Part of the reason for the Cubs' struggles over the past couple of seasons has been a lack of offense, mostly due to a lack of timely hitting. As a result, the players hitting in the leadoff spot have come under a lot of scrutiny, but it's unwarranted.
The Cubs actually led the National League in on-base percentage out of the leadoff spot last season, posting a .367 mark.
A lot of that was Kosuke Fukudome's patience, as he spent 312 plate apperances (42 of which were walks) in the leadoff spot, boasting a .370 OBP. Castro's .327 average in the 1-hole helped out as well, even though he had just 21 walks in 335 PAs.
Even Jeff Baker (.455 OBP in 22 PAs) and Reed Johnson (.375 OBP in 56 PAs) chipped in.
However, of the top five teams in the NL in leadoff OBP, only the Milwaukee Brewers made the playoffs, so getting on base at the top of order doesn't necessarily equate to success.
Of course, the Cubs' problem has always been driving in those runs.
David DeJesus is putting the Cubs in a good position again in 2012, with a .391 OBP so far this season, spending all but one plate appearance out of the leadoff spot. He's scored just three runs, but he's doing exactly what the Cubs have asked him to do.
DeJesus' on-base skills -- .356 career OBP -- make him a good fit for this Cubs lineup. He won't light up the scorecard with home runs or RBIs or even stolen bases, but his ability to work the count and draw walks is a breath of fresh air in a typically aggressive lineup.
Mark Grote, Chris Bleck and JJ Stankevitz join Luke Stuckmeyer on the panel.
0:00- Bulls and Hawks battle it out at the bottom of the NBA standings. Are they too good to finish in the bottom 3?
6:00- The Derrick Rose reunion talk continues. Would he fit with the young Bulls?
7:30- The panel discusses how you should watch Bulls games for the remainder of the season.
9:00- The guys discuss their favorite moments of the Melo Era.
10:00- 8 Bears were named to the Pro Bowl. 7 will be playing. Will Bears fans actually watch this meaningless exhibition?
14:00- Luke has the latest on Manny Machado-- it's that there is no news. The guys discuss when something might actually happen. How devastating would it be if he does not sign with the White Sox?
19:00- The Blackhawks beat another division leader. They've won 2 straight heading into the All-Star Break. Could they sneak into the playoffs?
Listen to the full episode in the embedded player below:
Sports Talk Live Podcast
The White Sox are still supposedly in the hunt for the two big free agents fishes of this offseason, but they also made an offer to catcher Yasmani Grandal.
That's what Robert Murray of The Athletic is reporting.
Apparently, the White Sox were one of four teams to offer a multi-year deal to Grandal, along with the Mets, Angels and Twins. He wound up with the Brewers on a one-year deal worth at least $18.25 million ($16 million for 2019 and a $2.25 million buyout if the mutual option for 2020 isn't picked up).
Back in December, it was reported that the White Sox were "looking at" Grandal as a potential upgrade at catcher. Apparently, that resulted in a contract offer to the 30-year-old.
The offer obviously wasn't accepted, but is another sign of the White Sox trying to be active this offseason and showing some willingness to spend money.
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