I might not seem like the safest bet
All I'm asking you is don't write me off, just yet ♪
So sang Hugh Grant in the movie "Music and Lyrics," a movie which I've never seen and one that I would almost assuredly hate since Drew Barrymore is in it. But nevertheless, these lyrics seem fitting when discussing Derrek Lee's season.
With a home run and a run-scoring double in Tuesday's 7-2 win over the Brewers, Derrek Lee set a new career high with 109 RBI. He ranks fourth in the National League in RBI, seventh in HR, 10th in batting average, 13th in OBP, second in slugging, and third in OPS. The only guys having hands down better seasons than Lee are some guy named Albert Pujols and half man/half beast Prince Fielder. Lee will probably get very few votes for MVP because the Cubs are 10 games out of first, but based on statistics alone, he deserves to be about third or fourth in the voting.
What has made this season even more impressive is that on May 16, Lee was batting .194 with three home runs and 15 RBI. I, and many others, pretty much wrote him off at that point. But then Lee went off, putting up a .333/32/94 line since mid-May. That's a good season, and Lee has compiled those numbers in just four months. Very good news for the Cubs as they look forward to 2010.
Moving from a veteran to a rookie, congratulations to Tyler Colvin, who drove in a run in his first ever major league plate appearance with a sacrifice fly on Monday. After a year of absolutely awful fundamentals by the Cubs, a sac fly is even more impressive than a base hit! But since he wasn't sure I would feel that way, he got himself his first big league hit in his next plate appearance. He added his first major league run last night, and robbed a home run for good measure.
I don't know how many times I've asked this, but it's enough that I can now be reasonably sure Lou Piniella doesn't read my blog:
CAN ANYONE TELL ME WHY JAKE FOX ISN'T PLAYING MORE?
"Maybe he's slumping?"
Nope, he's had at least one hit in four of his last six games.
"Maybe there's a veteran standing in his way?"
Nope, Bobby Scales has gotten the lion's share of the playing time in left field recently.
"His power numbers must be down."
No sir. His 11 HR and 41 RBI translate to 26 and 98 over 450 at-bats.
"His defense must really be hurting the team."
Eh, not really. His .953 fielding percentage is below average, but after three years of Alfonso Soriano, it's hard to complain. And Bobby Scales is a career infielder (he played 93 games in the infield at Triple-A this year) who had a ball bounce off his glove for a home run in Saturday's game.
If the Cubs are worried about Fox's potential to play defense every day in 2010, isn't this the time to figure out exactly how bad he is with the glove?
And even if they don't think he's a legitimate everyday option, shouldn't he at least be auditioning for a potential trade to an AL team where he could DH? This roster has been mismanaged worse than a certain office in Scranton, Penn.
Fox did play last night, but even that was a last-second lineup change.