In light of my recent entry about the Cubs being dead last in walk rate, I have decided to blame Rudy Jaramillo. Since nobody reads this blog, I'm not going to check that spelling.
It's the hitters job to bring the skill, which I believe they do to a reasonable extent. The hitting coach should bring the strategy and approach. That is where the cubs are lacking.
The only people taking walks are the ones who've always done it, Pena, Soto, and Fukudome. I don't think Rudy deserves any credit for this people. It's the younger guys and part timers that he should be spending the most time with, and these are the ones that are borderline terrible.
The Cubs have a middling team OBP of .314 despite being 2nd in the NL in batting average at .264. I was expecting OBP to be a real strength for them, somewhere in the .330 range.
Overall the Cubs are still an ok run scoring team and an ok pitching team. They've deserved more wins than they've got but haven't deserved to be at the top of the division.
The pitching will pick up now that less pitchers are on the DL. I don't see that kind of hope for the hitting. At the very least, it should go up some when Byrd comes back. Reed Johnson will face less righties and Fukudome will face less lefties. I'm pretty happy with the Dewitt/Baker platoon situation. It would be better if it was a Dewitt/Barney platoon, and first base was a Pena/Baker platoon. I like Pena but he sucks bad against lefties.