As you can see from the title, this article is about manager Dale Sveum. Let me just say, the losing streak was not all on Sveum. Most of the blame has to go on the players as they are the ones going out and playing. Also, some blame has to go on hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo as the Cubs aren’t scoring runs/hitting the ball. I know Jaramillo can’t work magic with nothing to work with, but he still he has to do something. Bruce Levine heard that Dale Sveum and his coaching staff could be gone after the rebuilding phase. I don’t see that happening unless he continues to fail season in and out. My main reason I say that is Sveum and his coaching staff will build chemistry with the young kids and how they play. The only way I can see them letting Sveum and/or his coaching staff go if the right coaches come available. Other than that, I see Team Theo retaining Sveum and his coaching staff after the rebuilding phase. Here’s the positives and negatives I have see from Sveum thus far:
**I love how he plays the shifts for each and every player by their hitting chart. Sometimes it does hurt, but for the most part, the shifts have worked out great.
**Also, I like his coaching strategies mentality … where he says the balls are hit more in the gap between 3rd/SS and 2B/1B. So … he has his infielders play more in the gap than playing closer to the lines
**I like how he brings new techniques to the ball club. For example, the bunting tournament in Spring Training (it hasn’t showed, but still…).
**Finally, I LOVE Sveum moving Starlin Castro to the 2 hole. I think Castro is best serve to hit in the 2 spot and where he makes his name. Also, I love how much Castro’s defense has improved. It’s been very impressive and I’ve been very happy.
**Sveum may gives outs away too early. For example, in today’s game Sveum had the #3 hitter Joe Mather bunt in the 1st inning, 0 outs, a runner at 2nd and the wind howling straight out (25-30mph). That stirred buzz all over Twitter and many fans were against it. For the most part, you never want to give away outs early and especially when the wind blowing out like it did today. No one really got the move by Sveum.
**Getting back to the 3rd hitter … Joe Mather should not be batting 3rd. Alfonso Soriano should bat 3rd or Brian LaHair. Either player who bats 3rd will make the 0ther player bat 4th. If Mather continues to be in the line-up, bat his 5th or 6th.
**I may be in the minority about this one, but … where is Tony Campana? Sveum did say he was going to try something new and since then, Campana has not started. Granted, Campana is not a good hitter, but he was getting on base and was a spark plug. When he gets on base, he turns it into a double or triple. With the blazing speed he has. To me, he didn’t do much to sit down (he’s still batting .299 and has 13 stolen bases in limited time). He will be a pinch runner for most of his career, but he should get a chance on a struggling team. Also, with his speed, he can steal runs and the Cubs need runs anyway they can get ’em.
**As we all know the bullpen is very bad, but Sveum has a tendency to leave pitchers in too long when they are struggling. We have seen that way too much this year and it’s still the early part of the season. Most notably, Carlos Marmol and Rafael Dolis.
I know it’s early into the season, but what grade would you rate Dale Sveum in the first couple months (grading scale)? I am going to give him a C. I think C is the best grade thus far and it’s right in the middle. I hope I can give him a better grade come later into the season.