Bad Report Card: Your First Half Grades (Infield)

Friday, July 13, 2012

Bad Report Card: Your First Half Grades (Infield)

. Friday, July 13, 2012

With baseball returning tonight and the joy of Anthony Rizzo, Albert Almora, and cheap tickets dancing through our hearts, we couldn't think of a better time to give out mid-season(ish) grades .It's not actually the "first half," so much. The Cubs have played 85 games and such. But I digress. We're not in last place, we've got two legitimate young players to watch obsessively, and we just hauled in a dickload of new prospects, none of whom are named Randy Wells.

So yes, that pre-All Star Break streak against the Braves and Mets was nice. But it was a rough first half(ish). Taking in all the ecstatic joy and holy terror that is the Chicago Cubs, let's throw out some motherfucking arbitrary grades!

Note: I used a minimum of 20 games, excepting Rizzo. You see, if I have to write about Koyie Hill's hitting in 2012, I might stick my own hand into a table saw.


 C - Geovany Soto

I had thought he was on your classic good year/bad year track (see also: Marmol, Carlos). After his rookie of the year season, he spent 2009 as a Doritos-addled whipping boy for the dickhead local columnists. He redeemed it with an excellent .890 OPS in 2010, hitting .280. Then 2011 came, with its .228 batting average and 51 more strikeouts. So clearly 2012 is gonna be a good one.

Nope - .177/.256/.340. in 41 games. I HAVE YOUR BOBBLEHEAD AT WORK, YOU SON OF A BITCH!

Grade: D-

C- Steve Clevenger

Soto's injury problems and general blerg-ness paved the way for Steve the Cleve to step in, playing 36 games so far and soothing our jangled nerves with a .269 average that we wouldn't have been happy with prior to watching Soto's early 2012.

I like Steve Clevenger, he seems like a nice guy. But he also only manages a .288 OBP with that average. So basically, he's Armored Barney.

Grade: B-

1B - Bryan LaHair

All Star first baseman Byan LaHair. You think that's weird to say out loud too, right? We've kept pretty good track of the man with our monthly LaHair Fever Tracker. The results are often startling, and always erotic.

I'm glad that he's finally getting some time in the league, but his average is falling like a rock every month and Mommy and Daddy just brought home new baby Rizzo. I hope he enjoyed those just-over-four-months.

Grade: B

1B - Anthony Rizzo

The only one to get through my stringent and not-at-all-arbitrary 20 game rule. This is because of the insane excitement generated by his mere presence. As Mr. Funk says over at Thunder Matt, everybody is JIZZO for RIZZO!

The excitement might die down once he's hitting with a more reasonable sample size and the modest numbers that brings. Or when people realize that yes, we're still 15 games out of first. Or maybe, just maybe, everyone will just stay JIZZO all summer. Gross.

Grade: A- (But seriously, he's played 12 games. This grade is literally pulled straight out of my ass.)

2B - Darwin Barney

Darwin Barney isn't Ryan Theriot, so he's definitely got that going for him. And damned if he doesn't play some of the best defense the Cubs have had at 2B in a good while. But that .259/.304/.362 isn't anything special. A solid piece to have on the team, unless Theo decides to pull a Hendry and trade him to a peripheral contender for a mediocre former prospect.

Grade: B-

SS - Starlin Castro

This is the year that Starlin Castro gets forged in the fires of Chicago media dickery. Good thing no one reads the newspaper anymore, and most new cars come with an iPod input now.

He misplays balls sometimes. He does the Dunston throw. He might be playing tic-tac-toe in the dirt when Dempster's tying to retire the Cardinals with two on and a one-run lead in the 7th. But the son of a bitch can hit. When's the last time you said that about a Cubs shortstop?

Grade: B+

3B - Ian Stewart

Do me a favor, log on to Baseball Reference and check out Tyler Colvin's mid-season stats for 2012. Now look at his 2011 stats with the Cubs. Now look at Ian Stewart's 2012 stats before the injury.

My question - when did Stewart and Colvin meet and do a Freaky Friday body switch? I can't get the timeline to work.

Grade: D+

Util - Luis Valbuena

Weak hitting numbers, passable OBP, and power numbers that put them right at an everyday starter level for this club. Shit, that's depressing.

Grade: C

Util - Jeff Baker

Can we finally trade him so we can stop hearing inexplicable praise from managers and GMs about the fact that he can go 1-4 with a 2-out single every time Bryan LaHair or Alfonso Soriano needs a day off?

Grade: C

Util - Adrian Cardenas

Ever look at Geovany Soto's stats and think "I'd love that production in a slot actually expected to produce offensively"? Hooray. You win.

Grade: F