Friday, March 6, 2009

The Benefit of Benching Aaron Miles

According to, Lou wants another infielder. But do we really need one?

From my understanding, it seems that Lou is fretting about depth at third base. If Aramis Ramirez doesn't start there, who does?

Let's look at what the Cubs have done with 3B over the past two years, data courtesy of Fangraphs.

In 2007, Ramirez started only 126 games at 3B. DeRosa got 31 starts at third in '07; Ryan Theriot had 4 starts; and Ronny Cedeno had 1.

In 2008, A-Ram started 147 games at third. Aside from him, Mark DeRosa saw 10 starts there, and Casey McGehee (now a Brewer) got the other 4. Remember, the Cubs played only 161 games last year.

From these numbers, it looks like the Cubs are going to need someone to replace A-Ram at third for somewhere between 15 and 30 games for 2009.

Sounds like a job for Aaron Miles to me. He isn't a phenomenal defensive third baseman, but he's at least able. More importantly, however, it isn't going to matter much over the course of 20 games.

This is a big reason why Hendry's move to free up salary by downgrading at the utility position from Mark DeRosa to Miles was a prudent one. DeRosa was not a stellar defensive 2nd baseman; in fact, he wasn't spectacular at any one position. His value lied in his versatility.

That's what Miles should be for the 2009 Cubs - an able-bodied veteran that can fill in at a number of positions. 3rd base is almost certainly one of those positions. Assuming Lou doesn't tire him out with too many starts at 2nd, he should be perfect for the job.

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