The Chicago Cubs won their second series of the year on Sunday with a thrilling 4-3 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers. Once again, the Cubs got fine relief pitching in the absence of ex-closer Carlos Marmol. And 1B Bryan LaHair continues to make Chicago fans glad that Theo Epstein passed on Prince Fielder and Albert Pujols.
Another dynamic player in the Cubs' lineup is Tony Campana. Since being called up from Iowa when Chicago traded Marlon Byrd, Campana has given opposing pitchers fits. I've got to give Cubs' manager Dale Sveum credit for playing Campana every day. However, I think Sveum could better utilize Tony Campana's skills by hitting him leadoff.
Ever since I saw him play for the first time, Tony Campana has been my favorite Chicago Cubs player. His hustle on every ground ball would make Pete Rose proud. But Tony Campana is also one of the fastest players in the league. With his blinding speed, his game is perfect for the leadoff position.
Of course, speed and hustle don't matter if you can't get on base. But Tony Campana is hitting .325 and has a .386 OBP through Sunday. He should also be hitting leadoff because he needs to be the first Chicago batter to get on base so he's not impeded by a slower Cubs' runner in front of him.
The other reason why Tony Campana should be hitting leadoff is because of one of his faults. At 5' 8" and 165 pounds, he won't be breaking any homerun records anytime soon. I believe the second batter in the lineup should at least be a decent power threat.
So far this year, Tony Campana has hit leadoff for Chicago once. That day, he went 2-4 and stole a base. With normal leadoff batter David DeJesus getting the day off, Tony Campana helped Chicago defeat the Philadelphia Phillies 5-1.
DeJesus has done a decent job at leadoff for the Cubs, but the leadoff position is best suited for Tony Campana. I like Campana and Darwin Barney hitting first and second. DeJesus could help balance Chicago's lineup by hitting sixth or seventh. If nothing else, it would be a thrilling season for Cubs fans in Chicago with Tony Campana hitting leadoff every day.
Patrick Michael is a resident of New Orleans, but grew up watching the Chicago Cubs on WGN with Harry Caray and Steve Stone as the Cubs announcers. A diehard Cubs fan, Patrick's favorite season was 1984 when the Cubs were one win away from reaching the World Series. Follow Patrick Michael on Twitter at patmichael84.
"Tony Campana," baseball-reference.com
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