Chicago sports radio host and longtime semanticist Dan Bernstein made a point today, that the bloggers (such as this one) who have been beating the drums for the Cubs to "play the young guys" are wrong.
Not so much because he thinks Quade needs to keep running out Soriano, Fukudome, Ramirez, Pena etc., but because the guys being brought up by the Cubs are not exactly young. Which is very true. Lou Montanez, Bryan LaHair, and Brad Snyder are close to 30. He also mentions that Tony Campana is, at best, an irritating mosquito (which I still maintain is useful, at least on a good team, see 2003 Marlins: Luis Castillo and Juan Pierre). He says DJ LeMahieu is a corner infielder without power (which, at it is, we already have one named Blake DeWitt).
He goes on to note that of the two position players in the system that can be counted on to fill a specific need; namely, OF Brett Jackson and 3B Josh Vitters, Jackson has a minor injury and Vitters is currently struggling at AA. Fernando Perez, who came to us in the Matt Garza trade, is also 28 and also scuffling in Iowa.
Well, yeah, Bernsey, but....the point is, whether they are young, weak, or just bad, we need to see it for ourselves. The only things we know for sure about the 2011 Chicago Cubs are, as follows:
- They are not winning the division.
- Aramis Ramirez is not a Cub in 2012.
- Carlos Pena is not a Cub in 2012.
- Kosuke Fukudome is not a Cub in 2012.
- The only minor leaguers we have that are performing well enough to deserve a call-up to Chicago, to see if they can hack it at the top level, are either old or out of position.
For the time being, we have to take the above points in consideration. I wish we could plug someone in at third base, left field or right field that can be a) reasonably considered to hit with power, and b) young enough to hit their physical peak at the point in time they can reap dividends for us. There is one man in the entire system that meets both criteria.
His name is Tyler Colvin, and of course he was sent down after starting this season hitting .115, and he was only hitting .260 in Iowa when he was yanked back to civilization out of sheer desperation.
As far as getting some new faces to add to our so-called pool of prospects; well, the only Cub with any trade value at this given moment (outside of Castro, of course) is Zambrano. It may be necessary to do so. I personally hate the idea. Not because trading him for good return value would be dumb. I don't trust Hendry to accomplish this. Plus, he is, by far, the most entertaining Cub.
The 2012 Cubs may consist of Soriano, Soto, Castro, Barney, Byrd, Dempster, Marmol, Marshall, Garza, and 16 other guys whose names are a complete mystery right now. So, based on who we own at this present moment, we need to find out if one, two, four, eight, or all sixteen of these names are in house. The only way there is to do that, is to play them.
No matter how old or bad they may seem now.