I think we can pretty much throw out the possibility of Nomar meeting almost any of his bonus clauses. Good thing he got that extra little bit guaranteed.

1/10th Review

First (games 1 thru 16)
Record: 8-8, 8-8 in period
Standings: 2 out of the NL Central, 1 out of the Wild Card

MVPitcher: Carlos Zambrano.

Biggest News: Todd Walker goes down for 6 weeks, and he’s the healthy middle infielder.
Most Underplayed News: D-Lee and Dempster horrible picks for Teammate till obvious questions to close bail them out.

The idea of doing a 1/10th review is figuring the 1/10th means anything. Shaky to start with, I know, but near irrelevant in current situation – what happened in the first 16 games was already mitigated by it being the start of the season and things (like the rotation) still getting into the swing of things. With Nomar out, even despite his really bad performance, we can’t figure rely on it to help predict the next 9/10ths.

Best I can do is try to guess how ripples of the Nomar groin explosion will affect everything else.

at least Neifi hasn’t sucked hitting this season. 317/333/415 seems is the definition of unrealistic (and above the 90 percentile on his PECOTA forceast.) But at least there’s some proof he might be able to hit if we get really really lucky.

It’s unlikely Nomar’s back this season. He’s going to be a free agent, and there are already plenty of questions about him. Why would he add another by not getting this injury fully taken care of? All credit to him for even considering coming back, but no one’s going to think you any less of a gamer if you decide to get surgery for a muscle that’s been ripped off the bone.

The imbalance on the 40 man roster turned out to hurt. A lot. I noted before the season only 4 players of the 15 man extras were position players. This is a little bit helped by having an extra spot, and having a plethora of non roster outfielders in Iowa able to sit on the bench if called upon.

Same isn’t true for the middle infield. Fontenot happened to be around as excess cargo from the Sosa trade, neatly taking over the Bobby Hilly/Brendan Harris shuttle spot, but there’s no SS the Cubs have access to fill this spot. Ronny Cedeno isn’t ready to hit at the major league level, and if he’s ever going to get there, it won’t be by sitting on the ML Cubs bench. And there’s not really another choice.

They actually had the right guy for this spot in Cody Ransom but traded him away at the end of Spring Training. It’s tough to plan for major injuries.

Giving it some extra hours to think (after today’s game), I think they should’ve fished around to other teams, seeing if someone had someone who was already AAAA SS who they were willing to move.

Anyway, if you want a reason to hate the Sosa trade a little more, look at Roberto Novoa’s and David Crouthers’ spots; if they just got hitters with little long term use instead of pitchers, they might be better of at the moment. It shouldn’t have been an 10/4 split.

What does Dusty do with this bench?: This is going to freak him out. Look at what you got:

UT Macias – already getting most of the PH ABs and double switched, but can only play one position at a time.

C Blanco – backup catcher, Dusty rather concede than use both
LF Dubios – used partially in a platoon but not strictly, not a favorite as a pinch hitter
2B Fotentot – only been used when Dusty’s clearing out the bench. A young guy and a guy from the other league, a horrible combo for Dusty.
SS Cedeno – has “best rookie hitter of Mesa” going for him, but nothing else. Early discussion has him starting only if Neifi develops polio.

I Use My Whole Bench Dusty is colliding with I Wait For Rookies To ‘Get Their Feet Underneath Them’ Dusty, and I’ve got no idea who’s going to win this one. I expect Dubios will be the beneficiary just because Dusty’s gotta use someone, but this is going to test him.

This started as a very weak bench, and now it’s a weak bench filled with players Dusty isn’t familiar with. Not good. I wonder if they still have Dave Hansen’s number? Sending down the lost Leicester and picking him up would probably serve everyone better. They needed one more hitter before people starting going down, and now they certainly need one Dusty will actually use.

How’s the lineup work now?: I was stuck on this one, till I read Corey’s inner most desire is to bat sixth. If he loves 6th, I’m hoping he’ll be happy with 7.

vs R
1) R Hairston 2B
2) L Hollandsworth
3) R D-Lee 2B
4) R A-RAM 3B
5) L Burnitz RF
6) R Barrett C
7) L Corey CF
8) S Neifi SS

vs L
1) R Hairston 2B
2) L Corey CF
3) R D-Lee @B
4) R A-RAM 3B
5) R Dubios LF
6) R Burnitz
7) R Barrett
8) S Neifi

If breaking up the L/Rs wasn’t a strict rule, we could probably do more interesting things here. And I don’t think I’ve nailed what Dusty’s going to do regularly yet, but I do believe eit’s going to be important – if the bench is going to be down played, he’s going to have to pick an actual lineup at some point, and it’s going to hurt us if it includes Neifi high up in the order after he’s stopped hitting.

Is Dusty learning anything about his bullpen? He seems set on Fox and Remmy setting up Hawkins, with everyone else getting time whenever those three can’t go. This would be fine if the setup guys looked the slightest bit consistent this year. While Remlinger has the ugly ERA, I think the real problem is Chad Fox.

Inherited Runners
Fox: 9, 4
Remlinger: 5, 1
Wuertz: 4, 1
Rusch: 4, 1
Wellemeyer: 2, 1
Leicester: 2, 0
Hawkins: 0, 0
Bartosh: 0, 0
(source: BProspectus)

Fox is being hyped as counterpart to Remlinger, with his own reverse split, better against lefty despite being righty. This has relatively held up, though he doesn’t have great numbers either way.

vs LH – 12 PA, 273/333/455
vs RH – 17 PA, 307/412/615

He’s done bad versus lefties, but he’s making right handers look like All Stars. Either he needs to improve quick, or Dusty’s gotta cut him down to a ROOGY for everyone’s safety.

What would fit Dusty more is to be able count on someone to count for the 8th every day, and Remmy and Fox are more situational guys at this point. I’m guessing they hope JoeB could be the answer when he comes back, but he needs to actually give Wuertz a try between now and then. If he had played last year for the Rangers instead of the Iowa Cubs, I think he might have already gotten it.

As for everyone else

Rusch – probably thinking his groin is no longer bad, all things considered. Suffering from a need to keep him around as a long relief guy, but hopefully everyone being back and near full strength should free him up.

Bartosh – Lost in the mix. Dusty obviously has no idea what to make of him. While he may help later, we might have actually been better keeping Randolph; Dusty’s only going to use a guy he’s seen pitch for a while, and Bartosh isn’t there yet.

Leicester – Lost in the mix and lost on the mound. Badly needs to be sent someplace where he might pitch more than once a week, if he actually wants to learn how to control his pitches again.

Next tenth

04/22 vs PIT 2:20
04/23 vs PIT 1:20
04/24 vs PIT 1:20

04/25 vs CIN 7:05
04/26 vs CIN 7:05
04/27 vs CIN 1:20

04/28 OFF

04/29 @t HOU 7:05
04/30 @t HOU 6:05
05/01 @t HOU 1:05

05/02 OFF

05/03 @t MIL 7:05
05/04 @t MIL 7:05
05/05 @t MIL 12:05

05/06 vs PHI 2:20
05/07 vs PHI 1:20
05/08 vs PHI 1:20

05/09 vs NYM 7:05