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Dusty praises Matt Murton and Jerome Williams. Trib headline reads "Murton, Williams get Baker's OK for 2006". But it's "Dusty Praise". "Dusty Praise" is conditional. If he can find a player age 33 or older, the praise evaporates and you lose the chance to start.

"Murton has done well," Baker said. "As for starting, that depends on if we go get somebody this winter. Murton is going to the fall league to hone his skills. He wants to get better and he works hard. We broke him in slowly. Now he's ready to face everybody." Baker said he has thought about Murton as a leadoff batter, "but he's not a typical leadoff guy. You would like more speed there."

Well Dusty I would like a leadoff hitter who actually gets on-base. Speed is only a weapon when you get to first. You can do that by drawing walks, or at least working the count to your favor so you get a good pitch to hit. It doesn't always have to be the first one you see. So in Dusty's world Neifi Perez, basepath burner, and Corey Patterson were good enough to leadoff. But Murton? Does Dusty think that OBP is like ERA? Higher is better Dusty!
Murton was the best part of the acquisition that brought Nomar to the Cubs. You might not know he was a 1st round pick in 2003. He was a dominant player at Georgia Tech and selected by the BoSox. This year in AA he hit .342 and slugged almost .500. In his first stint with the Cubs he is hitting .340/.405/.573. Worried about those at-bats because they are all against lefties? Wrong. 56 vs. lefties and 51 vs. righties. And he has hit 4 of his 6 homers against righties.

It's so Cubs and it's so Baker. What does a young player have to do to get a job here? Murton is everything the Cubs need. He plays the game hard, works the count, draws walks and simply rakes. Besides Lee and Walker, he's the only player who gets on base for the Cubs. The Cubs need more guys like him. And besides, if you are going to throw 2-4 mill at a league-average, aging outfielder, you might want to look at the bullpen first.

But hey, maybe we can get Todd Hollandsworth back for next year.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

If Matt Murton isn't in LF and batting 2nd on Opening Day next year, it'll be a travesty. He is an ideal #2 guy; I wouldn't be upset if he batted leadoff either. But he better in there, ahead of Lee and Ramirez. Period.