6/15 Battle of the backstops

Catcher Koyie Hill started Tuesday night, his second straight start. Lou Piniella said Geovany Soto will be back behind the plate Wednesday and Thursday when the Athletics start two left-handers.

“We’re just trying to win baseball games right now,” Piniella said Tuesday. “Both catchers have done a nice job behind the plate. I don’t know — we can go either way with that. Tonight Hill is catching because we won the other night.”

Here are some other numbers:

* When Hill is behind the plate, the Cubs pitchers have a 3.58 ERA, compared to 4.14 ERA when Soto is catching.

* Hill has thrown out three of 16 base stealers, while Soto has thrown out six of 39. Teams may not be running as much against Hill, but a significant number of the stolen bases are because of the pitchers, not the catchers.

* Hill is batting .232 while Soto is hitting .266, but Soto also was hitting just .120 from May 11-June 4.

— Carrie Muskat


How about these stats (AVG/OBP/SLG), Carrie?

Koyie Hill in June: .261/.292/.348

Geovany Soto in June: .313/.389/.750

I’ve concluded that Soto won’t get back-to-back starts unless he goes 4 for 4 with 4 HR and blocks 60 pitches in the dirt.

This is just another stupid, stupid move by Piniella, unless he’s been ordered to lose games to enhance the team’s draft position next year.

This is the equivalent to the Yankees benching Jorge Posada so they can play Chad Moller every day.

Wouldn’t we all be making fun of Girardi if he did that? Wouldn’t the NY media be on him relentlessly?

donsky brings up a good point. Maybe “he’s been ordered to lose games to enhance the team’s draft position next year.”

Yesterday, Lou lets Big Z hit when the Cubs were only down by one run and had a runner on 2nd base. I know that Z had a hit earlier in the day, but this seemed like an extremely dumb move to me, since they pulled him anyway and given the depth that the Cubs have on the bench. Zambrano gets paid to pitch. Fukudome, Fontenot, Baker, and Nady get paid to pinch-hit.

Lou has been making decisions this year that are making it harder for the Cubs to win. Who in MLB has one of their worst hitters “Lee” hitting 3rd or 4th everyday. The only thing consistent about Lee this year is his ability to leave runners stranded. He needs to be hitting in a less crucial role until his bat comes around. Gorzelanny should be getting starts while Wells figures out his problems in AAA.

It’s sad to say, but it seems like a majority of the Cubs problems might be coming from the loose nut behind the wheel.

If only because of the lack of options/talent Soto & Colvin should join Castro as everyday starters if only to hone their skills and to flesh out the roster for next year. Hill and Fukodome are well known below average run producers and can only contribute defensivley and should be limited to those roles late in games etc. If Pinella refuses to cut bait with Soriano and bench him for Colvin than there is no alternative but to bench the defensive Fukodome instead. This is the year to find out all you can about these young guys in order to determine if they are part of next year’s plans. We all know Soriano, Fukodome and Hill have reached their limit. Hell, they might as well try Vitters at third and whoever’s next in line at first. I would hope the experience gained would more than offset the risk of bringing them up too soon, hell it seems like half the league has rookie pitchers anyway so why not?

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