No, this isn't what I would call rebuilding.
The results are rebuilding-esque results. And maybe it might be the best thing, long term, if the Cubs lost the most games in baseball in 2012, if they are then allowed the top pick in the 2013 Draft. Perhaps, even, I might accept the notion that it is ultimately more constructive to let prospects such as Jackson and Rizzo have some time to acclimate and dominate in Triple A, rather than have them take lumps in the majors right now.
Theo has said that he is not giving up on anyone after 13 games, and Sveum has said that morale is high, and that he is encouraged that nobody dogged it yesterday in their 5-3 loss. You know, like they dogged it in their 9-1 Wednesday loss. Theo stressed that there is a plan in place.
Well, apparently that plan does not include any semblance of entertaining, watchable baseball in 2012, because this team is rapidly approaching the depth of shittyness the 0-14 Tom Treblehorn team. From there, it's not that much further to the 1981 club, the worst Cubs team I ever saw. And it would be different if the young'uns were out there, ala the late 1980's Indians teams with young Manny and Lofton and Thome; or the early 80's Twinkies with Hrbek and Brunansky and Gaetti, taking beatings and learning on the job.
No, we get to watch a team with one, maybe two (if you think Barney is a good utility man) Cubs that are both young enough and talented enough to actually be part of the eventual Good Cubs teams we have been told to count on later this decade. The other 23 guys are bums; they know they are bums, no matter how good 'morale' is on this team.
The way I see it, there are essentially two things the Cubs management team needs to accomplish concerning their major league roster:
- figure out how to teach Starlin Castro how to throw, or make him a second baseman already;
- get rid of everyone else over 24 years of age, and put kids in there that are least going to play this game with some enthusiasm. If you want to leave your best prospects in Des Moines so they can dominate has-beens for a few more months, fine. Then bring up your second wave of prospects. I'd rather see Junior Lake and Trey McNutt get beat nine to one, instead of Chris Volstad and Marlon Byrd.
Why the second tier of prospects? The plan is to not bring up Jackson or Rizzo until June to prevent them from hitting "Super-Two" arbitration status in 2014, which personally I have always felt was unnecessary on a big-market team like the Cubs, but it isn't (directly) my money, so I will accept that part of the plan. I just do not see the wisdom of letting Soto, Baker, DeWitt, Mather, Johnson, Maholm, Vorstad, Stewart and Wood continue the trend of the past two years of ALL of their careers. NONE of them are going to improve. Also, none of them are making any real money. I have no interest whatsoever watching any of them, anymore, ever. Just let them walk, and replace them with our second-tier prospects, like Jay Jackson, Travis Wood, Rusin, Sappelt, Vitters, McNutt, Jae-Hoon Ha, Logan Watkins. It's also time to see Wellington Castillo up here. Out of all of our bums, I am most disgusted with Soto. The day they get rid of him will be the next great day for the franchise.
I can see letting Byrd try to hack his way out of this slump for a couple more weeks, but after that, it will be time to admit defeat with him, too. As for Soriano, Marmol, and Dempster, the remnants of the Hendry Disasters? I haven't read a truly inspired way to deal with any of them yet. I suspect there is nothing that can be done with them. All of them are untradeable.
What a joke.