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  • Matt Murton vs Felix Pie

    Apparently Murton is on the trading block. I just read this at mlbtraderumors.com.

    He indicates that the Padres and the Rays are pursuing Matt Murton but the Cubs are holding out for a top pitching prospect in return, knowing Murton will be a starter on another club. Rosenthal quotes one GM as saying that the price "is way too high as of now". As many as five teams have shown interest in Murton.
    To me with Soriano and Fukudome locked into 2 of the 3 outfield spots, the question comes down to these two young players. Pie strikes me as a bust waiting to happen. I know its early in the season, but he looks awful at the plate - showing absolutely no discipline at all. He strikes me as very reminscent of Corey Patterson - good glove and speed, but no smarts at the plate. Pie has looked good in the field and has some good wheels, but all that won't matter if he can't hit. There is no place in the starting lineup for a good glove no hit outfielder, even in center.

    Murton on the other hand doesn't have the glove or speed of Pie, but he's a far more reliable bat. Now I'm not delusional about Murton. He's 27 and has a career OPS+ of 108. He's not an all-star in the making, but I think he can be a solid player at a cheap price. More importantly, he gives another disciplined hitter who works the count and can provide an above average on base percentage.

    We lose a lot defenisvely if the outfield is Soriano in left, Fukudome in center, and Murton in right, but that's still a decent defensive outfield with a lot more dependable production. Plus it would let us it would let us use Murton in the two slot to give us a good on-base guy to set the table for the middle of the order. Of course my dream lineup would be something like Murton-Fukudome-Lee-Rameriz-Soriano, but Lou seems willing to let Soriano keep his spot in the lineup at leadoff, despite him not having the ideal skill set for that spot. If this was ever settled, I'd love to see the Cubs ship Pie and some other extra parts for a defense first short-stop. Then Theriot can go back to being a utility player which is what he really is.
    "I will calmly wait for my induction to the Baseball Hall of Fame."
    - Sammy Sosa

    "Get a comfy chair, Sammy, cause its gonna be a long wait."
    - Craig Ashley (AKA Windy City Fan)

  • #2
    felix really needs to start showing something. three at bats and nothing but a long loud foul ball. he missed a homer by less than 5 feet.

    When he has his chances, he's not coming through. And Reed Johnson is. So thats making life tough for lou to put Pie in the lineup.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by rockin500 View Post
      felix really needs to start showing something. three at bats and nothing but a long loud foul ball. he missed a homer by less than 5 feet.

      When he has his chances, he's not coming through. And Reed Johnson is. So thats making life tough for lou to put Pie in the lineup.
      Reed is doing well at the plate, but he's a bit of a mess in the field. Any time he's in there and a ball gets hit dead center to the warning track, I'll wince a little.

      It's really too bad Murton has the arm of a 13-year old girl.
      Senior Editor/Featured Writer for Home Of The Chiefs

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      • #4
        Boy it just irks me this Murton kid doesnt get a shot somewheres. It really irks me.
        "Let me start by telling you this: I have never used steroids. Period. I don't know how to say it any more clearly than that. Never." :hyper:

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Windy City Fan View Post
          Apparently Murton is on the trading block. I just read this at mlbtraderumors.com.
          Matt has been on the block for most of the offseason but the offers are lowball ones (I think our best offer is two high ceiling but low producing prospects). Jim let it be known in spring training after Murton was the send to AAA, that he likes Matt but he's not going to give him away and Hendry told him that much. Right there put Murton in limbo as most of his suitors are looking to buy him low, even though they are looking at him at a starter/LHP platoon. If the OF stays the way it is Murton is looking at his ship sailing at the break for a LH reliever or another spare part for a playoff run.


          To me with Soriano and Fukudome locked into 2 of the 3 outfield spots, the question comes down to these two young players. Pie strikes me as a bust waiting to happen. I know its early in the season, but he looks awful at the plate - showing absolutely no discipline at all. He strikes me as very reminscent of Corey Patterson - good glove and speed, but no smarts at the plate. Pie has looked good in the field and has some good wheels, but all that won't matter if he can't hit. There is no place in the starting lineup for a good glove no hit outfielder, even in center.
          There is plenty room in the lineup for not only a good glove in CF, but an excellent glove in CF as long as the SS position gets some offense out of it while being at least average on defense. Sure Pie looks like a bust waiting to happen, most 23 year old bats in their first shot at the MLB lineup will look that way. Pie is not Corey Patterson, but no matter how much you tell Cubdom no one believes it and they want results immediately. Pie isn't in love with his power game like CP was, Pie can and will hit the ball on the ground and pull a bunt when possible. Pie's problems are like most youngsters, he's swinging at high fastballs and breaking balls out of the zone but in the same breath so is veteran Alfonso Soriano. Felix is a streaky hitter and that's very common for a youngster. I don't think fans realize how important he is in centerfield though, Pie makes gapping doubles turn into outs. In Chicago, it might not show as much due to Wrigley's small OF but on the road especially in the the spacious NL Central parks Pie runs tremendous ground.

          Murton on the other hand doesn't have the glove or speed of Pie, but he's a far more reliable bat. Now I'm not delusional about Murton. He's 27 and has a career OPS+ of 108. He's not an all-star in the making, but I think he can be a solid player at a cheap price. More importantly, he gives another disciplined hitter who works the count and can provide an above average on base percentage.
          Your completely right on Murton, he's a disciplined hitter with a great eye that would help the bulk of our lineup but Murton can't play CF and he's a pretty poor option at RF.

          We lose a lot defenisvely if the outfield is Soriano in left, Fukudome in center, and Murton in right, but that's still a decent defensive outfield with a lot more dependable production. Plus it would let us it would let us use Murton in the two slot to give us a good on-base guy to set the table for the middle of the order. Of course my dream lineup would be something like Murton-Fukudome-Lee-Rameriz-Soriano, but Lou seems willing to let Soriano keep his spot in the lineup at leadoff, despite him not having the ideal skill set for that spot. If this was ever settled, I'd love to see the Cubs ship Pie and some other extra parts for a defense first short-stop. Then Theriot can go back to being a utility player which is what he really is.
          We lose A LOT defensively with a Alf-Fuk-Murton OF, Murton doesn't cover a good RF and has a LFer arm to go with it. Offensively, it does up the lineup but not to the point where it overtakes the overall lineup of Alf-Pie-Fuk. At 23 years old, Pie is already one of the best defensive centerfielders in the NL. Not only is he fast and runs great routes but he has the arm of a RFer, strong and accurate. I know I'm in a minority on this forum but I do have researchers behind when I say defense weights more than offense especially at CF/SS/C. There aren't too many, if any, front line SS available...
          What a Batted Ball is Worth (in terms of a run):
          Line Drive: .356
          HBP: .342
          Non-Intentional Walk: .315
          Intentional Walk: .176
          Outfield Fly: .035
          Groundball: -.101
          Bunts: -.103
          Infield Fly: -.243
          Strikeout: -.287
          It's now officially Doctor Bob Sacamento, D.C., C.S.C.S., and working on my D.A.B.C.O. (Diplomate American Board of Chiropractic Orthopedics)

          Comment


          • #6
            A Sori-Pie-Fuku lineup versus a Sori-Fuku-Murton really does come down to the hitting of Pie and the hitting of Murton.

            Last year the best offensive Cf'ers added about 48 to 53 runs above replacement to their team. The best defensive CF'ers added about 25 runs.

            Even if Pie turns out to be the best defensive CF'er in the league he still going to be giving a lot up offensively if it turns out he can't hit. He can't put up a .271/.333 and expect to be a starter.

            If Murton puts up a line like 2006 in right and Pie puts up a offensive line like Nook Logan and a defensive line like Ichiro or Beltran then Murton will still add more runs to his team and his offense will also cover whatever loss the team suffers by losing Fuku's defense in right.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Bob Sacamento View Post
              There is plenty room in the lineup for not only a good glove in CF, but an excellent glove in CF as long as the SS position gets some offense out of it while being at least average on defense. Sure Pie looks like a bust waiting to happen, most 23 year old bats in their first shot at the MLB lineup will look that way. Pie is not Corey Patterson, but no matter how much you tell Cubdom no one believes it and they want results immediately. Pie isn't in love with his power game like CP was, Pie can and will hit the ball on the ground and pull a bunt when possible. Pie's problems are like most youngsters, he's swinging at high fastballs and breaking balls out of the zone but in the same breath so is veteran Alfonso Soriano. Felix is a streaky hitter and that's very common for a youngster. I don't think fans realize how important he is in centerfield though, Pie makes gapping doubles turn into outs. In Chicago, it might not show as much due to Wrigley's small OF but on the road especially in the the spacious NL Central parks Pie runs tremendous ground.
              First off, I don't think we can count on getting offense out of the SS position. Theriot is a nice scrappy bench player, but he shouldn't be starting. His defense is average at best and 28 stolen bases last year don't make up for his 76 OPS+.

              Pie may not be the exactly the second coming of Patterson, but they both share a critical weakness in their game - a total lack of plate discipline. You say Pie is not in love with his power game, and if I recall his minor league stats, he never was a big slugger. So if Pie is not going to be a slugger, he needs to have a nice OBP to be a valuable offensive player. Can anyone see Pie with a great OBP? At best, I see him has Juan Pierre-type of player at the plate - a fast guy with an above average OBP driven almost exclusively by his high average. That's a player with some value, but not exactly a world beater either. And that's what I see Pie's ceiling as, unless he develops more power as he matures.

              Your completely right on Murton, he's a disciplined hitter with a great eye that would help the bulk of our lineup but Murton can't play CF and he's a pretty poor option at RF.

              We lose A LOT defensively with a Alf-Fuk-Murton OF, Murton doesn't cover a good RF and has a LFer arm to go with it. Offensively, it does up the lineup but not to the point where it overtakes the overall lineup of Alf-Pie-Fuk. At 23 years old, Pie is already one of the best defensive centerfielders in the NL. Not only is he fast and runs great routes but he has the arm of a RFer, strong and accurate. I know I'm in a minority on this forum but I do have researchers behind when I say defense weights more than offense especially at CF/SS/C. There aren't too many, if any, front line SS available...
              I don't dispute Pie's defensive ability at all. He's a very good centerfielder and that is valuable, but to me you still need to be able to hit if you're an outfielder. Pie so far hasn't hit. I know its early, and he could still turn it around, but but a guy with unimpressive power and no plate discipline worries me.

              And I do see a Soriano-Fukudome-Murton OF as a significant downgrade defensively. I don't think Fuk is as good as Pie is in center and Murton is no where near the defender Fuk is in right. However, we'd still have an average to above average defensive outfield and I think a significantly more productive offensive outfield.

              The only way Pie is the better option (in my mind) is if you believe he can hit for a high enough average to get his OBP at .350 or better. That, plus his speed and defense would push him past Murton in my book.
              "I will calmly wait for my induction to the Baseball Hall of Fame."
              - Sammy Sosa

              "Get a comfy chair, Sammy, cause its gonna be a long wait."
              - Craig Ashley (AKA Windy City Fan)

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Windy City Fan View Post

                The only way Pie is the better option (in my mind) is if you believe he can hit for a high enough average to get his OBP at .350 or better. That, plus his speed and defense would push him past Murton in my book.
                Everyone needs to remember by playing Murton above Pie we are severely damaging Pie's growth. We can argue about Murton's offense vs. Pie's defense, but you also have to factor in that Pie is young and needs a chance to grow. I guess it all comes down to your opinion of Pie, whether you think he is going to bust or not, and if you are willing to sacrifice the future for a win-now type attitude.

                Comment


                • #9
                  This team is built to win now, not in three years.

                  It isn't like Pie has learned all he can learn in the minors and by sending him back he simply rots down there. That is probably much more true in Murton's case then in Pie's case.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I like Murton as well, and it's a shame he is stuck in the minors.

                    But I am with Bob, seemingly in the minority "Pie has to play" camp. Murton and Johnson have both reached their offensive cieling; Pie hasn't. There is no doubt our defense is better with Pie than with Murton, we all agree there.

                    Pie has nothing left to prove in the minors. Though I agree he has looked uncomfortable, it is a grave mistake to base an analysis on 25 AB's, especially when most of those AB's are against pitchers that shut everybody down (except Fuku). Talking Sheets, Suppan, et al. Pie mostly sat while everyone else got to feast on some really really bad Pirate pitching.

                    Pie MUST start; if not here, than at Iowa. Not sure what a trip to Iowa will do, but better that then get 6 AB's a week as a late-inning defensive replacement.

                    Reed Johnson is a nice addition, but he isn't all that either. He's looked good against bad pitching.

                    At least we can all agree that Fuku guy should play. Every day. I remember in the offseason we thought Murton might get AB's against a tough lefty, sitting Fuku. I don't think that is happening!

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                    • #11
                      PS, if we're going by how players look early in the season, why not bench Soriano and go with Murton?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        As Ubi said, the Cubs are built to contend NOW. As I look down the road for this team, I see a lot of money tied up in players that are 30+. Lee, Rameriz, Lilly, Fukudome, Soriano (ugh what an albatross of a contract) are all on the wrong side of 30 and have multiple years left on their deals. Add to that our long term contracts to Zambrano. Even Marquis (another bad signing) has another year to go on his deal. The core of this team is in place, for better or worse, and they are not going to improve with age. If we don't win this year or next at the latest, we probaby won't be serious contenders again for another 4 or 5 years at a minimum.

                        I'll agree that playing Reed Johnson, who is very shaky in center, is confusing to me. If Pie isn't going to play, he should be in the minors getting more at bats. And if Pie isn't going to play, we should have Murton up and move Fukudome to center - giving as good, if not better production thatn what we have with Reed Johnson, and better overall outfield defense. Reed Johnson probably isn't going to be a real asset as an everyday hitter. In five years with the Blue Jays he had only one season where he was anything special with the bat and we've seen how weak his defense is. Pie's bat may be weak so far, but at least he can make up for it partly with his glove and with his speed.
                        "I will calmly wait for my induction to the Baseball Hall of Fame."
                        - Sammy Sosa

                        "Get a comfy chair, Sammy, cause its gonna be a long wait."
                        - Craig Ashley (AKA Windy City Fan)

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Jeff Pico View Post
                          PS, if we're going by how players look early in the season, why not bench Soriano and go with Murton?
                          I'm no Soriano fan, but he does have a track record we can go by. Soriano, while grossly overpaid, should be productive. Pie does not have that track record.

                          Here's a two part question to the Pie supporters: How long are you willing to stick with him if he continues to struggle? And what type of production do you want to see him give to keep his starting spot over Murton/Johnson?

                          Me, I could see giving him April to show something. And as I said, long term for the season, I want a .350 OBP from him. That's enough to make him more valuable than Murton.
                          "I will calmly wait for my induction to the Baseball Hall of Fame."
                          - Sammy Sosa

                          "Get a comfy chair, Sammy, cause its gonna be a long wait."
                          - Craig Ashley (AKA Windy City Fan)

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Now that Fukudome is playing center every few days or so, maybe Murton will get a shot every few days to play right......and I hope he hits a ton.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Lipsander View Post
                              Now that Fukudome is playing center every few days or so, maybe Murton will get a shot every few days to play right......and I hope he hits a ton.
                              doubtful. why bring murton up when you can put ward there and/or derosa which would free up fontenot to play second on those days?

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