Following the Cubs extra-inning victory Tuesday night in which position player John Baker earned the win pitching in relief – coupled with the knowledge that the rest of the season is out of reach – Cubs manager Rick Renteria has decided to let backup player pitch the remaining innings of the 2014 season.
“It’s a blowout,” said Renteria, in reference to the Cubs season to date. “And there’s really no point in exhausting or further humiliating our pitcher. So we decided to keep their arms fresh for next season. And, hell, Baker did better than our real pitchers anyway. I say we roll with it.”
The Cubs, already 14 games out of 1st place in the NL Central, are currently sitting in last place and earlier this season traded two of their best starting pitchers, Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel, to the Oakland Athletics. Renteria said the move would help keep the fans entertained.
“You saw the fans the other night,” commented Renteria, who brought in the position player to finish the 16th inning, and will now do the same with with the team’s remaining 684. “All  of ‘em were lovin’ it. Heck, Baker’s fastball clocked at 79. That’s not far off from a lot of our current staff.”
Baker, who’s spent most of his 2014 season backing up current Cubs catcher, Welington Castillo, said he’d do whatever was asked of him by the coaching staff.
“I’m just here to help the team,” laughed Baker, during an atypical non-depressing Cubs postgame interview. “Whether it’s with my bat, my glove, or even my arm, I’m gonna try my best out there.”
Renteria stated he plans to give the backups more playing time as well, once he figures out who exactly on the Cubs could be deemed Major League “starters.”
– – – – –
Also see …