So much for the playoffs. So much for 2015. So much for 107 years without winning a world series. It's time to start sewing 108 on their uniforms.
This weekend, the Philadelphia Phillies came limping into Wrigley Field with the worst record in baseball. All season long we (Cub fans) have been waiting for the Cubs to play this team in order to pad our record.
As I write this, the Phillies are completing a three game sweep in the Friendly (for them) Confines. Not only that, but on Saturday, Cole Hamels, the ace pitcher rumored to be traded to the Cubs for Starlin Castro and Javier Baez, threw a no-hitter at them. The previous day, the Cubbies blew a 9th inning lead to lose 5-3.
Have we put to bed any illusions that they may take that 5th wildcard spot (beating out the Giants)?
Now with the trading deadline just days away I am going to put on my general manager's hat and tell the Cubs what they should do. They should tell the Phillies that they can have Castro for Cole Hamels, but not Baez-or any other prospect. If that doesn't fly, shop Castro to whomever will take him and his lackadaisical attitude. His batting average is now in the .230s, and he has reverted to the sloppy fielding we saw in the first half of last season. We can put Addison Russell at shortstop and hand second base over to Jonathan Herrera on a short term basis or bring up Arismendy Alcantara, who may be ready for his second shot.
Do not trade Javier Baez until he has had another full shot in the majors. He is now playing in the Arizona League after mending a broken finger, and should be back at Iowa in days. Hopefully, we can take another look at him in a Cub uniform in late August or September. He may be our second baseman of the future.
Kyle Schwarber should now be sent back to Iowa to work on his catching/left field skills. It is time to put priority on his development rather than having him catch 3 days and sit 2.
In short, it is time to get back to The Plan of developing all those great prospects we have. (Russell may need a return to Triple A to work on his hitting.) In no way should we trade our prospects and mortgage our future in the hopes of making it to a one-game playoff this year. This team is still developing, and rather than go after Hamels or some other 5th starter, we should try to address that need in free agency over the winter.
Of course, I know what Theo Epstein's response to me would be:
"Who is 'we'? You got a mouse in your pocket?"