Friday, April 21, 2006

UH-OH

Lee's injury makes ya kinda wish for a run-producing RFer and more starting pitching, doesn't it?

At this point I'd be happy, no, make that ecstatic, if the Cubs are .500 by June 30 . . . There will be a drop in run production, which is at 5.4/game right now. A decent number, but aside from losing Lee's production, this will create a big hole in the line-up that cannot be filled by anyone. Either, at best, a .270/.330/.350 type platoon will be implimented at first or Walker will be moved over there and the production at second will be slightly less than those numbers. Plus, even if Ramirez gets hot (I don't see anyone really pitching around Walker or Barrett at this point) he'll be pitched around. And then there is the loss of Lee's defense, which is outstanding. With the current starting pitching every run is needed, except when Maddux is dealing.

There is only room for a little hope. This is found in the fact that Ramirez and Jones haven't produced much except for a few sprained butt references (.196/.288/.348 and .207/.273/.345, respectively) and they could start to produce (even though I don't expect Jones to contribute much more than .250/.320/.400, but I'd take that). Pierre can pick it up some as a table setter, raising his OBP into the .350s from his current Neifi-esque .295. Barrett and Walker are already producing a lot while Murton and Cedeno have been solid and fantastic offensively; and Wood/Prior/Miller might be well enough to start during Lee's extended leave, but how much they can deliver is still unknown.

A lot needs to happen to compensate for Lee's hiatus. Like I said: ecstatic if the Cubs are .500 by June 30.