Write Derek at drksmart @ gmail.com
Write Phil at phil.bencomo @ gmail.com
The Power Of Three
by Derek Smart
Since there hasn't been much on the field to celebrate of late, I'll have to take comfort in the little victories that occasionally show themselves in the form of solid roster management decisions.
Such is the case today, as the reinstatement of the Troika of Destiny has brought about the demotion of Sergio Mitre, and the DFAing of Mike Remlinger, while Ronnie Cedeno, the previous most likely target to round out the downwardly mobile class, was spared the axe by Jerry Hairston's DL trip.
A couple of things are clear here: first, that it was finally realized in the Cubs' front office just how done poor Remmy was. He hasn't been worth much of anything in his recent appearances, and even if he had been, the reluctance to use him in back-to-back games due to his relative fragility could no longer be tolerated with two more potentially breakable pen men coming aboard. Not that his presence should have been tolerated as long as it was, but I'll take late enlightenment over none at all.
The second item is a little more nebulous. That the Cubs are willing to essentially carry three shortstops and no center fielders speaks volumes about the organization's current attitude toward Corey Patterson, although just what that attitude might be is open for debate - they either have no confidence in his ability to be useful in the Majors at the moment, or are deeply committed to seeing this retooling through to the end, consequences be damned.
I tend to think it's a combination of both factors, although I couldn't hazard a guess as to the ratio. Frankly, I think they're a little too intertwined to effectively separate. He's down there to retool his swing, which needs to be done before he can come back to the Majors, because the Cubs don't think his old swing can be effective in the Bigs, which is why he was sent down to retool his swing, which needs to be done before he can come back to the Majors.......
The real question is whether the club is so committed to this idea of fixing Patterson and not playing him until he's fully ready that they'll make a waiver deal for someone's all-glove, no-bat, a la Tom Goodwin type of center fielder just to hold down the defensive fort. Of course, the other option is to use some combination of Jeromy Burnitz and Matt Lawton, which would be a defensive trade-off, but might be worth the offensive boost.
I don't know what the right moves are anymore, and this season has thrown us all a bunch of curves, but every time I open my mouth to say so, the excess saliva flies off the ball and chokes me. At least it never stops getting interesting, and if nothing else, we still get some little victories every once in a while.