Friday, May 21, 2010

Cubs Can Finally Use One of Their DHs As a DH

When most National League teams play in American League ballparks during interleague play, it gives them an opportunity to take a hitter who is really good at hitting and not so good at fielding and include them in the lineup as the designated hitter, thus allowing a better defensive player to take the field to help out the pitcher.

Unfortunately, the Cubs are hardly ever like most National League teams because they actually employ two guys who should be designated hitters when the league doesn't have that rule.  As we all know, Alfonso Soriano has returned to being a very good hitter, but his defense is shaky at best, and downright deplorable at worst. Even the biggest Soriano lovers would have a hard time naming any other starters who are as bad at fielding as Alfonso Soriano.  Maybe Ryan Braun and Adam Dunn.  Maybe.

So as the Cubs prepare to play the Texas Rangers in Arlington, it stands to reason that the Cubs could deploy an outfield consisting of Colvin, Byrd, and Fukudome while keeping Soriano's bat in the lineup at designated hitter.  Unfortunately, the Cubs also employ Xavier Nady, who should almost be able to throw a ball at least as well as Ryan Theriot by now, but still needs a cutoff man between himself and the cutoff man.

He would probably lose a throwing contest with Bucky LaGrange:

So, the Cubs have a defensive alignment that includes one of the worst, if not the absolute worst defender in the Major Leagues because at least he can throw the ball.  It also means that to improve the defense in the late innings, the Cubs will still have to remove Soriano's bat from the lineup when they insert Tyler Colvin. 

But things could be worse.  They have played a few games with both Nady and Soriano in the same outfield and the world didn't explode or anything.  I guess it wouldn't bother me so much if Nady had shown some consistency in his hitting that would demand he get extra playing time, but as it is right now, it is really difficult to watch Tyler Colvin rotting on the bench.

Oh well... Let's go Blackhawks!


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