6/27 Cubs lineup

After going 2-for-4 in his Cubs debut on Tuesday night, Anthony Rizzo will be back in the lineup on Wednesday in the series finale against the Mets. The Cubs already have won the series, taking two of three so far. They’ve now won five straight series against the Mets since 2008. Jeff Samardzija gets the start. He’s 3-2 with a 2.36 ERA at home compared to 2-4 with a 6.37 ERA on the road. The Cubs did beat lefty Johan Santana on Monday; they face another lefty, Jonathon Niese, on Wednesday. They’re 4-16 vs. left-handed starters this year, and batting .216 against southpaw pitchers. Here’s the lineup:

Mather CF

Castro SS

Rizzo 1B

Soriano LF

Baker RF

Soto C

Barney 2B

Valbuena 3B

Samardzija P

– Carrie Muskat

12 Comments

The NO CONFIDENCE in LaHair is disturbing. He needs to play as long as the only options are Baker and Johnson. Let him get his swings in vs. lefties this season while all is lost. More harm than good by benching this kid and making a statement that Sveum (if not the organization) does not believe he will ever hit lefties or come out of a slump. I could see platooning him if THESE GAMES MATTERED.

Did we sit lahair in the minors everytime Iowa faced a lefty? With Rizzo up now, maybe some of that magic will rub off on lahair facing lefties? Sometimes I feel like Quade is still managing this team. If we’re worried about the lineup being too left handed against a southpaw, sit Valbuena.

I just do not see LaHair as an outfielder ever. He is slow and seems terrible uncomfortable. He is a definite defensive liability. His batting average continues to drop and he is now at .286 and has not hit a HR in some time. He just cannot hit LH pitching what so ever so that makes him a part time player. Last night I almost fell out of my chair when Saveum did not put in a pinch runner for him in the late innings when one run was very crucial. I predict he will either be traded for some minor prospect or back in AAA at years end. Campana a singles hitter would be of much more benefit than LaHair. Campana leads in steals even though he has limited playing time. He is also going to save you some runs with his fielding and can play any OF position. Given the choice I take Campana over LaHair.

Agreed. I want to see Campana in the outfield. He can run “like a bunny” and get to the balll faster than LaHair. He also needs to be running the bases. I want to see him be calmer at the plate to get more walks and/or hits.

more mather. nothing against him, the guy’s ok. but why sveum has such a crush on him i may never understand…
as for lahair, he does seem to struggle against lefties. having said that, it seems you could give him a confidence boost by playing him every once in a while. after all, throughout that 4-16 record against lefties, the majority of those games have featured dale’s ‘special’ non-lahair lineup. it’s not like the righty-stacked lineup is raking or anything, so why not go against the book and let lahair bat, dale?
i was intrigued by dale sveum as manager before the season started, but the more i see of him the more he comes off as a huge joker. sorry to be so negative. maybe carrie could do a piece on the managerial strengths of dale sveum to counter this vibe.

With a gun to my head I take Campana over LaHair as well. But all LaHair’s stats still point to him being the best option as of now for RF. John, you make a valid point about LaHair, funny I feel the same way about Soriano who is equal to or worse than LarHair defensivley, has about the same homeruns, runs worse than LaHair, is older than LaHair has less POTENTIAL than LaHair yet we see more and more of Soriano’s playing time in LF AND late in the game! Even with Soriano FINALLY improving his defense he is no second coming of Roberto Clemente as the media and organization would have us believe. Even during LaHair’s “slump” why would anybody prefer the “utility” guy Baker (no defensive wizard) over LaHair during this God awful season when it would matter more to encourage LaHair rather than get the best “righty vs. lefty” match up. I agree with Johnny, Quade’s spirit is haunting Sveum… Baker? C’mon. If they can play the LEFT HANDED, light hitting un-heralded, little power Valbuena (nothing against him as I prefer him at third base over Baker) against a left handed pitcher why not play the left handed, power hitting, much heralded LaHair? Give him the entire season AS PROMISED and see what you have in him. I believe he STILL has a better batting average and on base percentage than Soriano not to mention Baker. Now if JACKSON were the one pushing LaHair instead of the All Powerful Baker I can see his lack of playing time. Besides, they are not increasing his trade value by BLATANTLY DISPLAYING THEIR LACK OF CONFIDENCE….

tooweary, nicely stated. In other words if we were to ask “WHY NOT LAHAIR?” Svuem can’t back up his “lefty lineup” by pointing at the record vs. lefties. It’s as if he/they are just WAITING for LaHair to fail? So they can move on with…who?

no idea. like i said, sveum appears to be a lame duck. i wonder what the front office says privately about him, or to his face about some of his moves. makes me think of moneyball when brad pitt/billy beane gets fed up with the way art howe is managing the team he put together. even in a lost season, surely there are ways epstein would like to see the players developed, and i can’t imagine keeping jeff baker fresh is real high up on his list of important projects.

Oh! Nice Baker point Tooweary! Getting Baker and Johnson in EVERY game vs. left handed pitchers HAS to be puzziling to Hoystein who made it clear at the beginning of the season that LaHair WAS THE REGULAR EVERYDAY FIRST BASEMAN. Even pre-Rizzo Baker was getting starts at first base!!! It’s counterproductive to develope the aging, soon to be gone bench players while not discovering if YOUR REGULAR LEFT HANDED POWER BAT CAN HIT LEFTIES. Now Sveum has the opportunity to see if LaHair can hand RF FULL TIME….but no, Baker is still run out THERE now when a lefty takes the hill so we can lose anyway…

It makes no sense to platoon middle of the order type hitters. Drop LaHair in the lineup if you want, pinch hit for him in a close game, take him out for defense when you’re ahead late, but play the kid 5x a week. With Stewart out (hell, even when he’s back) – use third base and Soriano’s spot to rotate the bench guys. Cripes. even with the offense as bad as it is, more often than not we’re losing because of pitching anyway. Quit overthinking the lineups Sveum.

that’s exactly how i think sveum is failing: overthinking the lineups/matchups.
well said.

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