Jack but it looks like you read the tea leaves incorrectly from Rosenthal’s tweet.

    Oh and for the record, how can deferring money be considered a pay cut? He still get’s the money he is under contract for, it just arrives at a different time than originally slated.

    You might want to tweak this one as it’s in desperate need of some revisions……

    Comment by Shawn — May 29, 2010 @ 1:49 am

  12. Another problem with the article is the 8th inning issue. While a “power arm” righty is the flavor most people seem to prefer in the 8th inning spot, the Cubs actually have what is one of the top five 8/9 combos in MLB so far this year. Carlos Marmol’s record pace for K’s and his improved control (“I can throw my fastball for strikes now!”) are well reported. And Sean Marshall has been absolutely filthy. He has allowed 15 hits (0 HR) and 4 unintentional walks while striking out 31 in 24.1 IP. His BABIP against is well within the bounds of sustainability (.285 compared to .296 career). He’s added close to 3mph to his fastball, subtracted 2.5mph from his slider, and is throwing way more curves and way fewer cutters. All four pitches have positive values.

    And when I head over to the league leaders board, I see that Jonathan Broxton is worth 1.2 WAR, and then both Carlos Marmol and Sean Marshall are tied for second with 1.1 WAR apiece, along with Joel Zumaya and Hisanori Takahashi. The only other team with 2 real contributors near the top are Heath Bell (0.8) and Luke Gregerson (0.9) of San Diego. Early to judge? Sure. But relief pitchers, by definition, have always existed in small sample sizes. Every day is a small sample.

    Furthermore, they have made the organizational decision to shorten up Andrew Cashner, at least temporarily, at Iowa. He actually seemed happy to get the news, as he was a dominant closer at UT. If he readjusts, he’ll likely be the late-inning right-hander if he can handle it. And Russell might turn out to be the 6th inning guy/lefty guy when necessary. He’s done pretty well and looked pretty good.
    As far as the other positions go, they need to DL Ramirez and bring up Tracy while shopping. But as far as other positions go, they are loaded in the OF; they are just fine behind the plate and have ample call-ups in the system; Lee is hitting again, while Castro is in need of making his first spate of adjustments.

    That leaves second base. Theriot and Fontenot ideally would platoon. Both have career BABIPs well over .300, so sustaining a high number like Fontenot has right now isn’t as far-fetched as such a thing would be for Mark McGwire or Aramis Ramirez (power hitters with low career BABIPs). As #2 hitters, they both can be good components to a good team.

    So yes, it all comes down to Aramis Ramirez at 3B. The Cubs have their starters and their late innings in order. They have most of their roster in good shape. Production from 3B is the key to the Cubs being just as likely to win the Central as the two teams above them. They can survive any 2 outfielders being ice cold. They can survive any 2 of their 4 middle infielders (don’t forget one-eye Baker) being ice cold.

    But Ramirez? Without him – or other 3B production – the team is in dire straits. They will coast to a third place finish in a winnable division.

    Comment by Dann M — May 29, 2010 @ 3:37 am

  13. Clearly you are not familiar with the concept of time value of money.

    Comment by H.Villanueva — May 29, 2010 @ 9:08 am

  14. And Mark Teahen hasn’t OPS’d over .800 since 2006

    Comment by Zack — May 29, 2010 @ 11:45 am

  15. I understand it but in light of the story from Bruce Levine it is pretty insignificant seeing as Dempster will get the money paid out over the next 2 years. I can see where the union could grumble if it was no interest as opposed to little interest. Obviously they don’t want precedent set but in this case it seems they would be making a mountain out of a molehill and in the end I don’t think they have any power to stop it anyway. They can chastise Dempster all they want but it’s still his decision.

    Also, if I had it to do over again I probably shouldn’t have called out Jack to begin with seeing as it’s understandable to make the assumption he did with only Rosenthal’s tweet to go off of, but alas all of the red wine I had consumed had me acting like mister smarty pants last night. So with that, my apologies.

    Comment by Shawn — May 29, 2010 @ 12:01 pm

  16. Xavier Nady, DAMN YOU

    Comment by David MVP Eckstein — May 29, 2010 @ 12:04 pm

  17. Actually, with a LD% of 21%, a BABIP of .352 isn’t that far from should be expected.

    What their real problem is Lou Pinella. Old Lou has gone completely senile. Who does Soto have to kill to get out of the 8th spot in the order? Why does Theriot keep starting against RHP when Fontenot is superior in almost every way against them?

    Comment by Matt — May 30, 2010 @ 2:49 am

  18. Soto’s best spot in the order is 7th, all things being equal. If Ramirez could be put into the 7th spot, then Soto hitting 6th could maybe fly. But the likelihood of that? Right.

    Theriot actually is about equal in his career against LHP and RHP, and this year is appreciably better against righties. I’m not arguing that Fontenot needs to play against lefties. I’m just saying it might be the Wunderkind who needs to sit, as he has shown some struggles with righties.

    Also, Byrd has a huge vLHP/vRHP split this year. Colvin should start in CF at least once every 3 game series. Nady’s fine as Kosuke’s platoon vs. lefties and Lee’s backup, but otherwise, Colvin needs to be the backup in LF, as well.

    Comment by Dann M — May 30, 2010 @ 3:30 am

  19. You beat me to it. That’s kind of a glaring error. Fontenot has been seeing more time at 3rd than 2nd lately.

    Comment by WY — May 30, 2010 @ 1:49 pm

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