Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Ojeda, Can You See?

The Cubs picked up three veteran players today and offered them minor league contracts. The most notable of the signings was Marquis Grissom, who spent the past three seasons with San Francisco. If Grissom is too old to play on a Giants team who's average age is 59, I'm not sure what he's going to do for the Cubs.

If there's still some life left in Grissom's bat, he could be a valuable bench player. My hope is that Dusty doesn't fall in love with Grissom for what he has done in the past, as Dusty is wont to do. If he does, Marquis Grissom may end up being the starting left fielder for the Cubs in 2006

The Cubs also picked up Mike Restovich, a former Twins outfield prospect who played sparingly in 2005 for the Pirates and Rockies. Restovich was once highly touted, but never really blossomed into the player the Twins hoped he would be.

The final veteran to be signed to a minor league contract was SS Augie Ojeda. Ojeda, a former Cubs utility player, spent 2004 with the Twins.

Ojeda has never been a superstar, yet I always liked him. He spent four years with the Cubs (2000-2003)and always seemed to be the kind of guy who came to play, even though he knew he probably wasn't going to play.

My irrational emotions aside, Ojeda never was much of a hitter. His best year with the Cubs was in 2000 when he hit .221 in 77 at-bats. So does it make sense to just write-off Ojeda? Not so fast, my friend. Maybe there's more to Augie Ojeda than meets the eye.

In 2004 with the Minnesota Twins, Ojeda hit .339 in 59 at-bats. His on-base percentage was .429 and his slugging percentage soared to a career high of .458. So maybe Ojeda is the type of player the Cubs need hitting second behind Juan Pierre. Well, I seriously doubt it.

Following his stellar season, or rather 59 at-bats, Ojeda went missing from the radar. I can't find any stats for him in the major or minor leagues in 2005. From what I can tell, Augie was working at Home Depot last year.

So chances are, Augie Ojeda isn't going to be playing much for the Cubs in 2006, at least not at the major league level. Even so, good luck, Augie. It would be great to see you contribute to the Cubs in 2006.


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