3/5 Cubs lineup vs. Athletics

Tony Campana will lead off and play center field and Josh Vitters start at third base Monday in the Cubs’ Cactus League game against the Athletics at HoHoKam Park. Ryan Dempster is scheduled to start. The game will be broadcast on WGN Radio, with first pitch scheduled for 2:05 p.m. CT. Here’s the lineup:

CF Campana

2B Barney

SS Castro

1B LaHair

RF Baker

LF Johnson

C Clevenger

DH DeWitt

3B Vitters

— Carrie Muskat


I’m waiting for the day to see Sveum post the following lineup:
LF Campana – SS Castro – 2B Cardenas – 1B Rizzo – CF Jackson – 3B Vitters/Stewart – RF Szczur – C Castillo – P Garza

We can only hope you have to wait a long, long, long time for that

why? you’d rather see Soriano jog to 1B instead of hustling? or would you like to see Barney like in the last months of the season? or maybe an aging Byrd who lost speed? or LaHair, an 28y old rookie? and Soto behind the plate? I prefer the young player who really want to WORK HARD and prove themselves. The only “good ones” in the projected 2012 lineup are Stewart and DeJesus for the above average defense and Castro for his bat. If there is no MAJOR overhaul in the lineup you’d have the same lineup as in 2011 with only a few minor changes.
LaHair for Pena: Better on offense but worse on defense.
Stewart for Ramirez: Better on defense, worse on offense
DeJesus for Fuke/Colvin; Better on defense, same offense
Give the young guys the ball and let the run with it. If they don’t succeed, it can’t be much worse than 2011. And even if only 2 or 3 players prove themselves, the GM at least knows what cards he’s holding and where to improve.


what yup?
yup to see the Cubs collect more L’s than W’s with the projected lineup and halt the progress of the young guys?
or yup to give these young guys a chance and be able to actually see what they can do on the highest level and built on that for the future?

batting Cardenas 3rd? Thats a bold strategy…. I am all for the youth movement but you are putting alot of faith in a guy that hasn’t even touched a ML fastball. Why so down on Barney? Ya he had a bad 2nd half of the year but giving up on him already doesn’t make much sense.

I would keep Barney as a backup infielder. I actually rate him higher as a SS than as a 2B.
I have a very good feeling about Cardenas. His OBP in AAA is higher than Barney’s (and OBP is something the Cubs really need). With the speed of Campana and the bat of Castro in front of him and the power of Rizzo behind him, he is well protected and would see more offspeed stuff.

YUP – the guys we have now are going to have a great year. I fully
trust Sveum to make sure these players play to their fullest abilities –
Barney, Castro, La Hair, Stewart, etc. – I think they are in for a great
season. The young guys are NOT ready to take on the big league yet.
Now I am going to go listen to today’s game and root for our team,
not tear them apart. Bye.

The players you listed (Barney, Castro and LaHair, no idea about Stewart) already played to their fullest abilities (see their stats last year), but the other ones you didn’t mention (Soriano, Soto and Byrd), what about them? Soto had a great rookie year, but never came close to those numbers in any of the following years. Soriano… a well, just look at his numbers and his contract. Put LaHair or Rizzo on 1B and you get the same amount of HR’s as Soriano and put a better defensive player in LF. Someone who runs down all flyballs and who can turn a double into a triple instead of turning it to a single. And as much as I like Byrd’s style of playing and his hustling, I prefer a faster guy so we can be active on the basepaths and get some steals and not be ranked 28 or 30 in that category.

Belgian I must disagree especially about Barney, Castro and LaHair. Barney and Castro are too young to say they played to their fullest abilities. I believe Barney has tasted some big league success and will demand more of himself to to prove he belongs at 2B. Castro has way too big an upside and is still somewhat raw, he may not turn into a gold glover but I think he will improve his defense under a respectable manager like Sveum. LaHair has proved nothing except except he deserves the first base job based on his minor league season(s). A player with great minor league stats getting a chance instead of an overpaid superstar is a refreshing change of pace from the Hendry era. He probably would have re-signed Pena. Rizzo, even by Hoyer’s and Epstein’s comments has not done enough to take the opportunithy away from LaHair, he may during the minor league season but at the onset of this season I am glad to see LaHair get the job. Soriano, Soto and Byrd I completley agree with you on as they have had more than enough ML seasons and give no signs of improving. Soriano will only get worse, Soto seems to have hit a brick wall and Byrd will always be just “good enough” to make a team but not good enough to ignite an offense or scare the opposition’s pitching staff with power, average or speed. It’s too bad Byrd isn’t “good enougH” IN LEFT FIELD.

Joey, about Castro, Barney and LaHair playing to their fullest abilities, it was a reaction to a White comment that Sveum will let those guys play to the fullest of their abilities. What I meant was that those 3 guys showed last season what they can do and what player they can be in the future. It seemed to me that White was saying that those guys didn’t give it a 100% all the time. To me, those guys where the only ones (along with Byrd, but we already know what his ceiling is) that came out there every day and played the game like it’s supposed to be played.
If you read his comment, it looks like those 3 guys needs to be spurred on by Sveum, while the others (Soriano, Soto,…) are just doing fine and don’t need to improve.
About Barney, I just see more upside in Cardenas (based on MiLB stats). I hope I’m wrong about barnay and that next season we have 2 above average 2B-men battling it out for a starting spot.
As for LaHair, he surely deserves a chance at 1B based on his MiLB stats), but it’s his age I’m more concerned about. He’s 29 and has about 4 to 5 good years left in him, while Rizzo is only 22 and more than 10 years left. If we look at this team realistic, the chance of winning it all in 2012 is very slim. Therefor I would look further in the future and already start building for 2013 and beyond. With the prospects we have in the MiLB, this would be the perfect year to see what those young guys are made off.
btw Joey, any other way we can communicate? Twitter or e-mail?

Sorry if I didn’t express my thoughts clearly enough. I think we are
going to have a great season BECAUSE Barney, LaHair, Stewart, etc.
are well trained dedicated skillful talented players and that they can
only get better as they mature. And,yes, I agree that they were the
ones who gave it 100% all the time. They play the game the right way.
What I also meant was that Sveum will not put up with those who do
not give it 100% at all times. This Spring I sense a new vitality, a new
team spirit that hasn’t been there before. Anyone who has been a
slacker before (not to name names) knows that “slacking” is no longer
a a viable choice if they want to play the game. I love the Cubs!!!

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