Cubs Come Up Short in a Sloppy Game – Cubs 3, Reds 4

Game Sixteen – Cubs 3, Reds 4
WP – Johnny Cueto (2-0) LP – Rodrigo Lopez (0-1) Save – Sean Marshall (3)

Sunday’s series finale between the Cubs and Reds had no rhythm at all and was a poorly played game by both teams. The Cubs and Reds were a combined 3-for-23 with runners in scoring position, left 25 runners on base, walked 13 batters, hit two batters and committed five errors.

The Reds took the lead in the sixth inning when they scored two runs without a hit. With the game tied at two, Rodrigo Lopez issued a leadoff walk to Ryan Hanigan. After back-to-back throwing errors by Geovany Soto on attempted sacrifice bunt attempts by Johnny Cueto and Zack Cozart loaded the bases, Drew Stubbs hit into a fielder’s choice that broke the tie. Scott Maine then hit a batter and walked another to force in the Reds’ second run of the inning.

The Cubs once again left a win on base. The offense managed just six hits but walked five times and Starlin Castro was hit by a pitch. Alfonso Soriano (0-for-4 with a strikeout and seven left on base) had another horrible day at the plate and failed to do his job twice Sunday with the bases loaded. The Cubs were a miserable 2-for-11 with runners in scoring position and left 12 on base. Bryan LaHair (1-for-2 with a RBI and a walk) notched the Cubs only hit that plated a run.

Starlin Castro (2-for-4 with a triple, HBP and two runs scored) scored two of the Cubs’ three runs while extending his hitting streak to 10 games. Castro has reached base safely in 55 of the last 56 games he’s played.

Randy Wells struggled with his command in his first start of the season. Wells tied a career-high with five walks but none of them scored. Wells allowed two runs on six hits with five walks and two strikeouts in five innings.

Like the other two starters in the series, Randy Wells ran up his pitch count in the first inning and barely made it through five innings of work (Chris Volstad threw 41 pitches in the first inning on Friday; Paul Maholm tossed 25 pitches in the first on Saturday and it took Wells 31 pitches to get through the first on Sunday). Wells threw 93 pitches, 52 for strikes, and received a no decision after the Cubs tied the game in the bottom of the fifth.

Rodrigo Lopez and Scott Maine allowed the Reds to take the lead for good in the sixth. Maine did retire the Reds in order in the seventh. Shawn Camp surrendered only one hit and a walk while striking out three in his two innings of scoreless ball.

With Sunday’s loss (1-2 on Sundays), the Cubs dropped to 4-12 on the season …

Randy Wells worked his way in and out of a jam in a laborious first inning. Wells got Zack Cozart to pop out to Soto (1-2 pitch) in between the plate and the mound. Wells then walked the free-swinging Drew Stubbs (3-1 pitch). The Cubs’ defense gave the Reds another double. Joey Votto popped a 0-1 pitch into left. With the wind howling in and the defensively challenged Alfonso Soriano, the ball fell to the ground as Soriano dove trying to make up for misreading the pop up.

With runners on second and third with one out, Wells walked Ryan Ludwick.

To Wells’ credit he refocused and put his early struggles and questionable calls from the homeplate ump behind him and struck out both Jay Bruce (3-2 pitch) and Scott Rolen (2-2 pitch) swinging to end the inning. Wells threw 31 pitches in the first, 17 for strikes.

David DeJesus struck out swinging (1-2 pitch) to start the bottom of the first. Tony Campana hit a 0-2 pitch down the third baseline. Instead of at least a double to left, Campana had to beat out a throw from Scott Rolen. Rolen made an excellent stop, threw from his backside and nearly nailed the speedy Campana.

Johnny Cueto was called for a balk before the second pitch to Starlin Castro. The Cubs’ shortstop ended up striking out and Bryan LaHair grounded out to Votto (first pitch) to end the inning.

Randy Wells worked around a one-out single by Ryan Hanigan (first pitch to center) in the second. Wells tried to drop a bunt attempt that Cueto popped up but Cueto was called out then Cozart flied out to left for the third out … 44 pitches for Wells after two, 27 for strikes.

Alfonso Soriano popped out to center (3-2 pitch) but Ian Stewart was able to end his 0-for-the-series with a single to center (first pitch). Geovany Soto predictably struck out swinging … and so did Blake DeWitt (1-2 pitch).

The Reds finally got to Wells in the third. Drew Stubbs led off the inning with a bloop single to center (0-2 pitch). Joey Votto ripped a 3-1 pitch into left center. Stubbs scored easily on Votto’s standing double. Ryan Ludwick flied out to left center (2-2 pitch) and Bruce grounded out to first for the second out. With Votto at third, Scott Rolen blooped a 2-0 pitch into shallow right. Votto limped home with the Reds second run. Harris grounded back to Wells to end the third (63 pitches, 38 for strikes).

The Cubs wasted a chance to get on the board in the bottom of the third.

Randy Wells flied out to right center on the tenth pitch of the at bat. With one down, David DeJesus singled to left and advanced to second on a sac bunt by Tony Campana. Cueto bobbled Campana’s bunt and he reached first on an E1.

Starlin Castro flied out to right (1-1 pitch) for the second out. Cueto obviously wanted nothing to do with Bryan LaHair and ended up walking him to load the bases. The struggling Alfonso Soriano grounded out to short (2-1 pitch) to end the inning.

The Reds had a chance to tack on in the fourth but they were not patient enough against Randy Wells to cash in.

Wells walked Ryan Hanigan to start the fourth. Cueto bunted him to second then Wells walked Cozart and put runners on first and second with one down. Drew Stubbs hit the first pitch to short. Castro threw to DeWitt at second and forced Cozart. Wells then walked Votto to load the bases with two outs.

Ryan Ludwick hit the first pitch to Castro … inning over. It took Wells 84 pitches, 47 for strikes, to get through four innings.

The Cubs did nothing in the bottom of the fourth.

For the fourth time in five innings, Randy Wells found himself in a jam in the fifth.

Jay Bruce ripped Wells’ first pitch into the right field corner. Scott Rolen followed and hit a 2-1 pitch to deep right. Bruce tagged and advanced to second with one out.

Dusty Baker called for a suicide squeeze but Willie Harris bunted the ball to close to Wells and Bruce was thrown out the plate. Harris reached first but Soto threw him out at second to end the inning … and Randy Wells’ afternoon.

Joe Mather hit for Wells to start the fifth and Cueto plunked him on the first pitch. After DeJesus popped out to left, Tony Campana hit a 2-2 pitch back to the mound. Cueto bobbled the ball (again) but threw to first just in time to nail Campana. Starlin Castro extended his hitting streak to 10 games with an infield single to the hole at short. Mather advanced to third on the play.

Johnny Cueto threw to first to hold Castro close after a 1-2 pitch to LaHair. The ball went off Joey Votto’s glove into foul ground. Mather scored and Castro advanced to second on Votto’s error. Two pitches later, Bryan LaHair ripped a single into center and plated Castro with the tying run. Soriano broke his bat and lined out softly to Cueto to end the inning.

After five the game was tied at two.

Rodrigo Lopez took over in the sixth and proved once again he should not be on the Cubs’ big league roster. It would be better to have Randy Wells accept the long-man role when Ryan Dempster returns from the DL. Not only did Lopez not do his job he also cost his catcher an error … and his team runs.

Lopez walked Ryan Hanigan to start the sixth. Cueto then dropped a bunt up the first baseline. Lopez did not leave the mound. Soto picked up the ball halfway up the line, threw toward first and hit Cueto in the back. With runners on first and second with no outs, Baker tried to give the Cubs an out again. Cozart bunted up the third baseline but Soto’s throw pulled DeWitt off the bag … bases loaded, no outs on a walk and two errors.

Drew Stubbs grounded out to short and Hanigan scored the go ahead run … 3-2 Reds.

Dale Sveum decided he’d seen enough at that point and went to his pen. Scott Maine replaced Lopez and struck out Joey Votto swinging (1-2 pitch). With runners on first and third with two down, Maine hit Ludwick on a 2-1 pitch to load the bases.

Maine jumped ahead of Jay Bruce 1-2 but eventually walked him and forced in Cueto with the Reds’ fourth run. Rolen struck out swinging (2-2 pitch) to end the inning.

Other than Blake DeWitt reaching on an error by Willie Harris with two outs in the sixth, the Cubs did nothing against Cueto … at the end of six the Cubs trailed 4-2.

Scott Maine retired the Reds in order for the first time Sunday in the seventh.

The Cubs had another chance in the bottom of the seventh … but once again came away empty.

Tony Campana worked a one out walk and advanced to second when Johnny Cueto hit Castro in the left elbow on the first pitch. Castro hit the ground and was in obvious pain but stayed in the game. Dusty Baker went to his pen and brought in Logan Ondrusek to face Steve Clevenger.

Steve Clevenger hit for Maine and worked a walk to load the bases with one out. Alfonso Soriano predictably struck out swinging (tried to check swing on breaking ball well out of the strike zone). Baker went back to his pen for Aroldis ChapmanIan Stewart looked at a 1-2 pitch to end the inning.

Shawn Camp pitched the eighth and other than a two-out walk to Joey Votto, the Reds did nothing in the eighth. Two of the three outs Camp recorded were strikeouts.

The Cubs showed a lot of patience against Chapman in the bottom of the eighth but they were not able to chip away at the Reds’ two-run lead.

Geovany Soto lined out to left to start the inning. Darwin Barney hit for DeWitt and grounded out to short. Joe Mather worked a walk, the first free pass issued by Chapman this season. David DeJesus followed with a walk and Sveum went to his bench. Reed Johnson hit for Tony Campana and grounded out to short for the third out.

The Reds were not able to add to their lead in the ninth despite recording their first hit since the fifth. Wilson Valdez reached on an infield single to third with two down but that was it … and the Cubs went to the ninth trailing 4-2.

Starlin Castro led off the ninth with an impressive at bat. Castro went with the ninth pitch from Sean Marshall and drove the ball into the gap in right center. Castro ended up at third with a leadoff triple. Steve Clevenger looked at a 0-2 pitch for the first out. Jeff Baker hit for Shawn Camp and hit a weak grounder to short. Castro scored … 4-3 Reds but at that point it was a case of too little too late.

Ian Stewart looked at a 2-2 offering from Marshall … game and series over.

The Cubs had a chance despite walking eight batters, hitting another one and committing two errors that led to two runs … in a one-run loss.

Box Score from Yahoo Sports

The Cubs open a three-game series at the old ballyard Monday night against the Cardinals … Matt Garza versus Jaime Garcia in game one.

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Quote of the Day

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  • Josh

    Soto stinks!

    • BosephHeyden

       That game kinda settled the next guy to go.  And this is definitely a situation where you trade him ASAP, because so far, the contact he is making isn’t doing much.  Get as much value as you can out of him as soon as you can.

      • cubtex

        Why not. Trade him at low value and pay all his contract. Maybe we can get another DFA’d player for him.

        • Zonk

          Exactly.  Let’s dump him after 50 at-bats. 

          There is a big difference between Soto and Byrd.  Byrd is 34, so it’s very possible that his decline is terminal.  He certainly isn’ t the 4-WAR player he was a couple years ago.

          Soto, though, is only 29.  Is he in a slump, or is his decline terminal?  We don’t know, but 50 ABs isn’t enough to make that judgement.  Anyone can have a bad month, just ask Albert Puhols. 

          We need to be patient with Soto, and make REALLY sure he is truly a declining player before pushing the “dump” button. 

          • joenp3

            Sheesh…How many years after rookie to you consider a slump?

          • gary3411

             Soto was spectacular in 2010

    • Schwimmer

      I agree.  I can’t figure out why SVEUM would not allow CLEVENGER to play 2 days in a row, especially with the Cincinnati “right-handed” pitcher throwing?

      Please explain why the CUBS Manager would do that?

  • BosephHeyden

    You know, I was thinking about the post-Soto catching era.  Right now, Clevenger is doing great, but Castillo is supposed to be a star in the making.  Obviously, you can’t bank on Castillo just translating well to the majors, but at the same time Clevenger doesn’t really have anywhere you can just throw him and keep his production.  In short, neither guy is a backup at this point (though if you had to choose, Castillo would be the backup until Clevenger stopped producing).

    As far as a good backup goes, I think Michael Brenley might be more-than-ideal for that role.  He really isn’t being brought up as a star and was definitely drafted because of his dad, but he’s performing more-than-adequately in the minors to the point where he would be a fairly good choice as an every fifth day guy.

    Of course, you also have to figure out which one of Clevenger and Castillo you’d keep, then immediately trade the other for some good prospects (preferably starter prospects), but you can do that either later this season by having Clevenger and Castillo split reps or next spring.

    • Zonk

      Castillo is not a star in the making.  He might be a ML starter.  He might not be an ML catcher.  Who knows.

      Castillo has good pop, and can throw runners out.  He has also struggled to make contact in the past (good start to the season so far), and aside from his arm has a poor defensive reputation.  He is a bit stiff, and has a repuation for being a blockhead when it comes to calling a game and handling pitchers.

      Clevenger is hot, and his minor league stats say he is an average defensive catcher, with little power, who does make nice lefthanded contact at the plate.  Enough to be a ML backup for a few years, but not enough to be an impact starter.  He has earned more playing time.

      Soto has been an impact starter in the majors.  Maybe, at the age of 29, he has permanently declined.  We need to be really sure though before we dump him.  Anyone can have a bad 50 at-bats.  Just ask Albert Puhols

      • Horatio Vonsnackster

        You can’t keep sending Soto out there when he’s performing like this – and has been for the last year and a half.  There are other options, and players need to perform to play at this level.  Catcher is a critically important role on the team – it would be one thing if he just wasn’t hitting, but the guy can’t call a game and is not nearly as solid defensively as even Clevanger.  I’m not saying Clevanger, or even Castillo is the long-term answer, but Soto shouldn’t be starting at this point in time. 
        Even if the sample size on Clevanger is small, I’ll take his defense, pitch calling and the way the pitchers partner with him, over Soto.  The fact that he is a left bat, and is off to a good start, further warrants more playing time.  This one is a no-brainer right now.

      • Joenp3

        Yes!  I see your point!  Using Albert Pu(j)ols to backup your Soto analysis really changes things.
        Guess Soto will be going for that 10 year 250/mil/contract at 32…assuming anyone remembers the name Soto.

        • Zonk

          The point wasn’t to compare Soto to Pujols.  The point was you can’t judge a player on 50 ABs (actually, 42).  Pujols hasn’t homered all year, but I think he has power.  Soto is hitting .150, but his BABIP is .167.  Small sample size.

          Last year, he wasn’t a great player, but still hit enough HRs to post nearly 2 wins over replacement.  Nothing to write home about, but better than some teams are getting from their catcher.

          Clevenger has earned more time, so Soto is going to start less.  But 42 ABs isn’t enough to cost you your job.  That’s my point.

          • Joenp3

            Did anyone see the episode of HOUSE where Hugh Laurie kept saying Pujols (pooh holes) ?  Darn Laurie!  I can’t hear the name and be the same way anymore.
            With all due respect…everyone knows that 50/42 Pujols at bats and 50/42 Soto at bats are the same thing. (obvious sarcasm)
            I, sort of, think you can judge.
            You may be right, I, sincerely, hope you are, but I need to see it, to believe it.

  • wrigleylover

    Wells was a disaster waiting to happen almost every inning. 5 walks and 6 hits and only 2 runs was very fortunate. We need Dempster back quick.

    • cubtex

      You act like they are competing for something this year with that statement:)

      • wrigleylover

        No not at all. I’m interested in the good of the team

        • cubtex

          Then we don’t want to rush Dempster back. He is one of the few who will have trade value to a contender if he agrees to waive his no trade.

          • wrigleylover

            I agree I just hope he heals quick. I would not want to trade one of our good pitchers. Even though he has a kind of a high career ERA I still like him

          • Zonk

            I wonder if Dempster would waive his no-trade.  And I don’t think no-trade is in his contract, but he qualifies for 5 and 10 rights, so it’s basically the same thing.  We can’t move him without his permission.

          • Airkeys

            Yes he has 5 and 10 rights. Hopefully he will agree to a trade for a chance to pitch in the postseason.

          • Hoosierboy3423

            I think as much as he loves the team, like Wood, hed be willing to accept a trade if its in the clubs best interests. Heck hes prob our future color analyst anyways lol, why wouldnt he do whats best for us.

  • paulcatanese

    Not defending Soto as I feel Clevenger should be number 1 now, even with a small sample 10 for 17 is a feat few Cubs have achomplished
    Grace for one and he didn’t turn out too bad.

    Having said that what I would like to address the two errors by Soto. The first one, when Soto picked the ball up and threw towards first base he hit the runner in the back, exactly what he was supposed to do because the runner was inside the double line and should have been called out for interfernce,but as usual was not, a very tough call to get from umpires.
    The second error was the throw that supposedly pulled DeWitt off the bag, close but should have kept his foot on the bag, DeWitt is not the premire second baseman on defense, but should know how to stretch.

    Anyway two errors that should not have been but were.

    • Ripsnorter1

      Clevenger shouldn’t surprise you, Paul, since he hit .407 in AAA in 2011. Yes, it was only 97 PA, but he’s only had 17 here in the bigs thus far.  LOL

      Campana….Baseball Reference says that his defense is weak enough to cost the Cubs 692 runs per year if he plays CF everyday.  I know he’s exciting and all, but….LOL. 

      I know how Sveum can make you very happy: start both Campana and Clevenger in the same game. 

      • paulcatanese

        Not neccessarly Rip, Clevenger yes, I would like to see him start.
        Campana, I know is limited, but is exciting, and used in the proper form,ok. Pinch runner, hitter leading off an inning or defenseivly in place of DeWitt when he is in the outfield. If he were used for his speed, I buy it.
        Not a  lot that has taken place this year has made me happy.

      • Zonk

        That is a funny stat….it’s -692.  Give him a few more innings, if he does well we’ll be up 500 runs. 

        Small Sample sizes can be fun!

    • Chadaudio

      In regards to the errors: I was listening to the game on the Reds station (because I was out running errands and I usually get that station in better then WGN).  Those announcers said Soto was unjustly given the error on the bunt to third too.  They stated that Stewart didn’t come up and make the play he should have… they also blamed DeWitt for not keeping his foot on the bag as well.  They also mentioned something about Mather not being in position for one of the bunt plays either… but I wasn’t sure which bunt they were referring to.

      • paulcatanese

        As you might guess, I agree with the Reds broadcasters, I saw both on TV. All I do know is that Soto should not have had the two errors. The Cub announcers said nothing about the double line call on the first one and  the second one DeWitt recieved no blame at all
        I was amazed that there was no argument on the first one as the runner was clearly on the inside of the double line.

        • Chadaudio

          It seemed Neil noticed Lopez being out of position – were you able to notice Mather or Stewart also being out of position?

  • Hoosierboy3423

    Nice little article here about Bowden, sounds like he has a little tweaking to do to get his former potential realized.  Interesting to see the trade rumors he was linked too in the past.

    • cubtex

      Wow! They turned down a Miguel Montero for Michael Bowden deal in 2009? Goes to show you how prospects can be highly touted one year and DFA’d a couple years later.

      • Zonk

        We’ve had more than a few of those….Pie, Choi, Guzman, Bobby Hill… many to choose from

    • Zonk

      Good article thanks for posting.

      It’s hard to get too excited about a guy DFA’ed by a club with a team ERA north of 6.50, but can’t hurt.  Who’s he going to take innings away from, Rodrigo Lopez?

      We’ll see if he keeps that ball down

  • Aaron

    First thing’s first….
    1) I could really care less what the Cubs got for Byrd…getting a serviceable starting/relief pitcher in Bowden is a HUGE win for the Cubs. I know there are mixed reviews with him, and he’s anything but a complete pitcher right now, but the fact is this….Byrd was heading for a DFA, and Bowden was already DFA’d…this trade makes a LOT of sense, and the PTBNL is just icing on the cake.

    2) What an awful game today…glad I didn’t watch it all, and glad that I haven’t been watching most of these games lately….this is clearly a 100-loss type of team, and the ONLY way around that is by getting rid of dead weight on the team, such as…

    3) Is DeWitt not on par with Koyie Hill at this point? I mean, seriously….the dude has NO clue how to hit, and sucks defensively

    4) When are the Cubs finally going to cut ties with Soriano? Call a spade a spade for crying out loud….He’s NOT going to resemble the player he once was with the Nationals prior to the misguided signing by Hendry after he was coming off a career year. Soriano isn’t even close to the average player he was in the first 5 years of his deal. My guess is the Cubs are still playing him, hoping he rebuilds some value to make a Byrd-esque trade of him, where they receive 1 or 2 decent young players. But he’s not the only one…not by a long shot…

    5) It’s quite possible that Soto will be the next guy out the door for the Cubs. Here is why:
    After the Cubs’ win Saturday over the Reds, they’re now 4-11.- Cubs are 3-1 in Clevenger starts- Cubs are 1-10 in Soto startsIt looks like it’s not a fluke. Last year, the Cubs were 71-91.- They were 49-70 in Soto starts- They were 22-21 in starts by anyone else (22-16 by Koyie Hill, 0-4 by Welington Castillo, 0-1 by Clevenger)In 2010, somewhat of a reverse happened:  – They were 49-48 in Soto starts- They were 24-36 in Hill starts- They were 2-3 in Castillo startsBut in 2009, they were worse in Soto starts again:- 41-51 in Soto starts- 42-27 in Hill startsIn 2008, the Cubs were good no matter what:- 80-51 (.611)  in Soto starts- 16-12 (.571) in Henry Blanco starts- 1-1 with Koyie HillOVERALL:  They’re 330-331 in regular season since beginning of 2008; – 220-230 (.489) with Geovany Soto catching- 110-101 (.521) with anyone else catching

    That pretty much says it all. Soto has been overrated for a long time, and I’ve wanted to trade him pretty much ever since he had the ROY campaign, and I always said it was because he was a 0ne-hit wonder based on his minor league stats.

    If I’m Theo and Hoyer, I’m waiting until the end of May before doing a lot of these moves, but the bottom line is, it is almost exclusively on the shoulders of Rizzo and Jackson to produce, or this thing isn’t going to be turned around this year. If Jackson starts finding his stroke again, and limiting the strikeouts, and Rizzo continues to perform, I don’t see any reason why they wouldn’t at least consider outright releasing Soriano and Johnson at that point, thus creating 2 roster openings with LaHair moving to LF and Rizzo at 1B.

    I also find it hard to believe with all of their advanced stats they have that Theo and Hoyer wouldn’t recognize the fact that Soto is a below-average game-caller. All you have to do is look at the games Clevenger calls to see that the ERA is WAY down in those games…Coincidence? I think the research posted by csnchicago that I listed above pretty much says it all.

    Actually, I’d love to see the Cubs trade Soto and DeWitt to the Twins for Liriano and a low-level minor leaguer. The Twins have reportedly moved Liriano to the pen after his difficult start to the season, but getting Soto in a trade, would allow them to let Mauer start at 1B occasionally, or switch off with Mourneau at DH every now and then. The other option would be the Rays, where the Cubs could trade Soto straight up for one of their extra starters like Davis, McGee, or even get Archer back….especially if they included another player like DeWitt, Johnson, etc.

    I am convinced that we will see the following players at some point this year:
    W. Castillo
    B. Jackson

    I think the following players will EASILY be gone by the end of the season:
    ….others up in the air, include: Garza (if he doesn’t sign extension), Dempster (if he’ll waive the no-trade), Marmol (if he pitches well enough to rebuild value), DeJesus (if he hits well enough to rebuild value from his drop last year), Wood (only if he rebuilds value and proves he’s healthy and he approves to begin with due to PR reasons)

    • SuzyS

      Why would we see Rebel Ridingf??? I like the guy…but if Rizzo is the heir apparent…I see Riding eventually being packaged in a deal…not on the parent club.

    • Zonk

      The players you list will not all be gone.  I’m pretty sure not all of them will be here when the season ends, but we won’t move that many players off the roster.  There will be turnover though, I agree with you there.

      I also don’t understand the Rebel Ridling love.  He doesn’t show up on anyone’s prospect list, and the numbers show why; he is defensively challenged, and posts OK stats in leagues that is too old for by a couple years.  He’s 26, and still at AA.  If he’s lucky, he’ll replace Rizzo when he is called up, but I will bet AAA is the highest Ridling ever gets.

      • Aaron

         Ridling is not as defensively challenged as you purport. He doesn’t show up on many prospect lists, because he is 26, AND he doesn’t do anything flashy.

        It is important to keep in mind, when this guy has been healthy, he hits over .300, and can get you 80+RBI. People often times forget his appendectomy a couple years ago that caused a lot of problems with his development, but he recovered nicely last year.

        The ONLY reason I keep putting Ridling on my lists is he’s versatile enough to play LF, RF, and 1B…In college, I believe he even played some 3B. He has only made 1 error in the OF.

        I like him, because if you have the likes (any combination of) Cardenas, Valbuena, B. Jackson, Mather, Campana, and DeJesus on the same team, that’s quite a lot of versatility, but also very left-handed. As far as I can tell, Ridling is the only polished minor league hitter with a decent ceiling that is right-handed and has some pop.

        That’s why I include him

      • Coachdon

         All Ridling did last year was hit the ball and play decent defense. He could definitely be a right handed bench guy with some power(which we could use) that could plat some first, left and right.

    • Tony_Hall

      I see the roster on offense looking like this, later in the season.

      C – Castillo/Clevenger (closer to 50/50 split)
      1B – Rizzo
      2B – Barney
      SS – Castro
      3B – Stewart
      LF – Lahair
      CF – BJAX
      RF – DeJesus

      IF – Valbuena and Cardenas (both pushing Barney)
      OF – Mather and Sappelt

      So that means that Soto, Baker, Dewitt, Soriano, Campana, R Johnson will be traded or cut.

      The pitching staff is much harder to project at this point.

    • Hoosierboy3423

      Minne already has Doumit to do that for Mauer. More likely to trade Soto to would be the Rays of the two you discussed, but I think our best bet is waiting for an injury to happen then being the first one on the phone.