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Wherein Our Hero Begs Forgiveness
by Derek Smart
As I was fairly sure would happen at some point, I have officially fallen behind on my self-imposed schedule for the Assuming The Position series, and because of that I offer up my request for absolution and hope that you will all find me worthy. That's the bad news.
The good news is, I was going to give it a hiatus over the week of Thanksgiving anyway, so think of it as an early respite. The series should continue, barring other bumps in the road, on or about the 29th, hopefully plugging through at my two per week clip until the end.
For those of you wondering what my intentions are for the remaining segments, I should be doing second base, catcher, starting pitching, the bullpen, and if I find myself so inclined, the bench. That's the plan, and if there are any further deviations, I'll keep you all in the loop. Thanks again, everyone, for your patience.
My initial reaction was that the Cubs had cut bait a little early on Jon-Boy, and while upon further reflection I still think it's the case if we're operating in a vacuum, my guess is that the team was looking to clear some room on the 40-man for free agents and the like, and Leicester was just the most expendable guy out there.
Looking at his stat line from last year, both in the Majors and minors, if the club was, indeed, trying to clear some room, I can understand why Leicester would be given the heave-ho. We all saw how he struggled in Chicago, but he was pretty darn awful in Iowa too, posting a 5.51 ERA over 98 innings, striking out 73 while allowing 115 hits, 42 walks, and a whopping 17 homers.
It's enough to make me think that something's wrong, perhaps mechanically, perhaps physically, or shoot, maybe it's his head, but whatever the cause, he had a very rough year that puts him, if I'm being extremely generous and assuming that any "swing men" are in the rotation, about eighth on the team's bullpen depth chart (behind five other men who will be making around league minimum, for those of you concerned about cost), and that's before any trades or signings are consummated.
I like Leicester, and I think he'll be useful at some point, perhaps even next year, but his loss is not a disaster, and if it makes room for someone better to come on board, then all the better.