3/21 Q on DeWitt, second base

The competition at second base for the Cubs is getting interesting with eight games to play. At the start of camp, Blake DeWitt and Jeff Baker were expected to platoon at second. But Darwin Barney was batting .371, Baker .395 and DeWitt .163. Does DeWitt have a spot on the roster?

“Right now he does,” Mike Quade said, “but there are some guys pushing and we ain’t left yet, so we’ll see.”

The Cubs would like a left-handed bat in the mix. Scott Moore and Bobby Scales are both left-handed hitters. Quade said he likes the job Moore has done at first and third base. Scales has done well at second.

“Are they Gold Glovers? No, I don’t think so,” Quade said.

But he also won’t rule either out automatically. That will be part of the discussion on Tuesday when Quade sits down with GM Jim Hendry and others to discuss the roster.

– Carrie Muskat

2 Comments

Hi Carrie,

I have to admit that I didn’t know much about DeWitt when we traded for him and I still don’t feel like I really know that much about his potential. From a distance he doesn’t seem to have that high an upside but hopefully I’m wrong. I realize that spring numbers don’t necessarily reflect on how a player will perform during the season. I’m pretty sure that Darwin Barney will be known more for his glove than his bat when it’s all said and done despite his torrid spring.

Most years I have a very strong opinion about roster decisions and moves, but the truth is that this year we have a handful of mediocre talent vying for a few positions. Will the team really be all that different with Baker, DeWitt, Barney or even Scales at 2B? I’d doubt it. The hole at 3B after Ron Santo was famous. I wonder when we will start talking about the revolving door at 2B after Sandberg. I remember a lot of years when everyone thought we had the answer: Morandini, Walker, Fontenot, etc. etc.

I think part of the answer is that there are only so many players in the post-steroid era (loosely defined) who are capable of playing 2B well while producing a lot of runs. We give Castro a pass for all his errors at SS but we would never consider Soriano back at 2B because he makes errors. I believe the Cubs will probably have to choose between a glove and a bat at that position for many years to come because there are only so many Robinson Cano’s out there.

Fukudome has his own value, but that value is eclipsed by the fact that he will impede the progress of Colvin. Even if Colvin struggles this year he should be playing every day. We should expect a bit of a sophomore slump. He even tailed off toward the end of the season last year, but who are we kidding? What plans do the Cubs have for Fukudome beyond this season? Hopefully the plan is to trade him before the deadline, but at what cost and for what return? It looks as though Colvin is going to be a solid major leaguer. He doesn’t have the obvious hole in his swing that Corey Patterson and Hee Seop Choi both had. Bad contracts…

Keith

Hopefully by “right now” Quade meant at the time of the question. When the “competition” is so mediocre as accuratley described by keithcub it is THE time to usher in a rookie such as Barney. But to waste time HOPING DeWitt becomes productive while Barney just gets older or HOPING Baker turns into an offensive juggernaut (which he NEVER was, except in Hendry’s mind) is not what a good GM should allow. Besides, isn’t Barney the at least the best defender of the bunch? After all defense is the only thing Fukodome has going for him and he gets a job handed to him year after year. On upside alone not to mention this springs performance, Barney should be the second baseman. Who knows he may even be the lesser of all evils as a lead off man? But as we all know Hendry committed much bigger money to the likes of DeWitt and Baker and will avoid removing them from the roster in order to send up any red flags to the sleeping Ricketts family that he is not doing a good job. Eating too much payroll would awaken ANY owner.

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