Daily Archives: March 14, 2007

March 14, 2007

Poor Mark Prior

With reports of Mark Prior's fastball reaching the mid-80's on a good day, I thought it would be a good time to check out the current Cubs news.

And here's what I found. Apparently, Prior is performing so poorly that there's talk of him spending time in minor league camp to bolster his confidence. Ouch.

Goatriders had a great take on that:

Hey, I'm just surprised they didn't try this sooner. I know that whenever my confidence is shaky, going to the local middle school and beating up on some 13-year-olds always helps me feel better about myself.

So Mark Prior again won't help the Cubs this year.

The team is better than last year, but I don't see them being in the competition for the Central title. Nope. It's Spring enough that I'm expecting that to be a bitter fight between Cincinnati, Houston, and St. Louis.

March 14, 2007

Game Thread for 3/14 Reds Vs Rays

Courtesy of C.Trent.

Your Cincinnati Reds
Gonzalez SS
Hatteberg 1B
Phillips 2B
Dunn LF
Encarnacion 3B
Hamilton CF
Crosby RF
Ross C
Arroyo P

Their Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Rocco Baldelli CF
Carl Crawford LF
Delmon Young RF
Ty Wigginton 1B
Jorge Cantu 2B
Akinori Iwamura 3B
Brendan Harris SS
Josh Paul C
Edwin Jackson P

March 14, 2007

A Case for Griffey to Spot Start and primarly Pinch Hit

I really like what we are getting out of Bubba Crosby and Josh Hamilton in the pre-season. Either one of them OR Freel are superior to Griffey defensively in the all important CF position. We've all heard the cliche that it is imperative to be strong defensively up the middle, and all that is lacking right now is superb defense in CF. Griffey isn't bad, mind you, but he is a step slower and any acrobatic catch has a significant chance of resulting in injury. He does us no good nursing an injury.

Griffey's best moments last year, if you recall, were in dramatic game-changing at-bats. He hit a game winning home run, a game winning double, game tying homeruns, etc. He would be the best LF pinch hitter in the league and you pick his spot when he can change a game's outcome, i.e. runners on late in the game. I would certainly give him some spot starts, especially when favorable pitching match ups arise and we feel we can slug it out rather than scratch it out with small ball.

So I prefer the strategy of utilizing Junior as a PH and spot starter. He may not like it, but his body has betrayed him time and time again and at his age and with his history this is the only way to make sure he is around for a stretch drive and into the post season. He's already off to a slow start, and in my opinion the writing is on the wall. If Hamilton and Crosby both struggle we can re-think the strategy, but in my mind this is the best approach.

My lineup would look something like this:

CF Freel
2B Phillips
LF Dunn
3B Encarnacion
RF Hamilton
1B Hatteberg
C Ross

Crosby would replace Freel when Ryan needs a break or when he needs to play infield.