Thursday, June 23, 2005

The Chicago Cubs Dusty Baker Corey Patterson and the Leadoff Hitter

Didn't Corey Patterson say he didn't want to be a leadoff hitter earlier in the season? Now I hear that Corey is saying that he wants to be a leadoff hitter. What changed his mind?

Todays Cubs Brewers game hurt me to watch it more than what it did to my fantasy baseball team. (I have both Glendon Rusch and Ben Sheets on two different fantasy baseball teams.) The biggest problem glaring me right in the eye is a leadoff hitter striking out four times in a game! That's a lead off hitter? I have always thought that you have someone who has a good on base percentage in the leadoff position. Someone who can steal bases, someone who doesn't strikeout that much!

Dusty Baker must have a different idea of what a leadoff batter is. He has been saying that Corey Patterson can be an outstanding leadoff hitter, even though he has a history of striking out almost as many times as he does hits. I know this isn't an era of huge numbers for base stealers anymore, but Corey has a lifetime total of 81.

Corey Paterson vs. Dave Kingman

Another little fact about Corey. He averages 152 strikeouts a year. Dave Kingman also averaged 152 strikeouts a year. Is Corey Patterson a Dave Kingman? No, Corey bats for a higher average, but Dave Kingman hit more homeruns! Strikeouts are what most HR hitters do, its a part of there mystic powers. Dave Kingman averaged 101 RBI during his career. Corey is averaging 69. Corey's on base average is hovering around .300. Dave Kingmans was .302 lifetime.

Dusty it's time to give it up.

Dusty should stop trying to make Corey Patterson into a leadoff hitter. Corey shouldn't let Dusty talk him into it. Corey should be batting lower in the lineup. How can Dusty have Corey batting leadoff, knowing he is going to strikeout at least once every game? Todays game had Corey striking out 4 times in a close game decided by homeruns. If Corey would have been on base two of those times when Derrick Lee hit each of his homeruns, the outcome of the game would have been much better. Come on, the guy is batting .245! His on base percentage is lower than any other teammate that plays on a regular basis, .280. I would have to look to see how many games Corey was in where he batted in the leadoff position and the Cubs lost by a close margin. A run or two.

Dusty isn't your job to win games! It's not to make Corey Patterson into a leadoff hitter. Regroup Baker and concentrate on winning games and not developing a player into something they are not going to become. You may be destroying the confidence of a young promising power hitter.