Lessons Learned from the Chicago Cubs' Loss to the Milwaukee Brewers
Back End of the Rotation Will Be Shaky
Take your pick: Chris Volstad or Randy Wells.
The Cubs decided as camp broke that they would go with Volstad. With that being said, neither player was lighting up the headlines, as it was basically a coin flip.
That's the same thing you will get with Volstad as the fifth starter for the Cubs: a coin flip. There will be days he will sparkle, and there will be days he will look downright awful. Expect the downright awful days to be the norm.
Long Relief Will Not Prevent Any Grief
They call it the long relief for a reason, but that being said, their ultimate job is to still keep the game in reach.
Shawn Camp, who was claimed off waivers a week before spring training ended, was the lame duck Monday night and, well, the nice thing we can say here is he did show up. In just 3.1innings, opponents have tallied seven hits off of him.
Lendy Castillo, a Rule 5 pick who skipped Double A and Triple A to join the Cubs roster, was most likely affected by the jitters he was feeling during his first major league appearance.
Be as it may, it appears the Cubs will have trouble battling back in games where they are facing a deficit if their long-relief pitchers consist of last-minute additions to their roster before spring training ended.
Patience Is a Virtue
In the ninth inning, trailing by two with runners on second and third with two outs, Darwin Barney drew a walk after he saw four straight balls from Brewers closer John Axford to load the bases for Starlin Castro.
The first pitch to Castro was low and away. Castro swung, and he came up with nothing but air. It is mind-boggling that we continue to see players show no patience after a pitcher is clearly having trouble with his own control. Instead, Castro dug himself into a hole, and it was obvious he was confused at the plate when he let two straight pitches right down the middle zip right by him.
Bryan LaHair May Be a Short Solution
Many were skeptical of handing the keys to first base to LaHair, but he has shown he can not only come through his bat, but his glove, too.
He has shown power and discipline at the plate, and his graceful approach to his opportunity to be an everyday starter for the Cubs could provide leadership for a young clubhouse.
David DeJesus Is Not the Answer
With minor league prospects breathing down his neck and his desire to perform well early, DeJesus is off to a disastrous start.
It may be premature to declare DeJesus is not the answer in right field, but many will be calling for Brett Jackson's arrival if he does not turn it around quickly. In a season of rebuilding, it makes sense to continue to rebuild.
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