April has come to an end. Twenty-one games are in the books. Being a teacher, I’m used to grading my students’ performance. I’m going to take this opportunity to grade the Cubs players’ April performance.
Alfonso Soriano, B
He’s personally won at least two games this year. His batting average has started to
dip. I’s now .284.
Reed Johnson, C+
Outfield play has saved Cubs on a number of occasions. Great attitude and seems to
be a great team guy. He is hitting only .216, though.
Kosuke Fukudome, A
Solid start to season with his .338 average. He leads team with 15 RBI. We’ve seen
this before, however. Can he extent the hot hitting after the All-Star Break?
Milton Bradley, F
Should be an incomplete, as he hasn’t played much. His attitude and distractions
earn him an F.
Joey Gathright, INCOMPLETE
One hit in nine at bats. The jury is still out.
Micah Hoffpauir, B-
.303, two homers, nine RBIs. Sloppy defense at times.
Derrek Lee, C-
Good defense. Some timely hits, but still hitting only .189. Time to move down in the
Aramis Ramirez, B+
When he’s in there, he’s the Cubs most dangerous hitter. .358 with 14 RBIs. Has
battled injury issues thus far. The Cubs CANNOT afford to lose him for any extended
length of time.
Ryan Theriot, B+
Hitting .317. Plays hard and is dependable. Base running gaffes are a weakness.
Mike Fontenot, B-
Hitting only .232, but has four homers and ten RBIs. A good team guy. His defense is
better this year.
Aaron Miles, C+
Cubs are getting what they should have expected from this light hitting infielder.
Geovany Soto, F
This saddens me. Slow start, hitting .109 with only five hits on the season. Is he
still hurt? Can’t throw out any base stealers. A Cubs Rookie of the Year off to a slow
start the following year. Anyone remember Jerome Walton?
Koyie Hill, B
A solid backup.
Carlos Zambrano, C+
Can be inconsistent. Still will let his emotions take over at times. 4.64 ERA.
36 hits allowed in 33 innings along with 13 walks.
Ryan Dempster, C
29 hits allowed in 30 innings along with 14 walks. 5.40 ERA.
Ted Lilly, C+
2-2 with a 3.80 ERA.
Rich Harden, B
If you take out the awful game I saw him pitch against Colorado, he’s probably been the
best of this bunch so far. 2-1, 3.86 ERA.
Sean Marshall, B-
3.32 ERA is best among the starters. He keeps the Cubs in the game.
Aaron Heilman, C+
I was actually ready to give him an A- before todays game because of his 0.82 ERA.
I’m so mad after tonight, I’ve downgraded him.
Angel Guzman, C-
His 3.97 ERA now actually looks good in this bullpen. Sad.
Kevin Gregg, F
11 hits in 9.2 innings pitched and a 5.59 ERA is not going to get it done as a closer.
Davis Patton, F
Threw a home run derby pitch to Pujols with the bases loaded. Has a 9.35 ERA.
Carlos Marmol, C+
Mr. Reliable started out strong. Even he has struggled of late, even before his injury.
Neal Cotts, F
Only because there isn’t a grade lower than F.
Jeff Samardzija, F
You see Jeff Samardzija, I see Kyle Farnsworth. 6.75 ERA.
The Overall Grade = C
The Cubs finish April at 10-11. They are a very average team right now with a lousy bullpen.
They’ve scored 97 runs and given up 104. They are 4-5 at home and 6-6 on the road. The Cubs face a challenge right now. They trail St. Louis by five games right now. St. Louis has three more games against the woeful Washington Nationals this weekend. The Cubs have three more games against the first place Marlins. The Cubs don’t want to start digging themselves too deep of a hole. There’s an old baseball adage that says while you can’t win a pennant in April, you can lose a pennant in April. Thank God it’s May.