Did the Ryan Dempster fiasco turn out to be a blessing in disguise?

Did the Ryan Dempster fiasco turn out to be a blessing in disguise?
Arodys Vizcaino (photo from BoysofSpring.com)

You can think what you want about Ryan Dempster and why he vetoed a done deal.  Whatever his reasons, it was frustrating to see the Cubs so close to getting the Braves 3rd best pitching prospect (and 3rd best overall), Randall Delgado, only to have Dempster say he was "blindsdided" by the deal, as if he's supposed to sit in on all trade negotiations and get continuous updates on what was an intense scramble to get a deal done.

Dempster knew the Cubs were going to try and trade him.  He probably believed the Cubs would get a deal done with the Dodgers, his preferred destination at the time, but the Dodgers used that leverage and offered the Cubs pennies on the dollar in return.  Seeing that a deal wasn't going to get done with the Dodgers, the Cubs turned to the Braves and agreed on a deal for Delgado.

And then the soap opera really started.

The Cubs kept their cool in public after the veto but it was hard not to note their frustration.  They felt they went above and beyond the protocol when it comes to keeping players informed on trade negotiations.

But looking back on it today, did the Cubs receive a blessing in disguise?

Randall Delgado hasn't been a disaster and he's still only 24, but some of the luster is off since his ascent up the Braves prospect lists and a modest, but promising debut in the majors.  He's lost a tick off his fastball (averages 91-92 mph), he hasn't quite solved his command issues, and his ability to miss bats isn't quite what scouts once hoped.

He was a replacement level pitcher in 2013 and his stuff projects to a #4 or #5 starter at this point.  Considering he does have 5 years of cost control, there is still some value in that, but unless he improves, it doesn't appear he's going to be an impact arm.

What the Cubs did instead was trade Paul Maholm to the Braves and were able to get Arodys Vizcaino.  There were some questions about his arm and his build, which in turn led to questions about his ultimate role, but there is no doubt he has the higher ceiling and the higher floor.  When asked at the time of the deal who I preferred -- Delgado or Vizcaino, I didn't hesitate.  I said Vizcaino.

With his 98 mph fastball, hammer curve, solid change, and good command, Vizcaino simply has better stuff than Delgado.  It's not hard to see why he has a higher ceiling.  He has top of the rotation stuff even if some aren't sure he will have the durability for that role.  But why the higher floor?  Granted this is contingent on Vizcaino staying healthy but Vizcaino's power repertoire and solid command make many think that his floor is that of a high leverage reliever.  With Delgado's average fastball and so-so command, he doesn't profile as the same type of dominant late inning bullpen arm.

We can count that as a win in terms of what the Cubs got from the Braves.

But that's not the only development.  The Cubs were able to work a deal with the Rangers for Dempster, a deal he accepted after listening in on trade negotiations and learning first hand that the Dodgers were  a little less than enthusiastic about acquiring him.

The Cubs weren't in a good position, it was either trade Dempster for whatever they could scrape up at the last minute or get two more months of him and lose him.  It's unknown whether the Cubs would have made the qualifying offer necessary to get compensation, or whether Dempster would have accepted it (remember, he never wanted to leave Chicago), so we cannot assume the Cubs could have gotten anything for him at all.

But the Cubs did manage to get something from the Rangers and though many had not heard of Christian Villanueva or Kyle Hendricks, many scouts did.  The Rangers GM Jon Daniels admitted the Cubs had done their homework and snatched a couple of their favorite sleepers.

Now if someone had asked me at the time whether I would have preferred Delgado or Villanueva/Hendricks, i probably would have said Delgado, but now I'm not so sure.

Hendricks is a couple of ticks lower on his fastball but he compensates with better command and a more cerebral approach to pitching.  Despite their different styles, both project to have a similar role in the majors -- that of a 4th or 5th starter.  Like Delgado, Hendricks came with a lot of cost control -- 6 years, in fact, but he wasn't as far along.  Whereas Delgado had already pitched in the majors, Hendricks was still at the Class A level.  It hasn't taken him long to reach AAA, however, which he did for the last 6 starts of 2013 and he is now on the brink of a major league job.

As for the other player, Villanueva, he was the more highly regarded at the time and from most people I talk to, that is still the case.  With Villanueva, what the Cubs have is a plus defender at 3B with average power and average tools across the board.  That projects as an everyday 3B in the big leagues and while the Cubs have since loaded up at that position with the acquisitions of Mike Olt and Kris Bryant, to go with the emergence of Jeimer Candelario, he's still a tremendous asset in the organization.  Villanueva is a top 15 prospect who has made some top 10 lists -- most notably the #9 prospect on Jason Parks' list for Baseball Prospectus.  Here is what Parks had to say,

Broad-shouldered with good present strength; hands are exceptional in the field; fluid actions; excellent backhand pickup; easy plus arm; can make every play in, side, or back; fast hands at the plate; shows bat speed and some power potential; very heady player with plus makeup.

Villanueva gets overlooked in a system with Baez, Bryant, and Olt, but the glove at third is the best in the entire org—and one of the best hot corner profiles in the minors—and the bat is capable of hard contact and some over-the-fence power. While he’s unlikely to hit for a high batting average, especially against quality arm-side stuff, Villanueva has fast hands and a quick bat, and he should be able to find average utility with the hit tool, which will allow his above-average raw power to play in game action. His bat isn’t going to set the world ablaze and single-handedly change the fortunes of the franchise, but he could emerge as the best overall candidate to be the Cubs third baseman of the future, with the type of makeup and work ethic to get the most of his physical gifts and the best glove in the organization. Don’t forget about Villanueva.

So maybe you're still mad at Dempster on principal alone and I'm not going to argue there.  The frustration of those trade negotiations still linger -- but I'm not sure the Cubs didn't get lucky here.  Though it was certainly not his motivation for turning down the Braves deal, Dempster may have done the Cubs a favor after all was said and done.

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  • Good points, John. They say some of the best trades are the ones you don't make. Lol. Turns out to be true, so far, in this case. I think with Vizcaino, though, it's been the wait for his rehab, set back, now getting to the point where they can finally call him up & reap the bennies of the trade.

  • In reply to Milk Stout:

    Thanks -- it really has turned out that way. It's nothing against Delgado, who's still young and can be aolid starter in this league, but it's hard for me to envision him as an impact arm based on his stuff and command. The Cubs could end up with that kind of guy in Hendricks, making Villanueva a nice bonus and Vizcaino looks like a lot more than a consolation prize.

  • You are a very good writer John, and CubsDen makes it much easier being a Cubs fan for me. Thank you for that.

    I agree with you on the blessing in disguise. Those are 3 quality players that help make that system as strong as it is, and has a solid chance of making the MLB team deeper in the future with the players or others they fetch in trade. Isn't it the case that 3B is a weak position across the league? Is this one of those market deficiencies?

    And things didn't turn out to bad for Mr. Dempster, who sure seems like a quality human being (despite this blip).

  • In reply to Morgzie:

    Thanks Morgzie.

    There has been a shortage of good 3Bs of late so that surplus could definitely help the Cubs in terms of a trade.

    I'm okay with Dempster. I didn't like the veto, but agree he's a good person. I'm not going to hold that one thing against him.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    "I'm okay with Dempster. I didn't like the veto..."

    I know that I'm picking nits here but Dempster really didn't veto the trade. He bitched and dragged his heels but never vetoed it. The Braves pulled out of the deal before Dempster got around to making any decision.

  • Okay, now make this work with Ted Lilly... Just Kidding - It shows how detailed and thorough the front office is. Nearly every guy they've gotten through trade has good value. I was mad at Dempster but who really knows what happened and I did enjoy his time here. It wasn't the Sammy Sosa departure afterall. Villanueva is kind of my hope for the future. I think if Bryant goes to the outfield, I have a tough time arguing that he might not end up being a better overall third baseman than Olt.

  • In reply to Break The Curse:

    LOL! I can't make that one work. That was a bad deal at the time -- another case of Hendry deluding himself that the team still had a shot and preferred MLB ready.

  • In reply to Break The Curse:

    I was really mad about that Ted Lilly trade. It just sucked and I remember being baffled about it.

  • Is it possible for Vizcaino to be our long term closer and solidify that or be a starter? Nice problem to have.....

  • In reply to edubbs:

    Could go either way. My guess is reliever, but we'll see how it plays out.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I was having the same thought. Everything I read about Vizcaino now has him as a RP.

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    Cue Poi Dog Pondering: "Thanksgiving for all the wrong moves...."

    can someone remind me what we got for Geo Soto? I was thinking of him because MLBTR says the Cubs have interest in Chris Gimenez, a 32 year old catcher with a lifetime line of .199/.292/.293. Why on earth. what could he possibly give them that George Kottaras or Eli Whiteside couldn't?

  • In reply to SKMD:

    We got Barrett Loux, who still has a shot at being a middle reliever but will be tough for him with all the good young arms and no roster spot.

    Not sure on Gimenez to be honest. It seems like other teams are more involved, though.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    And I think Loux just had TJ surgery so it may be a while. Maybe he will come back as a first round level talent like he was originally drafted. Could he be our next Arodys Vizcaino?

  • In reply to John57:

    I wish but he just isn't as talented. Vizcaino was a monster before TJ surgery, Loux was also a 5th starter/bullpen type -- if the can return to that then I'd consider the Cubs lucky.

  • Great food for thought, John and great writing as always. This got me thinking, with all the Tommy John cases for high profile young arms this year, are we to the point where past TJ surgery is almost looked as a positive, or at the very least, not a negative? With about 35% of all MLB arms having had the surgery, maybe its better to get it out of the way? Seems the Cubs don't shy away from it which may open up additional trade opportunities.

  • In reply to RTGrules:

    I think the Cubs have definitely looked at that in both trades and in the draft (Josh Conway is an example). I think the recent injuries to starters around the league may have teams thinking twice again, though.

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    Hindsight maybe we r better off, but wonder if Delgado and maholm in the rotation last year with Jeff and Travis wood saves us Edwin Jackson and Scott baker and Feldman. With garza in there too. Who knows if maholm would have gotten us more last here or with the braves deal. Probably with braves due better performance and option year.

  • In reply to Niren Desai:

    I think Jackson would have come anyway. It was about Jackson's age and lack of comp pick attachment that made him a unique opportunity. They probably miscalculated how close they were but I think it was more about Jackson fitting their mold and I suspect the Cubs will take those opportunities when they are available,since under 30 year old FA pitchers with Jackson's track record and no comp attached are pretty rare.

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    Depth at third base. When's the last time the Cubs had that?

  • In reply to Ray:

    Can't recall it having happened in my Cubs-watching lifetime (since c1974 or so) Ray.

    They've often managed to have a good 3B guy - but pretty much all of them since Santo were either Trade acquisitions or FA signings.

    I mean - Bill Madlock was good, Sandburg started a few games at 3B early on, I was a big fan of Ron Cey,loved the Bill Mueller season or two and thought Aramis Ramirez was an excellent guy - but there has never really been quality internal depth at 3B.

  • In reply to drkazmd65:

    The Cubs had a few good prospects at 3B (Orie/Kelton/Hinske/Liniak) in the late 90's/early 00's that offered hope. Unfortunately they all failed to develop or were traded/moved off the position. Hopefully this time around we get better results.

  • In reply to mjvz:

    That was kind of my point mjvz - I mean I remember (especially) the hype about Orie in particular. But even then, it was like only 1-2 'potential' guys at a time.

    Now we have Olt, Bryant, Baez (if moved to 3B), Villanueva, and Candelario who all are legit 3B prospects/young players with significant ceilings. And yes -it is possible - although unlikely - that not one of these guys will pan out either.

    I like our odds this time out.

  • In reply to mjvz:

    Don't forget the Great Gary Scott ........haha

  • I've said it since day one that this entire scenario turned out for the better. Vizcaino has always been the far better prospect than Delgado. Delgado has always been a 5th starter at best in my eyes. Vizcaino has a small chance to be a TOR starter and a huge cahnce to be a shut down reliever. The Maholm deal was a great deal for both sides. And then the FO went out and despite being backed into a corner regardig Dempster received a better package for him from Texas than the reported deal from Atlanta. Hendricks is potential 5th starter equivalent to Delgado and then they grabbed a potential starting 3B on top of that.

  • In reply to mjvz:

    I wasn't sure about the Villanueva/Hendricks part being better but I definitely preferred Vizcaino over Delgado. Now that it appears Hendricks can be as productive as Delgado, it's hard to look at this situation as anything but a win.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I wasn't familiar with Hendricks at the time, so I did have a little doubt there, but Villanueva was a legit prospect with seriosu defensive chops and an intriguing bat. My main thought on the whole thing has always been that I was never impressed with Delgado, I've never believed he could have much impact at the MLB level, so pretty much any other return was goign to be better in my mind. And I have always been super high on Vizcaino so I was so happy everything turned out the way it did.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Hendricks intrigues me. I think he is consistently under-rated because he doesn't have blazing firepower. However, he pitches with his brain, which speaks art and longevity. He may be around a long time after the hot arms go dead. I'm cheering for Vizcaino but I fear that he'll blow out his arm again.

  • In reply to Tinker Evers Chance:

    There's always that risk with Vizcaino -- or any pitcher for that matter. But pitchers with Vizcaino's talent aren't easy to find. He'd be the one I'd keep, even with the risk.

  • Fate and destiny always plays a role. It's never as simple as figuring out who one wants on the team and doing/spending whatever is necessary to make it happen. It's like finding finding someone to be with the stars will align when it's right. That's one reason that I don't look back too seriously at these trades as what could have been

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    I would agree. I think it's worked out better for the Cubs. My main complaint about Dempster is the very public statements he made in the 6 weeks prior to the trade.

    It was very obvious Dempster was being kept fully in the loop. He knew they were attempting to trade him, and he knew who all they were attempting to trade him to. There were no surprises here. So with that knowledge, he's out doing all these interviews, and in all of them, all he talks about understanding the Cubs' situation and doing what's best for the team. Then, when he gets the chance to live up to his words, he doesn't. He does just the opposite of what he's been saying he was going to do all along. Yeah, it was his legal right to do it, but he shouldn't have led fans on the way he did.

    Dempster could've have said something to the effect of him having those contractual rights and needing to balance his and his family's needs with the Cubs needs, and I wouldn't have an issue with him, but he never said that. It was always rah-rah team first stuff coming from him whenever the potential of a trade was brought up, which it was always brought up.

    I realize the original leak of that deal came out of the Braves FO, but I don't believe Dempster was blind-sided. It simply doesn't fit the way Team Theo does business. I believe he was fully aware of what was going on, and the leak from the Braves FO was just the excuse.

    It's a real shame too. Dempster was easily on of the most popular Cubs of his era, but now that reputation is tarnished, and to make it worse, he seemed like a natural to have a career in baseball after his playing days were done. Anyone who has ever listened to him talk about the game as a whole and pitching specifically realizes he has the potential to become a coach, manager or maybe even a FO type, and the Cubs would've been a natural place for that to happen were it not for the events surrounding his trade, but it's hard to see that happening now.

    It's almost cosmic justice that it has worked out the way it did, and that's something the Cubs rarely seem to get any of. I was sure, just because it's the Cubs we're talking about, that Delgado would go on to be a perennial CY candidate, and Ryan Dempster bobble heads would regularly be burned in effigy, but there is no doubt now that I'd rather have what we actually got than what we might have gotten.

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    In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    michael caldwell, what you just said.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    Good points, but I'm over what Dempster did. Been over it pretty much from the day they traded him to the Rangers. I like Demp, always have, always will.

  • In reply to Milk Stout:

    His retirement was classy. I think it was a bad time for Dempster about the time he was leaving Chicago due to the breakup of his marriage. He tried too hard to find a positive. I agree with Michael, but I only wish Ryan well.

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    In reply to 44slug:

    I don't wish Dempster any ill will, but I wish he'd put some more thought into what was coming out of his mouth. People literally took him at his word. My guess is he was telling Theo and Jed the same things he was telling the media, and they feel he burned them. So now there is no chance he returns to the Cubs, and I think the fans would have a hard time accepting him if he did return now. Once you've lost that golden boy image, it's hard to get it back.

  • In reply to Milk Stout:

    Yes, sir. Well said. Dempster was a real pro and I will always respect and admire him. I may not how he handled the trade deadline thing, but its easily forgivable and we shouldn't let that define him. For me, like you Milk, it is water under the bridge and I eagerly anticipate Vizcaino's Cubs career.

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    In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    When Dempster would say in interviews that he "understood the Cubs' position", it was in regards to their trading him in general (He made it very clear his first preference was to stay in Chicago). He never said "I'll go wherever they want to send me...team first...rah, rah, rah". People hear what they want to hear, and remember what they want to remember. I never blamed him from day 1. The fact that he allowed the Cubs to trade him at all is a gift. How many of you would allow the company you work for ship you across the country, if you had a contract that said they couldn't, and you knew it was highly likely you would have to move your family again the following year?
    IMO, Dempster is a GREAT guy and pretty good pitcher. If the Cubs hired him in some capacity, I'd be thrilled.

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    The part of this we'll obviously never know is what we could have gotten for Maholm if we didn't trade him to Atlanta. I have a hard time believing it would have been enough to swing the actual results in favor of Dempster-to-Atlanta, though. (Just getting Arodys Vizcaino level talent for him in the counter-case seems like a stretch.)

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    That's the X factor but it's hard to imagine getting a more talented player than Vizcaino. That was a unique opportunity to get a top 10 -20 prospect in baseball (from the previous year) because of TJ surgery. Think about that, it'd be like the Pirates trading Jameson Tallion or the Orioles trading Dylan Bundy or a year and 2 months of a 4th starter type.

    In an odd way, the Dempster deal opened the door. The Braves value cost control highly -- and so when the Dempster deal died and the Braves still needed pitching, the Cubs were able to up the ante from Delgado because of Maholm's extra year. I'm just speculating, of course, but I'm not sure that set of circumstances and opportunity could have occurred any other way. And even if they could have gotten an injured top prospect (and this part is hindsight), there are very few who have come back the way Vizcaino has.

    It could have turned out better but considering how fortunate it has turned out -- I'm not sure how. Maybe they could have traded Maholm to the Rangers and gotten something good, but if it's not Martin Perez (which would have been unlikely) then I don't think they could have topped the Braves offer. We'll never really know but I'm happy with the way it turned out. I don't think I'd take a do-over if we could go back in time.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    So. Jameson Taillon is having TJ. Pirates come calling for Shark. Do we ask for him? Is he the centerpiece or a throw-in?

  • In reply to SKMD:

    Even with the TJS, he's much more than a throw in...

  • I had the luxury of seeing Vizcaino up close in the bullpen at Cubs Park this spring and it was quite impressive. He then threw 95MPH throughout his outing and reached 97 a few times. What was lacking at the time was control and I could tell he was frustrated that he couldn't locate his fastball. Once he's had a chance to throw more without thinking about arm problems that control should be back to normal.

    Until any of these prospects performs in Chicago it's tough to say the Cubs are better off from the Dempster ordeal, but it appears that it worked out just fine for the front office. Vizcaino has the potential of becoming an impact player and Hendricks/Villanueva appear to be heading for decent careers in the majors.

  • In reply to Paulson:

    The one time that I saw Vizcaino in ST (on MLB.tv), I was disappointed because, I swear, he didn't throw one breaking pitch, and the other team was tattooing his FB pretty well, right at fielders, but extremely hard hit. I'd like to see this vaunted hammer curve but haven't yet. He's going to need something off-speed.

  • In reply to Paulson:

    True, but let me ask you that knowing what we know right now, would you go back and get the Dempster-Delgado deal approved, knowing it means no Vizcaino, Hendricks, and Villanueva? You'd have Delgado, who looks like a bottom of the rotation guy, and you'd have to top the Vizcaino return in a new Maholm deal -- which I think would be tough because that was a unique opportunity. I don't think I'd take a do-over.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    it takes a few years on these trades to see what you have but so far so good. these flip trades are like playing the lottery except if you dont spend your cash (trade these players) you lose your money anyway.

    i understand the early season platoon concept (i dont like it). This means that olt & lake will start on wednesday, so there last start will have been 4 days previous. Hopefully this stuff will end in the next couple weeks and we will see Castro,Rizzo,Castillo,Olt,Lake
    Kalish & Bonafacio out there almost everyday.

  • It'd be nice if Vizcaino gets called up to be the new Closer by say, I don't know....mid-afternoon?

  • In reply to YouCannotBeSerious:

    Haha! A little eager to replace Veras?

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Just a bit. At this point I'd feel more relaxed if William H. Macy's character from "The Cooler" took the mound in the 9th inning for the Cubs.

  • O/T but the defending world champs just signed our ST Invite fodder to a $1MM+ MLB deal. I was hoping we could keep our hooks in Ryan Roberts this season, but it just wasn't meant to be.

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    John, outstanding article as always,The same principal that The Cubs got the better deal after The first one fell thru could apply to the 2 Ranger deals for Garza

  • Not only is this a valid point, I'd personally take it a step further. Had the Cubs acquired Delgado, odds are he would have been handed a rotation spot out of camp last year. This means no Feldman (and therefore no Strop or Arietta), and even possibly no Villanueva, with his condition for signing here being a legitimate chance to be a starter. It's a pretty fortunate domino effect Dempster wound up triggering.

  • Quade's lineup is out for 4/8/14 no Lake or Olt again . 7 games 7 different lineups . RR sucks . That is all .

  • In reply to Bryan Craven:

    Mucho take it easy. Give RR a chance. I'd like to see Olt all the time too, but I'm coming around to the idea of working him in at a slower pace and putting him in the best positions to succeed. At least Kalish is playing LF and I'm OK seeing what he's got over Lake.

  • In reply to Bryan Craven:

    I am loving renteria.

  • In reply to CubfanInUT:

    after pirates series Cards have 3 RH going still be happy with Quade jr when Olt / Lake dont start for a week?

  • In reply to Bryan Craven:

    I really don't understand your dislike over this...

    Lake is tied for 5th most AB's so far this year and Olt is right behind him tied for 7th most. While they may not start every game, they've been getting more AB's than guys like Valbuena, Sweeney, Ruggiano, Barney, etc...

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    I totally agree with this

  • Just saw Carrie Muskat posted today's line up. It's like RR read John's piece from yesterday. It's John's recommended line up vs. RHP, except Sweeney's in CF instead of EB who is at 2B and Valbuana's at 3b instead of at 2B, meaning no Olt. Bottom line difference is mainly that Sweeney is playing instead of Olt. As John said yesterday:

    "You could sub in Sweeney to CF, Bonifacio to 2B, and move Valbuena to 3B some days to rest Olt's shoulder and/or vs. tough RHPs."

    That's exactly what we did for tonight.

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    In reply to TTP:

    Really like Kalish getting another start, though. I hate to say it, but Olt hasn't run with his opportunity. Kalish is making the most of it. Bonifacio-Kalish 1-2 gives us the best 1-2 we've had possibly since the days of Dernier-Sandberg.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Agree. But I'd like to see Olt over Valbuena and Lake over Sweeney even against righties simply they're both more about the future than the now:

    LF Lake
    CF Kalish (he plays CF, right?)
    RF Schierholtz
    3B Olt
    SS Castro
    2B Bonifacio
    1B Rizzo
    C Castillo

    I'm willing to live or die for next few weeks with Lake and Olt. And I get putting them, especially Olt, in a position to succeed, but I also think he has a greater chance to get fully acclimated and to succeed if he plays 10 or 15 or 20 games in a row.

    Let the kids play!

  • In reply to TTP:

    Kalish is a bet stretched in CF, but so is everyone else on our roster IMO. But like Sweeney, Bonifacio, and Lake, he can play it.

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    I agree. I want to see what Lake, Olt, and Kalish can do.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Kalish was hitless and walkless as a Cub before having an excellent game on Sunday. Seems a little premature to write that a guy's running with an oportunity based on one single baseball game's performance, no?

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    In reply to Charlieboy:

    He was hitless in 4 PAs. I can rephrase though: he had an excellent game and is getting another to build on it. Any way you slice it, Olt has really struggled. And this is coming from someone who thought he deserved to be given the job to start the season.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Thats because Olt has not gotten a real chance. He hasn't started in back to back games yet, so it's going to be hard to get into a rhythm without any consistant playing time.

  • If they Cubs are going to go with a platoon for Olt and Valbuena, then I think Olt would be better off at AAA getting regular at bats, splitting time at 3B, DH, and 1B. He has only started 3 out of 7 games now and will only get one start in the series against the Pirates. And the Cards are up next and they have no LH starters right now.

  • Bottom line when one gets his chance he better be ready to hit the ground running. It could be the last.

  • I don't think Olt has earned a chance to play yet. He needs to build his confidence up - once he starts to hit the ball consistently with authority, he plays more - RR's job is to win games, and he's being smart with platoons in my opinion. He's not playing favorites like Dusty did.

  • Kalish, Olt , Lake need to play everyday period, these DFA rejects playing because RR has some ecstasy based assumption the Cubs can contend over the Cards / Pirates/ Reds is not what the fanbase has been force fed and asked to have patience for. 2014 is all about seeing if the core can be added to not if Valbueno, Sweeney , Bonofacio ect deserve to be kept happy . It is totally against the grain of the rebuild , anyone who agrees with these lineups is a clone .

  • John, you have the patience of a saint. Your optimism brings a tear to my eye. I hope I can continue breathing to witness this metamorphasis. You can endure more waiting and more "next years." There are many out here who may not have that luxury.

  • In reply to Hey Hey:

    speaking of optimism, Tseng start for Kane County tonight and still no Dunston?

  • play Castro.Rizzo,Castillo,Olt,Lake,Kalish,Bonafacio and when Baez comes up that makes 8. Lets see what we have with these young guys. We know what Barney,Schierholtz,Sweeney & Valbuena will offer us in the future. These guys can be replaced every off season for a few million.

    lake, olt & kalish may end up only being role players but lets please find out. I have read where HOYER has said about Olt he will be playing everyday and EPSTEIN has said the same about lake ( I assume that goes for Kalish) so I think we need to hold the FO to this philosophy.

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    Fwiw I'm fine with the lineup

  • In regard to Lake and Olt playing time. I've seen the core 4 and they r not the core 4. Heard a few Ryno interviews, and he always manages to say how tough april is in chicago. Add in all the bellyaching over starlin being rushed to soon. I get what RR is doing. Most project Lake as a 4th OFer. Olt has the Potential to be more, but basically lost all of last year. They both will have many oppt. to prove themselves. This offence on paper sucks. So going the A's route imo is the way to get the most out of it and bring the kids along slowly.
    I think the biggest need was a veteran major league OFer to take some pressure off these kids. Ala Ethier, Kemp? Maybe sooner rather than later.

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