Cubs Should Find At-Bats for Fox

June 26, 2009 at 9:00 pm Leave a comment

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The Chicago Cubs (35-35) currently sit in 3rd place in the NL Central, a mere 2.5 games out of first. They are 13th in the NL in runs scored, 13th in AVG, 12th in OBP, and 11th in SLUG. And yes, they still play thier home games at the hitter friendly Wrigley. Alfonos Soriano is playing awful, both at the plate and in the field, Aramis Ramirez is injured and Mike Fontenot hasn’t done a single thing with the bat, Derek Lee is finally hitting along with Geovany Soto, and Milton Bradley just had another meltdown and manager Lou Piniella is considering benching him. So, where am I going with this you ask? It’s simple: The Cubs need to insert Jake Fox into their lineup as much as possible.

Fox is a soon-to-be 27 year old that, prior to this season, had 14 career big league at-bats. Fox raked in Double-A last season to the tune of .307/.397/.580 and a .428 wOBA with 25 homers in 388 at-bats (459 plate appearances). He was old for the leage so they promoted to Triple-A where he struggled mightily.

Fox began 2009 in Triple-A and has hit .409/.495/.841 with a .557 wOBA and 17 homers in 164 at-bats (194 PA). Fox was promoted earlier but got little playing time. He since been promoted during Interleague play and has done nothing but hit. He is currently at .395/.395/.684 with 2 homersand 5 doubles in 38 at-bats.

Again, Fox is turning 27 in less than a month and the Cubs have expensive options at the positions he can “handle”, so there is no immediate spot for him once the Cubs return to National League play. But, I think Piniella would be wise to play Fox at third until Ramirez is ready and then give him a lot of time in right, some in left, and even a game or two behind the plate. Some how, some way, the Cubs need to find Fox at-bats even if it is at the expense of their struggling high-priced stars.

-Jonathan C. Mitchell

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