This is crazy. Baker thinks Estes is enough of a liability in the rotation to consider skipping his starts in the next two weeks thanks to favorably scheduled off days.
But there is a perfectly suitable alternative to Estes, and that’s Juan Cruz, whom the Cubs are sending down to Iowa for a position player. The Cubs do need another position player to have off the bench and I’m not sure who else they could send down.
Still, Baker’s loyalty to Estes is entirely misguided:
I’d be dissatisfied if he didn’t have the stuff. Do you get frustrated sometimes? Yeah. Dissatisfied? No. He’s frustrated. You can see it because he knows he has the stuff, and someday he’s going to get it and get it big. I believe that from the bottom of my heart.
That’s great, but in the meantime, he’s one of the worst starters in the National League — the fifth worst, according to the Clark & Addison Chronicle.
Estes is a “crafty lefty” with no control. He’s constantly behind in the count and walks too many batters, and doesn’t have the stuff to strike his way out of the jams he creates.
I’ll be glad when he’s gone next year and Cruz has that spot in the rotation, unless Baker somehow convinces the Cubs they must get another mediocre, overpaid lefthander to add “balance” to the rotation.
And what was it Baker said about keeping Lofton on for next year? Where exactly is he going to play? Patterson will be back in centerfield and it’s not worth it to pay Lofton to fill in for a couple of weeks and then sit on the bench the rest of the year.