Manager Jim Lefebvre says Jerome Walton and Shawon Dunston are the top
candidates for the leadoff spot.
"You look at the statistics and our ballclub is basically a big-inning
ballclub," Lefebvre said Tuesday in Mesa, Ariz. "But we're not getting the
guys on base to consistently score runs the way I would like. That's going
to be our focus. The leadoff guy is going to be essential."
Hmm. He realizes he needs to improve the OBP and needs a leadoff hitter with
high OBP. But then he turns to Walton?? or Dunston !!!???????????.
If this is any indication of this summer, the Cubbies are in real trouble.
And, imagine, for a while I was thinking they might actually be contenders,
after signing Morgan and having a potentially healthy Danny Jackson and Harkey.
Heck, last year they would have contended with an average closer in spite of
all the shortcomings they had (by counting as wins 80% of the games they had
8th/9th inning leads in and counting them as losses for the opponents, which
were often the Pirates).
Stephen Jascourt stv...@meteor.wisc.edu
>This from the NY Times:
> Manager Jim Lefebvre says Jerome Walton and Shawon Dunston are the top
> candidates for the leadoff spot.
> "You look at the statistics and our ballclub is basically a big-inning
> ballclub," Lefebvre said Tuesday in Mesa, Ariz. "But we're not getting the
> guys on base to consistently score runs the way I would like. That's going
> to be our focus. The leadoff guy is going to be essential."
>Hmm. He realizes he needs to improve the OBP and needs a leadoff hitter with
>high OBP. But then he turns to Walton?? or Dunston !!!???????????.
>Stephen Jascourt stv...@meteor.wisc.edu
I remember hearing that Walton was a good On-Base man in the minors,
so this isn't necessarily as bad as it sounds - if Walton can play
near the level he was supposed to play at. Personally, I like Walton
and hope he is given a chance to play regularly.
Chris Riff ri...@dartmouth.edu
Not that it is easy to raise your OBP in one year, but I remember how I laughed
at Roger Craig's idea about batting Robby Thompson leadoff. He then went out
and put up his best OBP ever.
GO CALIFORNIA ANGELS!
GO LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS!
GO LOS ANGELES KINGS!
Nelson Lu (clau...@leland.stanford.edu)
I'm not so sure that LeFebvre has much of a choice. I don't have stats for
every member of the Cubs handy, but for every player on the Cubs (I think)
who had 300 or more at-bats in '91, the numbers look like this:
Grace .273/.347/.373 3 SB 4 CS
Sandberg .291/.382/.485 22 SB 8 CS
Salazar .258/.290/.432 0 SB 3 CS
Walker, C. .257/.317/.337 13 SB 5 CS
Villanueva .276/.347/.542 0 SB 0 CS
Wilkins .222/.288/.355 3 SB 3 CS
Bell, G. .285/.324/.468 2 SB 6 CS
Dawson .272/.299/.488 4 SB 5 CS
Dunston .260/.293/.407 21 SB 6 CS
I understand from Gary that the Cubs are doing a fine job of hiding their
best talent on the bench and in the minors, but assuming that all but
Wilkins start next year, the OBP in descending order is
The best OBP is Sandberg, but he has too much power to bat leadoff.
Villaneuva and Grace are both too slow on the basepaths (supposedly. I
think it was Bill James who said that the speed of the leadoff man is
immaterial to his ability to do the job, but this is conventional baseball
wisdom we're talking about) to bat lead off, and besides we need
Villaneuva's slugging (best on the team) in the clean-up spot (I hope),
so he's out. George Bell's .324 doesn't look as good as his .468
slugging, so he can't bat lead off either. Walker looks like the best
candidate so far, with his sterling .317 OBP and low slugging, as well
as his "demonstrated" ability to steal bases. I wouldn't even play
a guy everyday who couldn't manage a .300 OBP, but that's another
story... Basically, what we have is an entire line-up of middle and
low position batters. Unfortunately, nobody has been setting the table
for Sandberg, Villaneuva, and Bell.
Personally, I'd like to see Grace bat lead-off for the Cubs. Sure, it's
a bizarre move for a 1Bman to lead-off, but I think he's got all the
right qualities. If the Cubbies really want to have those big innings,
they'll follow my advice (yeah right).
Thanx muchly in advance.
My recollection is that his OBP is not too good, but don't
quote me until I get home to my references...
I think Walton is a reasonable choice, but he needs to
show that 89 and previous are his levels of performance,
not 90-91. He won't be .400 or anything, but he should
be able to maintain .340 or so, which is a lot better
than Dunston. Smith can hit too, but his career might be
over unless he gets traded to the AL...
Cubs could be first or last or anywhere inbetween...
Dave DeMers ddemers@UCSD dem...@cs.ucsd.edu
Computer Science & Engineering C-014 demers%c...@ucsd.bitnet
UC San Diego ...!ucsd!cs!demers
La Jolla, CA 92093-0114 (619) 534-0688, or -8187, FAX: (619) 534-7029
>>There is another guy that the Cubs will probably give a shot
>>in the leadoff spot. He's Ced Landrum, a lightning fast center
>>fielder who only played a couple months late in the season for
>>the Cubs. I believe he stole about 20 bases in those couple months.
>>I don't know what his OBP was but maybe someone out there can supply
>>that. Because Walton had such a good year in 1989, I would give
>>him a shot at leadoff. But he's been so bad the last two years that
>>the Cubs should give him a quick hook if he starts out bad.
>>Someone who might get a look also is Dwight Smith. I think he can
>>hit .300+ if given the chance to play every day. And that's what
>>the Cubs need; someone to get on base in front of Sandberg.
Walton had a good year in 1990, too (OBP=350). In fact, better than in 1989.
>My recollection is that his OBP is not too good, but don't
>quote me until I get home to my references...
That depends. It's not good, but it's gfac. (That's "Good for a Cub")
He did a 313 this year, but that's in 86 AB. At Iowa the last two
years, he's done a 368 and a 360.
He does seem pretty fast, though. He was 27-5 in SB-CS in just 86 ABs!
On the other hand, he's also 28 years old.
>I think Walton is a reasonable choice, but he needs to
>show that 89 and previous are his levels of performance,
>not 90-91. He won't be .400 or anything, but he should
>be able to maintain .340 or so, which is a lot better
>than Dunston. Smith can hit too, but his career might be
>over unless he gets traded to the AL...
What's the matter with 1990? Walton had a 350 OBP in 1990, compared to
a 335 in 1989. Who else would they choose? If it were up to me, I'd
use Grace, but they aren't smart enough for that.
>Cubs could be first or last or anywhere inbetween...
I'll take door #3. First? With a team OBP of 300 in Wrigley? And Mike
Morgan on their staff?
>Dave DeMers ddemers@UCSD dem...@cs.ucsd.edu
>Computer Science & Engineering C-014 demers%c...@ucsd.bitnet
>UC San Diego ...!ucsd!cs!demers
>La Jolla, CA 92093-0114 (619) 534-0688, or -8187, FAX: (619) 534-7029
David M. Nieporent |ALEast 92: 1.Baltimore 2.Boston 3.Toronto
niep...@phoenix.princeton.edu |4. Detroit 5.Milwaukee 6.NY 8.Cleveland
"Not likely to call anyone an idiot except John MacNamara"
You got it.
Cedric Bernard Landrum:
YR League OBP SB CS PA
-- ------ --- -- -- --
'88 AA (Eastern) .336 69 17 522
'89 AA (Southern) .349 45 9 421
'90 AAA (Am. Assn.) .368 46 16 424
'91 AAA ( " " ) .360 13 4 138
'91 National .313 27 5 99
I have no idea what MLE's are for OBP at Iowa of the American Association...
David M. Tate |"A tendencey to drastically underestimate
dt...@unix.cis.pitt.edu | the frequency of coincidences is a prime
Less musteliform than Gary Huckabay | characteristic of innumerates."
Less cephalopoid than Lance Smith. | --John Allen Paulos, _Innumeracy_