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By Tom Loxas- Follow @MiCubs and @TomLoxas on Twitter
It really does look like this could be a long, long season.
I still insist this team is much easier to watch than the last two miserable editions. Solid starting pitching and improved defense will do that for your eyes.
This defense however, still isn’t quite good enough. Not good enough for a team that has a mostly putrid offense, shaky back end of the rotation, and a flammable bullpen.
This line-up still has too many players that just don’t fit what this regime wants to do. That brings us to Marlon Byrd and Geovany Soto. I fully understand why they have to play, but then again I don’t.
I realize Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer look at all players as assets. That would include Soto and Byrd. I just have a hard time believing that other GMs see them the same way right now. The Cubs will have a hard time finding a taker for Byrd after this start, and they would have to eat some money to make it happen anyway.
Most teams probably see him as just a guy, and probably even a fourth outfielder. The time should come soon when the Cubs see it the same way.
I am more than likely being hasty with Soto. He probably will come around enough to hit somewhere near his career average. That being said, he isn’t the future here. Right now, he doesn’t look like the present either.
Steve Clevenger is the better catcher right now, and Wellington Castillo will be the better one in the future. Clevenger has been behind the plate on most of the Cubs best pitching performances so far this season, and also one of the few bright spots at the plate.
Tuesday night’s seventh inning is a microcosm of what is painfully obvious. Soto and Byrd shouldn’t be in the line up anymore. Clevenger worked the count, laced a double, and executed a beautiful slide that gave the Cubs the tying run. I have a hard time picturing Soto doing anything similar.
Later in the inning, Marlon Byrd was overmatched at the plate, something that has become the norm this season. Byrd was then lifted in a double switch immediately afterward.
It’s still early, but it’s going to start to feel late quickly.
I fully realize Brett Jackson isn’t going to be walking through the door anytime soon, but at this point I’ll settle for Tony Campana.
After the game Dale Sveum said he would try and find some ABs for Clevenger at first base, third base, or even second base. That sounds a bit drastic, especially when I know exactly where he could find some playing time right where he belongs.