Couple of quick notes for Pirates-Cubs tonight on WGN. Rick Renteria has been playing the matchups early on and by and large will continue to try to exploit the platoon splits. However, he will try to get right-handed hitting players in there against righties and same for the left-handed hitters vs. southpaws as we go. I’ve called this club the land of opportunity and it’s apparent that he is very open to the idea of guys grabbing every day spots outright with their performance, regardless of handedness.
Along those lines, I’ve read a lot of fan forum posts on the various websites expressing frustration that Junior Lake and Mike Olt aren’t playing every day. There’s a very simple reason for that–young players generally are protected and put in the most favorable matchups possible. Yes, there are times when you need to throw guys into the deep end and hope they can swim, but it does a young player a disservice when you put him in positions to fail too often. This is game of confidence and as a young player’s confidence grows (usually via positive results), you’ll see him get more opportunities.
Enjoy the game. Gorgeous night here at Wrigley Field.