Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Cubs Fans Are Starting to Turn on Craig Counsell?

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The Chicago Cubs are back home after a 5-4 road trip and despite some major injuries and a woeful bullpen Craig Counsell his has squad at 11-7. But baseball fans are gonna baseball fan. Who doesn’t love a good ole lineup debate.

Is this Craig Counsell or David Ross filling out the lineup card because for some reason rookie outfielder Alexander Canario cannot get playing time.

Canario’s lack of starts last September were a main focus from Cubs fans when criticizing Ross and now that the outfielder was called up following Seiya Suzuki’s oblique injury, Counsell isn’t exactly thrusting the right-handed hitter into games.

The Cubs are scheduled to face a trio of left-handed starters this weekend against the Miami Marlins and that includes Friday’s series opener, when A.J. Puk will start. Patrick Wisdom is back from the injured list and because of a career .815 OPS vs. lefties he’s starting, but curiously it’s in right field. Garrett Cooper, who crushed lefties last year and has good numbers against them throughout his career is at first base, giving rookie Michael Busch a day off.

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So, you’d think that the DH spot would be open for Canario against a left-handed pitcher, but instead Counsell is going with Nick Madrigal at third base, which means Christopher Morel is pushed to the designated hitter position.

Veteran starter Jameson Taillon is also back from the injured list and although he does give up more contact it’s not like he’s a ground ball pitcher. In 2023, Taillon had a 37.9% ground ball rate and it’s at 42.7% for his career. We know that Madrigal is in there because of his defense, but is Taillon even going to induce that many balls to the infielders?

I had to look it up and maybe this is why Madrigal is starting. The Marlins offense is horrible and will you look at that, they have a 51.8% ground ball rate, which is the highest in MLB. So, maybe the Cubs are anticipating more action for the left side of the infield and want a steady Madrigal at the hot corner. While Morel has looked better defensively you also don’t want a potential miscue to lead to more pitches from Taillon, who is making his season debut and will be on a pitch limit.

Oh and Madrigal is 2-for-2 in his career vs. Puk. So, there’s that.

That being said, I’m not gonna lie, I do find it a bit annoying that Canario has only started one game since this week’s call up, while Miles Mastrobuoni and Madrigal get starts in back-to-back games. In the game Canario did start, he went 1-for-2, with an RBI-double and a run scored.

However, I’m not coming for Counsell’s head because of these types of decisions just yet. Now, if the weekend ends with Canario not getting more playing time, then yeah, that’s a problem.

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BearCub30
Apr 19, 2024 6:59 pm

So are they showcasing Canario for a trade? I too was pissed last year that Ross wouldn’t play him at all. But this is interesting on what their goal is with him?

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