If any of you are like me, you read the mailbag on cubs.com and, if you are really like me, sometimes you want to see Carrie Muskat, the Cubs beat writer, say what is really happening with the team.
Well, here I will take the questions and answer them without having to worry about any repercussions for criticizing the team or front office.
I think I speak for a lot of Cubs fans when I say that I'd like to see Fox in the lineup more often. With third base and left field pretty tied up, any chance we see Fox get any time at second base?
—Mike P., Indianapolis
We would all like to see Fox in the lineup more. It makes sense wanting to see a player who has been consistently producing with the bat in a lineup that struggles for offense. Although Lou has said he will go with the experience, he's going with who's costing the Cubs the most money.
By all accounts, the team should be made up of the players who are likely to produce. Jake Fox went 4-4 with 4 RBI, so the solution is to drop the man. Sam Fuld has been one of our only threats on the basepaths this season, and he plays well on defense, so we will drop him in order to play a struggling player with a bloated contract.
Can Jake Fox play second? Why not give him a go? Many said that he couldn't play third, but he got the job done. He could put in similar service at second.
This might just be me, but whenever the Cubs start Hill, they always seem to win. Geovany Soto is not having a productive year and the Cubs seem to play better when Hill is in the lineup. Is there any way Pinella will start Hill more games down the stretch and potentially give Hill more starts than Soto in September?
—Michael K., Highland Park, Ill.
The Cubs have won 31 games with Soto behind the plate and 31 with Hill behind the plate. However, they have lost 20 more games with Soto behind the plate than with Hill.
Soto is getting a lot of attention because he came into spring training looking a little heavier after confessing to some marijuana usage. I can't sit here and comfortably say that Soto rested on his Rookie of the Year award last year and didn't work as hard as he should.
However, Soto has found it more difficult this year at the plate, and it was to be expected with pitchers getting a more advanced scouting report on him. The reason why the Cubs are starting Soto is because they need him to hit. He is the catcher of the future. We need him to get his form back, and although Lou will rotate them at points, but Soto will still start the majority of the remaining games.
With the way that Randy Wells is pitching, he has to be in the running for Rookie of the Year. Last year, Soto won the award, and I thought of an interesting question. When was the last time the Cubs had back-to-back winners of the Rookie of the Year Award? And which two players accomplished the feat?
—Derek A., Wichita, Kan.
The answer to the question is Billy Williams in 1961 and Ken Hubbs in 1962. Billy Williams would go on to his Hall of Fame place, but Ken Hubbs met a tragic end. His promising career was cut short in 1964 when his plane went down. At the time, he was considered one of the premier second baseman in the game. It was a great loss to the Cubs organization and to baseball.
Randy Wells has been a welcome surprise this year and he will battle to the end for the Rookie of the Year Award with J.A Happ, who has been in fine form. He will have to maintain that same pitching standard for the remaining month of the season. There is no reason to think he won't be in the running when all is said and done.
Now that the Cubs picked up two lefties (John Grabow and Gorzelanny) for the bullpen, any chance Sean Marshall will move to the rotation for a while?
—Clint E., Hartford City, Ind.
Well, first of all, Marshall can't go back to the rotation unless we move to a six-man rotation; however, it's possible that he moves to the rotation next year. John Grabow will be a free agent after this season, so if you are talking about long term, then I doubt Marshall moves from out of the pen. It will depend what we do with the rotation after this year, but I would bet that Gorzelanny is moved into the rotation before Marshall.