Video: Cubs Joe Mather Game Winning Hit vs Cardinals

By Andrew Fisher

The start of 2012 has been anything but glorious for the Chicago Cubs, but on Monday, everything seemed alright as Joe Mather knocked in the game winning runs against the St. Louis Cardinals.

Center fielder Marlon Byrd was traded to the Boston Red Sox over the weekend in the team’s most recent shakeup. I’m all in favor of dealing Byrd. He was struggling mightily at the plate, and really had no long term benefit to the franchise.

General Manager Jed Hoyer had the following to say on the deal,

“The slow start didn’t play any part at all. We had talked about a deal [with the Red Sox] at the end of Spring Training. Our feeling was we’ve been trying to acquire relief pitching since the end of the winter. We felt like an area we have some surplus with young players we want to play is in the outfield, so that was a big part of it.

“The slow start, a lot of guys have a bad 45-, 50-plate-appearance stretch,” Hoyer said. “We wouldn’t be doing our job well if we let that play into it. We felt we had some guys who can be a big part of our future. Realistically, Marlon was in the last year of his deal, and we felt we wanted to give some plate appearances to other guys.”

I’m also in favor of bringing up Tony Campana and his speed to the major league roster. He is one of the fastest guys in MLB, and in year like like this, why not?

Campana showed the impact of his speed Sunday against the Cincinnatti Reds, by forcing Johnny Cueto into 2 errant throws and getting on base. His speed directly impacts opposing pitchers and defenses, so why not roll the dice a bit with him?

The Cubs have said that they’re in no hurry to call up CF Brett Jackson from Tripe A Iowa, and I’m okay with that too. Jackson needs the at-bats in the minors, and Campana deserves his chance in the majors. Until the season gets way out of hand, let’s see what the current roster can do.

Follow Andrew Fisher on Twitter @the_realfish

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