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We Cubs fans probably overanalyze these type of statements (do ya think?), but it's worth noting that before the bunting is fastened to the walls Dusty Baker is already leaning toward Neifi Perez. Or as Dusty calls him, "My everythingman". From the Chicago Tribune:

"Neifi Perez, whom Baker referred to as "my everything man," will be ready to move into the job if Cedeno struggles. "Cedeno is going to get the first nod, but it's up to him to keep the job without us putting pressure on him," Baker said. "We're not in the giveaway business. We think he earned the situation that he's in, but …"

My understanding of that would be this: if Cedeno comes out and hits .200 for the month of April, then Neifi Perez will take over...and hit .200 for the rest of the year. I'm not saying Cedeno needs to keep the job in any situation, but the bet here is that if he struggles and the Cubs struggle he won't even make it to 100 ABs before he is relegated to a reserve role. And that would be wrong.

Just 23 years old, Cedeno was a nice surprise when he played for the big club last year. He hit better than expected and showed defensive prowess. He was selected for the AAA All-Star Game and Baseball America calls him the Cubs' 3rd best prospect.

If you are not going to ride it out with him he should be back at AAA playing every day. We know what Neifi Perez can do. Let's make sure we find out what Cedeno can do.


PV said...

My favorite part is this:

"Cedeno is going to get the first nod, but it's up to him to keep the job without us putting pressure on him."

Isn't putting pressure on him exactly what he's doing by saying if he doesn't do well Neifi's gonna take over?

Sheesh. I could actually find reasons for optimism this year if we had a different manager. But every time I think what if, I remember Dusty's penchant for playing the wrong guys.

koch said...

This WILL happen and they're going to ruin Cedeno. Dusty is a freaking mechanism. Cedeno could still hit .300 in April--but as soon as he hits a slumpy spot in May or June--he'll lose his job. Think about what they did to Dubois and Hill last year. Dubois was slugging .800 in may, and they still wouldn't committ to him--as soon as he slumped they pasted him to the bench and destroyed his confidence and then got rid of him. Hill had two good starts, then bombed his next two, and they shipped him back to the farm--as if to say "YOU CANT DO THIS".

Think about how the A's handled Joe Blanton last year. At the end of May he was 0-5 WITH A 6.66 ERA. The A's stuck with him--they were basically saying "YOU'RE OUR GUY. WE BELIEVE IN YOU. WE KNOW YOU CAN SUCCEED AT THIS LEVEL"

The Cubs would have yanked his ass in April.

The Zoner said...

Blanton is the perfect example. Or anyone on the Braves last year. No way Baker plays so many kids at once. Francouer got to play. Murton didn't. Dusty has a little too much Dick Jauron in him.

genrebuster said...

Dusty is an idiot. I hate to say it, but I'm not optimistic at the Cubs chances of success with him at the helm. Why? 2003-2005.