This season hasn't gotten off to the start that the Chicago Cubs would have liked. And if you've paid even the slightest bit of attention to this organization over the course of the past couple of years, it should come as no surprise at all that they currently sit at 5-12, at the bottom of the National League Central.
Despite those extremely low expectations coming in, that doesn't mean people associated with this organization, whether they're on the inside or out, are pleased. In fact, their manager, Dale Sveum, spent much of the weekend venting his frustrations over a variety of mediums.
After getting tossed from their contest with the Milwaukee Brewers on Saturday night, Sveum deemed it best to call out two of the franchise's most important players. Specifically talking about Anthony Rizzo and Starlin Castro, Sveum seemed to imply that no one on the roster was safe from a demotion:
"If people keep playing like that, you have to find options. Give people playing time at Triple A to figure this stuff out. You have to perform. You can't keep not performing."
Sveum's rant went on much longer than that, but it's pretty clear that he got his message across. And that's the best policy. Calling out your two best position players and using double negatives are a good way to motivate a ballclub.
Specifically, Sveum was ranting and raving about the defense that the two have played this season. Castro has continued to be his steady self at the plate, despite a high strikeout rate (typical of Castro). And even though Rizzo is hitting just .210 (including a puzzling .294 against lefties and a paltry .108 against right handers), he's still the team's only consistent source of power, with six home runs on the young season.
However, while each has flashed some pop at the plate, neither has been too hot with the glove. That's typical of Castro, whose infield defense has always been excrutiating to watch, but not Rizzo. He projects as a Gold Glove first baseman at some point. Either way, both are on the negative side in relation to UZR right now. Not a way to get ahead.
Another way to not get ahead is to call out your two best postion players on a roster that could be best described as a dumpster fire. The Chicago Cubs are not a good baseball team. And with those comments, Sveum runs the risk of losing the clubhouse mentally before May even rolls around.
Am I overreacting? Maybe a bit. Is there a chance that Rizzo and/or Castro end up taking some action in Iowa? Absolutely not. Based on that fact alone, what Sveum said was foolish.