Friday I said that Daryl Ward has been practically useless off the bench. Actually, as of Friday afternoon he was literally useless, as he had not had one hit in a pinch hit appearance.
Saturday, off the bench, he had an RBI single which scored Mark DeRosa (who’s been one of my better fantasy league pickups, but that’s another blog) which tied the game, and yesterday he hit a two run double which ended up being the winning hit in the final game of a series sweep against the Diamondbacks at Wrigley.
So you know, I’m taking full credit. You’re welcome.
Of course, the other side of that story is Ward pinch hit for Felix Pie. Now, I understand the theory is Pie has nothing left to prove in the minor leagues. Last year he hit .362 with a Bonds-esque .973 OPS, so that certainly seems to be the case. But if a guy can’t hit in the majors, he can’t hit in the majors. And this guy can’t hit in the majors. Meanwhile, Matt Murton is hitting .368 with a .870 OPS in Iowa, so it’s not like he has a hell of a lot to prove, either. But he can hit in the majors; he has a career .295 BA, which most people would think is pretty damn good. And even though his field work’s not as good as Pie’s, he’s not exactly Manny Ramirez or Adam Dunn, either (of course, they would argue that he’s not exactly Manny Ramirez or Adam Dunn, either).
Sean Gallagher had a great game in his first major league start (Zambrano was supposed to start but was held up because of an hour rain delay). He couldn’t make it past the fifth inning, but he has been a reliever for quite some time now so five innings at one go is asking a lot. Not sure I want him to stay in the starting five all year, but he certainly deserves another start or two to see what he can do, and if it seems to be just a fluke then hopefully Rich Hill will have his stuff together by then, or at least Sean Marshall will be ready to step in. And since the rotation includes Jason Marquis, it’s always good to have that one extra guy who can step in just in case.
In other news, Mark Prior is having shoulder problems again. According to the Chicago Tribune, the San Diego Padres (or as Mom would say, the South Dakota Padres) wanted him to be in a minor league rehab assignment by now. Instead, this is his second delay due to shoulder soreness, and he hasn’t even made it out of extended spring training yet. This is a familiar story. In case you don’t recall, last year he wanted to make the Cubs 25-man roster and start the season in the bigs. The Cubbies thought that wasn’t such a good idea, said he would start the season in the minors, and had him pitch in extended spring training. Of course, the Cubs were being complete jerks about the situation. He was fine, but there was nothing he could do because he was “just an employee.” “It’s up the Cubs if they want me,” he said bitterly, joking that he could be in the minor league Futures Game because he was going to pitch so well and show us all. He was shut down by the end of April, and hasn’t played in the majors or minors since.
What a loser.