I love the way Hoy-Stein are reconstructing the Cubs, it's quite clear they have a plan and an idea how a team should be constructed.
Their first move was to acquire a guy who seems largely average "on Paper" : David deJesus. But for the Cubs he was a excellent acquisition. He solves a defensive problem in RF. He solves the lead-off slot opening. He seems to everything reasonably well with few blunders. He's cheap and came cheap. Good move - 4 stars ****.
Next they solved a possible disaster area: 3B. Ian Stewart also came cheap and works cheap but likely will provide a solid #5 or 6 bat in the batting order. Very nicely done - 4 stars ****.
Today they acquired a guy I think most will say: Who?, quickly followed by: Why?: Jeff Bianchi formerly of the Kansas City Minor League system. Excellent acquisition I believe. Why? He's young (25 - younger than Darwin or DeWitt or Baker) also cheap (acquired off waivers) and talented. He's a glove-man first and foremost and clearly (too my eyes) shows how Hoy-Stein feels the Cubs defense must be shored-up. He's a middle-infielder and primarily a SS and one of the best gloves around. Is Castro? I think not. I believe Castro will be moved to 2B to maximize his defensive abilities, maybe very soon. Maybe in 2012. Bianchi will slide right in at SS. a clear upgrade defensively.
Is Bianchi an offensive liability? Probably not. In fact he may hit quite well for a glove-first SS. He seems to be a solid #2 type hitter. At the very least he's a solid back-up at the critical middle infield positions. He was considered one of the top prospects in the talent rich KC Minor League system. So why wasn't he up with the weak MLB club? Injuries- plain and simple. 4 - stars ****.
A very good start for Hoy-Stein.