4/25 Cubs lineup

Steve Clevenger is behind the plate for Wednesday’s series finale against the Cardinals. Chris Volstad is looking for his first win since July 17 last season. He’s gone 14 starts without a “W.” Here’s the lineup:

RF DeJesus

CF Campana

SS Castro

1B LaHair

LF Soriano

3B Stewart

C Clevenger

2B Barney

P Volstad

– Carrie Muskat

9 Comments

well lets see what happens… would like the see the cubs not have to continue to pull it out at the end for once!!

Barney should still be batting 2nd

I would worship at their feet if Theo and Jed could get rid of Marmol. Man this kid is bad…what something like two blown saves in three attempts? Just more of the same we’ve been seeing year after year. He’s hopeless.

I don’t care how they pull it out as long as they beat those Cards!

If we can’t trade Marmol (or put him on the same bus we put Alfanseca on years ago), can we PLEASE just get a guy who can handle a risky close situation? We either need to win by defense or offense…sadly, while our starters are doing their part, we have neither a “d” nor “o” that we can bank on! Much like Pavlov’s dogs, my stomach churns in the 8th since I know what is coming – mediocre (or worse) setup and an uncontrolled closer. Maybe today Marmol could just work on staying on the mound after a few pitches instead of flinging himself off every time. A little hard to catch a line drive back to the mound if you’re not on it.

I don’t understand why Clevenger is not the starter and Soto the backup… It’s time to move Soto. He can be productive/beneficial to another team. Clevenger has been impressive so far and his lifetime minor league stats (.308 average) indicates that he’s worth a chance.

We just saw today why Soto is the starter. Clevenger blew a play at the plate because he didn’t block it correctly, blew a pitchout because he wasn’t aggressive enough, and falied to direct Camp I think it was to hold a runner who was a stolen base threat. Now, Clevenger’s defense will improve with time but he has A LOT to learn. Soto’s defense wasn’t all that great his first two years and he had to bust his butt to bring it up to where it is now.

Your point is well taken but how’s he going to learn at the major league level if he does not get the proper playing time? Something to be said about that. You can only watch so much film or practice so many drills before the games but much of the game is mental and being exposed to real-time game situations rather than practice drills, etc… He has quite a bit of experience in the minor leagues (over 2000+ AB’s) and has catched many games. As per his blown pitchout, I sometimes wonder if someone just gets “rusty” if they keep benching them. Start Clevenger 4-5 days a week and I have a sneaking suspicion he’ll improve dramatically. He has called some good games already. His bat is too good to keep him on the bench. Every time I look up, Soto seems to be striking out or popping out. He also made a few costly errors the other day. Just saying. With all due respect (just a figure of speech here) when I learned to swim as a child, I watched explanations on how to swim and did “shadow swimming drills” (pretending to swim even when you were not in the water) but it was not until I was tossed into the pool and staying in there regularly when I dramatically got better. An article this year even mentioned Epstein and company are not concerned about the win-count as they’re focusing on who they have and developing them. So if the win-count does not matter this year (I’m ok with that), then it’s their golden opportunity to give the Clevenger’s, Campana’s, LaHair’s (let him bat against lefties more and develop him into a full-time hitter) regular playing time and let the Baker’s, Soto’s and Johnson’s back them up. I don’t agree with platooning LaHair with Baker. Nothing against Baker but he’s a lifetime backup and LaHair can be something special for about 4-5 years. I feel the same way about Clevenger (have you seen his minor league stats? He rarely strikes out and we need someone that’s going to consistently put the ball in play). His defense will continue to improve (and he’ll learn a lot more) more rapidly (I feel) with increased playing time.

How about equal time for both Soto and Clevenger at the very least? They both have shown reasons for NOT being THE everyday starter yet also they both show signs why they need to be in the lineup. This is a win-win situation as equal time allows Clevenger to IMPROVE via on the job training and the equal bench time allows Soto to reflect on his role as a Cub AND as a MAJOR LEAGUE catcher. Let them battle it out for a few months at least and the victor claims the “starting” catcher title by August and thusly round out the 2013 roster which is what I believe Hoystein’s goal is?????????????? 2013 could very well see Soto traded if he doesn’t improve his offense and we will then be well served with Clevenger and Castillo.

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