And Ben Gamel makes the KATOH 2nd Team.
FIRST HALF OF POST
Craazzzzzy how many subplots we get to watch this year. Neh?
SECOND HALF OF POST
Fangraphs has a fresh KATOH article up bragging that the system called Edwin Diaz last year, and that it's calling Dan Vogelbach this year. Chris Mitchell wrote it, and in a really fun format. Dig in, amigo.
Mitchell allows the scouts equal time to demur on each Katoh Heroh. In 'Bach's case, they simply laugh him off the field at first base. That's all, next subject. And though Denizens might assume this to be overstated, in Vogelbach's situation there was a -35 runs performance last year or somesuch.
Here is a Feb. 21 post on Vogelbach's offseason approach to the problem: Yoga. Hey, you had me at yoga. It is as underrated as ice water. Power (hatha) yoga is well-and-truly the ONLY solution to MANY sports questions. Can easily see it being the cure to what ails the stocky Vogelbach, as well. As a completely separate issue it will certainly reduce the big guy's chances of pulling leg muscles.
And here is a March 1st post in which Servais praises Vogelbach's new look.
The point is, it could be that the scouts were correct in that Vogelbach was unfit for duty on-field last year, and it could be that Vogelbach is fit for duty on-field this year. It's a Jack Zduriencik axiom as well, that young infielders can get much better if they want to.
Here is an amusing lift-and-grab single down the RF line that reminds you of Ichiro's bat control.
Here is a double that is not impressive in any way, just so you know we're paying attention. Heh.
Here are two hits the other way: the first one an emergency swing that will also remind you of Ichiro, if not Wade Boggs. And the second one a 12-foot fliner directly over shortstop, the way Ichiro used to hit when he was in .400 mode.
THIRD HALF OF POST
See first half of post. This plethora of tantalizing possibilities, man! It may all turn out to be much ado about nothing. But it also may turn out that Jerry Dipoto is Pete Carroll, acquiring flawed dynamic players and moving them into clever strike positions.
Shouldn't be able to DH until next year at the soonest. Unless something went incredibly wrong with Cruz or a big offer came in. How do you move on from Cruz before it's too late though? I think building depth so that the production is covered beforehand is the best you can do. Seems to me that's a huge checkmark with about 5-7 names where we're used to having 1 or 2 at best.
Bottom line, he's got a year to prove he can field as long as he's hitting ok. If he's hitting well somebody would field him there if not us. Did the Cubs always assume he's a DH and that explains him never being pressed or taught to improve glovework?