The Manny-hattan Experiment Could Prove to be Cubs Best Gamble Yet

The Manny-hattan Experiment Could Prove to be Cubs Best Gamble Yet

For the longest time, it seems, I have been advocating for the Cubs to add a veteran presence to the MLB roster.

I have been hoping for an accomplished player that can both insulate and guide some of the young talent to soon come through Chicago.

GM Jed Hoyer has alluded to doing just that recently in recent media visits; Hoyer even specifically mentioned Scott Rolen as a comp. The Reds did something to this affect by unexpectedly adding Rolen to their young-and-still-turning-the-corner squad at the trade deadline of 2009.

Well, for now, the Cubs did the next best thing.

They brought in a guy that fits the bill beyond my expectations in Manny Ramirez. But the Cubs aren't bringing Manny to Chicago; they just dropped him right into Iowa, where he could begin working with the next wave of Cubs stars like Kris Bryant and Javy Baez before they even make it to Wrigley Field.

Risky, you may say. I say forward thinking.

Ramirez can have an effect immediately for someone like Baez, who needs some help with his approach going forward, both on and off the field. This is a radical, unique approach. It's still early, but it could end up being quite innovative.

Patrick Mooney has some thoughts from Theo Epstein on this experiment thus far.

"They've (Iowa staff) been preaching work ethic to our young guys about just how much work it takes to get ready for a game to be able to succeed not just at Triple-A, but up here in the big leagues. For them to see Manny be the first one at the field and take the most swings and do the most pregame preparation is invaluable. It just reinforces the lessons they're trying to teach."

Epstein said the younger players at Iowa are following Ramirez around like "a pied piper".

Meanwhile, the guy the front office brought in to be a settling force for the younger players at the MLB level, like Anthony Rizzo and Starlin Castro, is likely to benefit from the early mentoring Ramirez can provide his future players.

“Well, he was brought on to be able to share his experiences with all the players that are there,” Rick Renteria said. “And we’ll probably follow it more through how some of the kids are responding, some of the conversations that are had, some of the aspects of how he prepares on a daily basis.”

Renteria has been doing a great job getting his younger players to thrive and grow in his time as the Cubs skipper. Eventually, the Cubs are going to bring in an established everyday player to help protect the young bats in the lineup, along with some on-the-field leadership skills to help out the young, yet budding leaders like Rizzo.

In the meantime, the Manny Ramirez Experiment maybe something we may look back on as another genius move from the "Ivy League" gang.


Thanks for reading; if you enjoyed it, please share with others.  And if you'd like to be updated on my future posts, and those from the rest of the Cubs Insider team, you can subscribe below.

Type your email address in the box and click the "create subscription" button. My list is completely spam free, and you can opt out at any time.

And be sure to like Cubs Insider on Facebook. You can also submit to reddit

Filed under: Uncategorized


Leave a comment
  • I absolutely love this move. There has always been rumblings to add a vetaran presence to the big league club, but this is even a step further. Finding a successful big-leaguer with the pedigree of Manny often costs a significant chunk of change, and at that point they are more likely to be an offensive and defensive burden as a result of advanced age. Manny can provide the lessons to the guys in AAA and the MLB team doesn't have to suffer for it, which means there isn't one more blocked position in the majors, and one more guy occupying space on the 40 man roster.

  • Having read an interview from McCleod on the importance of scouting guys to make sure they really love baseball, I can say that I think this is a very good move on their part, and keeping with their player development approach. For a guy to humble himself as much as Manny is having to do so in this situation, just because he LOVES the game, and to put in that kind of work (first one on the field, most swings, most pre game prep) because he loves the game--and in spite of the fact that the game is basically passed him by--that in itself is a great bit of passion that I'm sure they hope is contagious amongst their young AAA stars.

    Here's to hoping the gamble pays off in the WS in a few years.

  • Yeah not sure how long it lasts but even if he rubs off on Javy right way, it's a win.

Leave a comment