Now I'm confused. Who's on second for 2012?

Since publishing my post that said Barney wasn't the answer at 2B for the Cubs, I've been going back and forth on whether or not I actually felt that way. Sure, he'll never have an OPS near .700, which is terrible. But he plays great defense, hits .300, and singles are more valuable than walks. So maybe there's room for him?

Plus, who else is gonna do it? I really don't think the Cubs should (slash can afford to) pay Kelly Johnson $5 million-plus to play the position for a year or two, and despite my yearning for it to happen Blake DeWitt still hasn't been able to impress anyone. So, what the heck?

That leaves the farm, I guess. So now I've opened up the stats for each of the Cubs' most interesting infielders. Plus, if you stick around til the end of the post, I'll give you updates on some other interesting minor league hitters as well. Joy!

(Note: I wrote this yesterday, so my numbers are as of Sunday morning. Since then, Tyler Colvin has hit a home run, etc etc)

Without further ado, and in no particular order, here are some stats for you to enjoy:


DJ LeMahieu: .358/.386/.492 in 187 ABs with AA Tennessee

.366/.386/.415 in 41 ABs with AAA Iowa

2 2B, 4:1 K:BB, 2:0 SB:CS in 10 games at Iowa.

HasĀ appearedĀ at 2B, SS, and 3B over the last 10 games.

Ryan Flaherty: .301/.378/.524 in 296 ABs with AA Tennessee

14 HR, 36 XBH, 53:38 K:BB, 4:6 SB:CS

Has appeared all over the place lately, but most frequently at 3B.

Josh Vitters: .279/.312/.446 in 269 ABs with AA Tennessee

8 HR, 28 XBH, 29:9 K:BB, 3:5 SB:CS

Has appeared at 1B and 3B over the past 10 games.


Summary: Look for Flaherty to be promoted soon, Vitters to stay in Tennessee the rest of the season, and for both LeMahieu and Flaherty to get Spring Training invites next February.

Other notes: Tyler Colvin is hitting .205 over his last 10 games in Iowa, with just one extra base hit, a double... Brett Jackson has a .359/.468/.615 over his last 10 games, along with a .265/.379/.458 on the season in Tennessee...Wellington Castillo has a .270/.372/.378 over his last 10 games, but a .305/.368/.555 over 164 total ABs in Iowa.

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  • With a new GM you never know, but I think Barney is a good option at 2b. It will allow us to look at some of those guys at 3b, and with BJax in CF we will have a solid, home-grown up the middle core.

  • I'd like to see Flaherty somehow get it if he can play adequate defense there, but I'm not convinced that he can. Would also like LeMahieu if he would only hit more than singles at AAA or the major league level...he may need more time.

    Barney may just be the guy by default. I'm curious. Barney does have a .700+ OPS right now, albeit barely. Is it that you don't think he can sustain it?

  • Also think it's interesting that Flaherty has been starting at 2b a lot at AA since LeMahieu got moved up to AAA. Hoping he shows he can stick there.

  • Well look at that, Barney is up over .700 now. Yes, I see him settling in as a .280/.310/.350 guy down the road. And hey, furthermore, even if he does get to .700, that's still not all that great!

    The only other thing I'd add is: I want the best players on the field every day, regardless of existing positional stereotypes. That is, if Flaherty ends up developing more power, but LeMahieu plays third better, I would want DJ at third and Ryan at second. If they're both playing anyway why not put them in their best spots, not where old timey managers think they should go based on their body types.

  • In reply to ajwalsh08:

    Well, I guess the way I look at it is .700 and superior defense is better than, say, .725 with average defense -- which is what LeMahieu may be if he doesn't develop patience and/or more power. I don't think think it's a clear cut choice until LeMahieu finds a way to stand out from Barney.

    My concern with Flaherty isn't so much body-type as it is the agility needed to play a middle infield position on an everyday basis. If he can play 2b adequately, I'm all for it. Maybe the Cubs can find out once and for all now that LeMahieu is in AAA and Flaherty gets more time at 2b.

  • Nine fucking walks in half a season? In AA?!? Josh Vitters = Jeff Francoeur.

  • Well now there's a rumor going around that Flaherty and Jackson are on their way to Iowa. So we'll see what happens with LeMahieu and Flaherty starting on the same field every day.

    Also, yes, I would agree that .725 is not great either. To win championships you need impact bats. The point I'm trying to make is: given his age and the statistical results of his entire professional baseball career, Barney almost certainly is not an impact bat. On the other hand, DJL and RF might yet turn into .290/.350/.450 hitters. That's what you want in your infield.

  • In reply to ajwalsh08:

    Agreed on that point...Barney will never be an impact guy and probably will always be suited as either a very good utility guy or a starter for a bad team (which we are now).

    Good to hear that news on Flaherty and Jackson. I thought Jackson might get the call because of Sczcur's call-up, but I was wondering what the hang-up was on Flaherty. He isn't getting any younger.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    It's official...they've been called up.

  • Here is the issue.....only 11 2nd basemen in the entire majors have an OPS over .700. Darwin Barney is currently 12th among all 2nd basemen in OPS. Dustin Pedroia leads the majors among 2nd basemen with an OPS at .870.

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