Originally posted on World Series Dreaming  |  Last updated 3/12/14
Welp.   Rockies 13, Cubs 0 — Mark Gonzales (@MDGonzales) March 11, 2014   Can’t win them all, but man, try to score at least ONE RUN! Even if it is a spring training game. Runs are cool. The Cubs play Wednesday night against the Mariners at their place. Countdown to Opening Day continues, next on our lineup… Platoons and Game Theory The cool thing about baseball is that no game is the same because of the way the ball bounces or flies out of the pitcher’s hand, or any number of other crazy things. With this season’s Cubs likely full of retreads, fourth/fifth outfielders and bench players (if they were on any other team), there’s going to be a lot of finagling to try to keep this team semi-competitive, at least until the trade deadline.  Maybe they surprise us, but it’s very likely to be another wait-and-see type of year. There are a few obvious platoons, with the gaggle of outfielders likely to share time depending on the handedness of the opposing starter that day.  The second- or third-base platoon seems set as well, depending on who makes it and who is cut.  It’s unlikely that anyone platoons for Anthony Rizzo even though he’s had some issues against lefty-pitching in recent memory.  Ditto for Starlin Castro.  But Welington Castillo might get a few breaks against tough righties with George Kottaras backing him up. As for game theory, it’ll be interesting to see what new manager Rick Renteria does regarding bunts, intentional walks, and defensive shifting.  My feeling is that with the Cubs unlikely to score very many runs but with a serviceable rotation and bullpen, the emphasis should be on run prevention.  Chris Bosio, the pitching coach, seems to be very good at helping his pitchers induce ground balls.  With an improving infield defense that’s set up on the right side by Gold Glove finalists Darwin Barney (until he’s traded/DFA’d/whatever’d) and Rizzo, Castro continuing to get better and any number of decent defensive options at third between Luis Valbuena and perhaps Mike Olt, ground balls should be converted into outs most of the time.  The outfield is also full of competent defenders with the exception of Junior Lake, who is still learning but has a cannon of an arm.  If the pitchers can keep the ball in the park, that would go a long way towards helping to steal some wins. I guess we’ll wait and see.  19 days to go.
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