Monday, April 20, 2009

Positional changes that must be made

We are two weeks into the season - it feels like a lot more than that because it's the 20th of April - and already snap judgments are being made. Players that busted their butts to make the roster are already on the bubble to get dropped. Guys that surprisingly won starting jobs are already on the brink of losing them. In other words, baseball is harsh and often unfair.

On the Cubs the lineup remains set, even though a few players are dramatically underperforming. Probably the one who is on the biggest bubble is Mike Fontenot. After two weeks he's batting in the low .200's. Luckily the biggest challenger to his job legitimately sucks - Aaron Miles. We're going to assume that Lou does in fact have the brains that God gave him and isn't entertaining the idea of abandoning Lil' Babe Ruth for the bench in favor of the Switch Hitting Sultan of Suck. But who on the Cubs is at the brink of prematurely losing their gig?

Neal Cotts - On GROTA I recently voiced my belief that Cotts knows exactly what Lou's shoutin' voice sounds like. The only thing saving his ass is the complete lack of alternatives. There's not even another lefty reliever on the Cubs 40 man roster according to In Triple A, there are two options - Jason Waddell (0.00 ERA in 4 IP) and J.R. Mathes (9.64 ERA in 4.2 IP of work)

Kevin Gregg - Gregg is not on the brink of getting ejected from the team, but he is on the bubble of losing his closer's role to Carlos Marmol. The one thing that leads me to believe Lou will give him some more time is the way Gregg stepped in to stop the bleeding on Saturday against the Cardinals.

Oddly enough, the "real" bubble guys - Joey Gathright and Dave Patton, who were respectively the 24th and 25th men on the roster - are probably safe, despite mediocre-so-far results. But the Cubs probably will need to find another lefty sometime soon, and they will especially need to re-evaluate how they back up Aramis Ramirez and Ryan Theriot. Another back-up type who can cover the left side of the infield may prove to be more valuable than speedy Joey Gathright.

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