In wake of Soriano's injury, we must not lose sight of the bigger picture
From Jump Street, let me state that I do not think losing Soriano is a good thing at all. Colin whips out the numbers that clearly state that there will be a short term dropoff while Soriano heals. Obviously Murton/Hoffpower don't produce what he does on an annual basis - if they did, then it would be they making thee eight-figure salaries! What really sucks is that he just got his legs back. And Kurt ventures that in the long run, Cubs players of late have not had much luck recovering their power from broken hands, particularly from Soriano, whose main gift from God is his wrists, and this particular fracture metacarpal is closely adjacent to said Wrists of God.
I knew, sitting here watching my guys, Our Cubs, run off the best record in baseball, that it was too good to be true. Mark Prior, Kerry Wood, Sammy Sosa...all too good to be true. Several times I thought and mentioned that the only thing that could stop us in 2008 is injuries. When you saw Pujols get hurt and Yovanni Gallardo get hurt, as a hypersensitive, oversuperstitious Cubs fan, you had to wonder...Where's Ours?
Hopefully, this is it.
I honestly think, though, that it could be worse. I have stated on here time after time that I think Alfonso Soriano is nothing more than a backup generator - a failover system that occassionally - nay, frequently - can carry a team for weeks at a time while everyone else struggles. There is NO 2007 Division Crown without his September. And yes, when taken on an annual basis as Colin has, the man produces abundantly.
Thing is, though, is that his contributions are not consistent. He differs from, say, Ramirez, who pretty much produces at the same rate every day. You know that, if you write him in the lineup for a week, that he will give you hits three times out of ten, probably a homer, about four RBIs, and he'll walk a few times. Managers and teams tend to LEAN on people like Ramirez, they count on him, and when players like him lose time, the loss is quantifiable.
With Soriano, on the other hand, you just don't know. He HAS been giving us more consistent production the past couple of weeks, yes. But you honestly don't know what we're going to miss out on the next six weeks. Might he hit 12 bombs and drive in 30? Or might he hit .150 and chase every pitch thrown at him? He isn't going to be there, probably the rest of the year, to pick us up when we need it...that's the great loss with Soriano. Our Plan B is gone for 2008. However, it isn't the end of the world if Murton plays there the next six weeks. We could still play winning ball, if...
...we don't forget about the pitching! Sure, Dempster whipped out his big brass nutts last night and went the distance, and for the moment, you have to feel confident that Wood and Marmol are rested enough. For now.
Lemme ax u a question - consider Z's last two starts, do YOU feel confident that he is going to go out there today and mow them down? Do you feel confident that the offense is going to keep bailing Lilly out from under his early-inning catastrophes? July is only three weeks away, do YOU know where your Marquis de Suck is? Still with US, that's where he is.
They're talking up Sean Marshall as the next callup, saying that he has made the most progress in Iowa. His last start? Five runs in six innings. But hey, he only walked one.
We can't lose sight of the fact that we still need a solid middle-of-the-rotation guy, to minimize the amount of time we have to see Wuertz and Lieber and Hart and yeah, even Marmol and Wood.