12/5 The next 1B may be LaHair

The Cubs’ next first baseman may be playing right now in the Dominican Republic. Bryan LaHair has joined Estrellas, and was batting .273 in three games with four RBIs. LaHair batted .308 with 25 homers, 30 doubles and 81 RBIS in 125 games with Triple-A Iowa this year. He hit .337 against right-handers, .227 against lefties. LaHair did play with the Mariners in 2008,  and batted .250 in 45 games.

* Starlin Castro has gotten off to a slow start for Escogido in the Dominican. After six games, he’s batting .136 (3-for-22) with one double. He’s been batting fifth; expect him to hit higher in the order with the Cubs.

– Carrie Muskat

5 Comments

The 3 million Hendry WASTED on Nady’s “excersize/rehab” program at the Ricketts’ expense last season sure would come in handy pursuing a firstbaseman or a starting pitcher not to mention the 1.175 million wasted on Baker and whatever Hill is earning. Baker and Hill are not the caliber of player that a team MUST have, they both could have easily been replaced by rookies. The frustration continues and the Cubs/Rindreys are still scratching their heads about first base??? I know Hoffpaur might not have been the solution at first base but wouldn’t he at least been a viable option and competition to LaHair? Wouldn’t Hendry have been wiser to let the very replacable Baker go and use THAT money to sign Hoffpauir since the Cubs NEED a first baseman more so than a journeyman second baseman fifth outfeilder which apparently the farm system seems to have a handful?

Hoffpaur clearly showed he cannot hit major league hitting so it was best he move on and we stop wasting our time with him. We need a first baseman more than we need pitching. As a matter of fact we are loaded with young pitchers who are ready now to pitch at the major league level. If worse comes to worse we can put Colvin at first. Sometimes the best move you can make is no move at all. Hendry has a limited amount of money to work with. He made good offers to Berkman and to the Padres for Gonzo. Berkman wanted to play LF so he went with the Cards for the same money the Cubs offered. Boston apparently offered young players that the Padres needed. Hendry will likely sign a first baseman but he want give away the farm. If our players play up to their potential (Aram & Soriano) we will compete next year. Castro also has to cut down on his errors. There is a lot of upside to Pena if we should get him. He is not going to bat .196 at Wrigley and rather than 27 HR he will likely hit 35. He will also bring along his gold glove. He makes a lot of sense.

I have to wonder what potential pilot is referring to regarding THE AGING Soriano and Ramirez? Soriano has NO POTENTIAL to PLAY the outfeild well and neither player has the potential to get better at their age. We have to be content with both players playing to SOME offensive contributions. I am not one to say letting Hoffpauir go was a mistake but if Hendry can sign both Baker and Hill as marginal players WITH others on the team ready to take their place why not sign the cheap, warm body Hoffpauir as a marginal player especially since there seems to be NOBODY ready to take over first base?

Hoffpauir had no chance of making the big league club coming out of spring training, so everyone that says he was a viable option are incorrect. Hoffpauir had as many chances to stay in the big leagues as anyone. He couldn’t hit up there. End of story. I do understand the Baker signing. It is always good to have a guy that can back up DeWitt and ARam. We have had to use too many of those guys in the recent years not to have a servicable middle or corner infielder.

As far as 1st, I am still shaking my head about this one. If we were really in the final three with the Red and White Sox for AGON, then what where was the point that Hendry lost the deal? That is important. Next, why not go out and get a guy for 1 or 2 years as a stop gap for LaHair? There were many opions at a cheaper price. Berkman wanted 2 years, ended up taking more money for 1 year from the Cards. Wigginton would have been a good solid option that could also play 2nd or 3rd if needed. I am losing confience in Hendry’s ability to do anything with free agents other than giving them way over market value and more years than the next bidder. He seems to have trouble dealing with the middle of the market players.

It should not be this hard to go out and fill one postition. It is not like we are rebuilding the entire team, it is one spot. We have our LF, RF, CF, 3rd, SS, 2nd, C and an entire starting rotation and bullpen. Get a couple of bench guys, and a 1st baseman and lets get started.

The non-ending Hoffpauir story…I agree he had some opportunity in the big leagues, let’s see…not at first because of Lee (naturally), not in right field because of Fukodome (O.K. as well) so really not a LOT of opportunity and now that first base is WIDE OPEN with only LaHair as an internal option it would have been at least an understandable situation to keep Hoffpauir on the roster sacrificing Baker and Hill since we have infielders and catchers coming up through the system.

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