Goatriders of the Apocalypse

Tangent Alert (Game Recap: Cubs 4, Nationals 0)

That's a shutout and a sweep for the Cubs. Why can't we play the Nationals every game? (And why couldn't we do this to the Pirates??????????????????)

We had a scoreless tie in the top of the eighth before TyCo took a walk (see? better pitch recognition!), stole 2nd (see? he's fast!), and was driven home by The Great Starlin Castro.

Guys, hold on for a second, we have to pause here. Starlin Castro deserves our appreciation. Of course, this is the Cubs we're talking about, so it's probably better to assume that the kid will peak as a solid starter. But really, when you watch this kid play, isn't it safe to assume that the sky is indeed the limit on his talent? Yes, the errors are discouraging; yes, he's obviously still figuring out how to steal bases at the major league level (I think he's 6-for-12); and yes, the power isn't all there yet. But the kid has RANGE, and an ARM. And he hits EVERYTHING. And he's 20 years old!!!!!!

Watch out, boys and girls. Castro could really, truly, honestly, seriously end up as a perennial All-Star at shortstop.

And speaking of young kids, it seems Tyler Colvin has developed nicely this year, no? Plenty of pop, improving eye, super speed, decent glove. Very toolsy. But then, as faustus mentioned in a recent comment, why isn't he getting more playing time? Why does Kosuke keep leading off?

You know why Kosuke's playing more recently? Because he's the better player.

Colvin's defense is good, but Kosuke's is better. Tyler can hit for power, but Kosuke is probably the best option we have at leadoff; even though he hits in the .250-.270 range he gets on base at a .369 clip.

Of course, the Fukster can't hit lefties. And he's on the wrong side of 30 -- just like our other two starting outfielders. It'd be perfect if there were a way to only play him sometimes, while at the same time possibly giving a break to the other outfielders... maybe we could call this new position a "4th outfielder..."

Joking aside, Tyler Colvin really ought to be a 4th OF. He's a fine hitter, and a reliable outfielder in any of the three spots. But you don't need to bench a .370 on-base guy for a little more pop from the left side every single day. And maybe it's a symptom of small sample size, but it looks like Colvin hits lefties better than righties anyway. Why not try dividing playing time more evenly among the four, rather than going 100% with one or the other like we seemed to do for the first four months of the season?

Off day tonight. Take this extra time to actually comment on something here!

Stepped in what?

A little more pop? Maybe, Fukudome is more effective as the 4th outfielder? This team has problems driving in runs. The Cubs are 13th in batting average, but are only 20th in runs batted in. This team needs runs producers.

Many pundits say teams need a true lead off hitter. Honestly, not very many teams do have that. Also, while it is a smaller sample size Colvin according to fangraphs is worth more than Fukudome. We haven't seen a significant slide(or twirl) by Fukudome because Lou didn't trot him out there every single day.

I think Colvin is a Hunter Pence like player. Will he be great? Probably not, but he is definitely a guy you would start. Colvin will get better. Will Kosuke? Let's face it. He is a rich man's So Taguchi.

Excellent point that Colvin

Excellent point that Colvin has upside while Kosuke does not. I guess my question would be, is Fukudome comfortable playing all three spots? That seems like the most important quality of the 4th OF to me.

Also interesting that both have similar WAR and similar defensive stats, despite the fact that they are totally different hitters.

Too used to

minor league call ups who hit for a decent average and hits for decent power just to disappear. We need to remember Colvin is 24 years old. Fox was a catcher who could not....well catch(yet is a catcher for the Orioles) and was 27 years old last season. Hoffpauir is on the wrong side of 30.

This seasons has given very fews things for the Cubs to cheer about, but Colvin and Castro are reasons for hope.

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