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Experimental Lineups, Floppy Hats And No All-Stars

Here's how pathetic the Cubs have become: They are campaigning to get David DeJesus into the All-Star game.

No disrespect toward DeJesus intended - he's a fine player. But his greatest attribute - his on-base percentage - is lingering at .335. That's hardly All-Star material, especially considering the rest of his lukewarm stats.

Travis Wood, with is 2.65 ERA, is the only Cub even worthy of consideration. He's been better than Jeff Samardzija, and only one of them is likely to be chosen by National League manager Bruce Bochy.

Week in Review: The Cubs split two games with the Angels and lost two of three to the Pirates to go 2-3 for the week. The win against Pittsburgh came on Color Changing Sports Bottle Day. One of the losses came on Floppy Hat Day. Most Boring Cubs Season Ever.

Week in Preview: The Reds come in for four before the Cubs head east to New York to face the Mets in a three-game weekend series. It's a sad commentary on a baseball team when the days to look most forward to - for the second season in a row - are the draft and the trade deadline.

The Second Basemen Report: Maybe Dale Sveum is trying to force Darwin Barney into thinking like a leadoff hitter by batting him leadoff, but it's not working. After batting ninth against the Angels in the series opener and going 0-for-4, Dale slotted Barney into the top spot in the lineup, thus guaranteeing a .211 hitter with a .293 OBP more at-bats than any other player on the team. Barney went 3-for-15 batting leadoff in three of the next four games, with one walk, four strikeouts and five men left on base. All told, Barney went 3-for-21 for the week, leaving seven men on base. Barney does hit lefties better than righties, but c'mon, Dale.

In case you're wondering, the Cubs' second baseman in Des Moines is Logan Watkins. He's hitting .238, though he's got a .352 OBP.

A better option: Cody Ransom is performing adequately at third (.277/.347/.631 and six HRs in 65 at-bats) and Luis Valbuena is a natural second baseman. It might be time.

The Not-So-Hot Corner I believe we've just covered it.

Prospect Joshua Warren Vitters is back on the DL.

Wishing Upon A Starlin: Starlin Castro lost another 15 points on his batting average this week and 11 points on his OBP, which puts his slash line at .243/.283/.339. His career average is now .290 with a .329 OBP. Time to return the Hall of Fame plaque.

Moving Castro to seventh in the batting order last week didn't help - he left 15 men on base in five games.

Maybe the Cubs should move Junior Lake back to short.

The Legend of Dioner Navarro: Got a single in his only pinch-hit opportunity of the week; went 4-for-6 as a starter and walked twice. Plus, I'm pretty sure he threw out a runner or two. Has a .364 OBP.

Welington Castillo, on the other hand, has a .304 OBP. And yet, Dale says he's nearly an elite catcher.

Deserted Cubs: Tony Campana has his batting average up another point to .293 and his OBP up to .351 OBP at Reno. He's heating up, people! Unfortunately, he's been caught stealing three times now (18-for-21). I think we can live with that.

Bullpen Bullshit: Carlos Villanueva blew a save against the Angels, which was at least novel. The next night James Russell blew a save against the Angels, which was also novel. Kevin Gregg eventually got the win in that one despite giving up a 10th-inning home run. Gregg also got a save against the Pirates. Trade him at his highest value!

Ameritrade Stock Pick of the Week: Shares of Uh-Oh are trading higher already this week as investors realize the Cubs only outdrew the White Sox by 825 idiots on Sunday.

Sveum's Shadow: Dale Sveum's Five O'Clock Shadow moves to 9 p.m. as the young players he was supposed to help develop continue to regress.

Shark Tank: The story remains the same with Jeff Samardzija, who racked up seven strikeouts in six innings on Saturday on 112 pitches. His ERA is an impressive 3.18, but the Cubs need fewer pitches - even if it means fewer strikeouts - and longer outings. His opponent, A.J. Burnett, for example, also threw 112 pitches - in 8 1/3 innings. He struck out five and has an ERA of 3.12.

Jumbotron Preview: Six thousand square feet of Starlin Castro not running out a grounder to short.

Kubs Kalender: Wait 'til next year 2016.

Over/Under: Starts until Matt Garza is hurt again: 2.

Beachwood Sabermetrics: A complex algorithm performed by The Cub Factor staff using all historical data made available by Major League Baseball has determined that the Cubs don't have a single player worthy of the All-Star game.

The Cub Factor: Unlike Alfonso Soriano, you can catch 'em all!

The White Sox Report: Know the enemy.

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Contact The Cub Factor!

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