I’ve seen a lot of comments lately from Cubs fans upset that the Cubs are still playing the veterans (on other sites). Of course they are. What young player has pushed a veteran out of a job? Bryan LaHair isn’t young so let’s stop with that. Yes, I think he’d be as good as Pena, perhaps a bit worse, but he’d cost league minimum. We don’t need to see what he can do everyday in September.
Anyone remember what Ronny Cedeno did in 2005 the last time he was called up? He hit .385/.467/.423 and earned the every day job in 2006. Yeah, that worked out well. Using that to estimate his ability is so much better than using the previous years in the minor leagues.
Anyone remember what Ryan Theriot did at the end of the 2006 season to earn a spot on the 2007 roster? He hit .347/.423/.537 in August and September. Once again, using a small sample and ignoring everything else is just plain dumb.
Or Gary Gaetti who hit .320/.397/.594 after the Cubs acquired him in August, 1998. He was re-signed based on that and completely ignored was the 107 OPS+ with the Cardinals in 1998 and 85 OPS+ he posted in 1997.
These are small samples and if you base decisions on small sample performance you are doing it wrong. Who exactly do the Cubs have should be benched right now? Name one team that just benches productive veterans at the end of the season in favor of 28 year old career minor leaguers.
Has Tyler Colvin and his 42 OPS+ earned playing time over Marlon Byrd‘s league average OPS+ (101)? Has 29 year old Luis Montanez and his 76 OPS+ earned more playing time? Has Tony Campana? Have any of them earned the playing time over Alfonso Soriano? Carlos Pena has a 126 OPS+. What exactly has he done to deserve being benched?
If you want the Cubs to just bench a guy like Pena, you do realize that it’s going to be nearly impossible for the Cubs to attract any free agents. If the team sucks and even if they’re playing well, they get benched. Albert Pujols could have a 200 OPS+ and Cubs fans would him benched in favor of the next 30 year old 1st base prospect. It’s fucking ridiculous.