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Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Before pitchers and catchers even report, the Cubs minor leagues suffered a few major freak injuries. The most severe, Nate Frese, broke his leg and dislocated his ankle on his farm. The most recent in a long line of injuries will cause Frese to miss the entire 2004 season, possibly ending any hope he had to turn around his career. John Webb also suffered a broken leg, while walking his dog. Webb will be out until at least June. Maybe the most important injury was to Brendan Harris. Apparently, Harris, who had been working out in Arizona, woke up with pain in his knee. He will have arthoscopic surgery causing him to miss 6-12 weeks.

In the wake of the Webb injury and Hector Carrasco leaving for Japan, the Cubs will invite IF-Felix Martinez and Rule V pickup, P-John Foster to the training camp roster.

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

This is a very slow time for Cubs news, but cubs.com had an interesting quote from Dusty Baker.

"The only reason people say (Patterson) is a leadoff hitter is because he's fast and he's short," Baker said. "If he was fast and tall, you wouldn't think about him being a leadoff man. He's a swinger. He doesn't know how to work the count. Last year, he was coming into his own, learning how to hit. I think he's a perfect third hitter to me."

This could be an interesting twist to the lineup. I think the best lineup would be:

2B-Walker vs. RHPs, Grudz vs. LHPs
LF-Alou
1B-Lee
RF-Sosa
CF-Patterson
3B-Ramirez
SS-Gonzalez
C-Barrett

This lineup puts the Cubs best non-run producing OBPs at the top of the order, all 3 of whom would make contact. And the best SLPs (i.e. run producers) in the middle. It also puts a better, more patient junkball hitter in the 8th hole, hopefully helping Alex see more fastballs.

But if Corey is gonna hit 3rd, that puts Sosa cleanup and I would guess Lee 2nd...because nothing leads me to believe that the Cubs realize that Alou is a glorified singles hitter. I think Dusty believes that hitting #2 would let Derrek use his speed more and take advantage of his .390ish OBP. However, that means you are taking his big bat out of the middle, leaving Alou there, who is not a big time run producer anymore.

Another possibility is Michael Barrett hitting 2nd. Everyone realizes that Hendry is a huge Barrett fan, and hitting him 2nd would likely get the best out of his ability (being in front of the heart of the order). But the "best" of Barrett is still not as good as Alou would be in the 2-spot. See the .310 OBP vs. .367 career OBP.

Then there's the revisitation of the Alex Gonzalez in the 2-spot possibility, which I don't even want to think about.

Wednesday, February 04, 2004

New Ownership

As you read in the previous update, Todd has been keeping busy with his new position, and hasn't had the time to keep up with the daily site maintenence. So, he asked me to take over the blog for him, and starting today, I have. I would like to congratulate Todd on finding his dream job and wish him the best of luck. This is my first blog, so I will try my best to keep up the good work of my predecessor. Hope you all enjoy.

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