4/19 Theo: Look at the big picture
Theo Epstein, in Miami after scouting some players for the upcoming Draft, said fans need to look at the big picture rather than panic over the Cubs slow start.
“You never want to start off poorly,” Epstein said Thursday. “There are a lot of things we can improve upon and we will, but you also don’t want to read too much into one homestand and one road trip. Certainly, it crystalized some areas that we need to ascribe to be better.”
The Cubs have been lacking in terms of slugging percentage — Alfonso Soriano, for example, does not have an extra base hit — and also speed.
“Every team has stretches where they don’t hit and we’re in one of them,” Epstein said. “We have certain guys with offensive upside and it’s a continual process to have those guys reach that upside and start swinging the bat better and the way you score runs is by getting guys on base and swinging the bat well as the same time. We don’t have that right now.”
Dale Sveum hinted he may alter the lineup for Thursday’s series finale against the Marlins but did not. Brett Jackson and Anthony Rizzo are doing well at Triple-A Iowa. Any chance those two kids will join the big league team?
“Those guys are continuing their development at Triple-A and there are things they’re working on to continue to improve,” Epstein said. “We’re also not giving up on guys after a homestand and a road trip. Guys need time to get into a rhythm of the season and show what they can do. Baseball is best understood from bigger samples and from a distance sometimes. N0 one wants to get off to this kind of start and the lineup isn’t performing well but it’s a little early to be thinking about those kind of moves, specifically with your better prospects.”
What Epstein and the Cubs are looking at is the big picture, not short-term.
“[We look at] what will help us maximize our competitiveness in 2012 and the bigger picture is how do we build a championship caliber organization,” Epstein said. “That’s a longer term issue. When those two interests butt up against each other, we’ll defer to the long-term. There are things we can do, smaller moves we can make and probably will make over the course of the season to try to put together a club that can be more competitive. We’re also looking out for the best long-term interests of the organization.”
— Carrie Muskat