Much ink and hot air have been spent clamoring for the Cubs’ future to become the Cubs’ present. Understandably, fans crave any hint of a young player who will stop this garbage. Pipe down, people. Wise up while you’re at it.
Here are 10 reasons not to bring Kris Bryant to the majors right now (or maybe not even this season):
1. You don’t want to bring him up and then send him down. When the Cubs bring up these “saviors,’’ they want them to stay up. It’s smoother and gives everyone confidence that this plan and process will work. Anthony Rizzo did the back-and-forth thing, and it was hard to see how it helped. He was threatened with going back down last year, and it was impossible to miss how it hurt his game.
2. You don’t want to bring your future into a potentially toxic locker room. The Cubs have a bad record now and it will get worse when they trade Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel, the Cubs’ top two pitchers. Then, watch out. The record and the mood will go into the toilet. Let the kids start the season with the big club coming out of spring training when everybody at least can fake like the Cubs have a chance.
3. He’s not a third baseman. He’s playing third base, but he’s not playing it very well. As of this week, he had made 13 errors in 169 chances, a .923 fielding percentage. The pitching is the only reliable thing on this Cubs team, give or take Edwin Jackson, and now you’re adding a questionable fielder to mess that up?
4. He’s not an outfielder, either. He was projected as a corner outfielder coming out of the draft, but as of this week, he hadn’t played at either corner outfield position, and now you’re going to start his outfield education in oddly shaped Wrigley Field?
5. Cubs fans don’t need a "cookie."’ That was the word WSCR-AM (670)’s Dan McNeil used in a spring training interview with Theo Epstein, who extended the metaphor to wanting to provide the whole meal. Felix Pie was overhyped and underprepared. Some cookie that turned out to be.
6. Tearing up Double-A doesn’t mean you’re going to Cooperstown. See Javier Baez’s 2014 season for details. All that talk about Baez’s starting the season in the bigs looks laughable now.
7. The Cubs might be better off bringing up half of their "Core Four" at once. Say, Bryant and Baez at the same time, whenever that time is, to divide the attention that will get stupid crazy. The buddy system never fails.
8. Doing all the levels is part of "The Cubs Way."’ The Cubs swear they have a "way"’ and the lifeblood appears to be stocking and restocking the system because there will be painful failures. Learning from mistakes at Tennessee and then Iowa beats trying to do it against the Cardinals and then the Giants.
9. You don’t want to bring up players who are the soul of your future and have them realize the truth of the present: The Cubs are not a major-league franchise with this clown ownership. The focus of this franchise has nothing to do with what happening on the field, only with what’s not happening to the field. Why give Bryant or Baez or any of them reason to think, geez, if they can’t cut a simple deal to improve the stadium, then how can you trust their care and feeding of the humans playing in it?
10. Bryant’s promotion might help the Cubs win. That’s a bad thing. The Cubs can’t afford to win. They’re built to stink so they can land the best draft choice to replenish the system. How do you think they got Bryant in the first place?