Jorge Cantu, everybody’s favorite Jedi baseball player, may be on the verge of losing his job to Ty Wigginton. Tonight, Papa Joe Maddon is starting all of his regulars (minus an injured Dioner Navarro) with Wigginton at second base and Cantu on the bench for the second time in the past three days. We considered the possibility that Cantu may be moved from second base to first base, but we never really considered that he would be removed from the lineup all together.

It is no mystery that Cantu is not the best defensive second baseman, but it is generally believed that his offense can make up for any deficiencies in the field. With Greg Norton in the lineup at first base again, the real question then becomes, what happens to Cantu if he is not the starting second baseman? We can’t imagine that Papa Joe would have a use for him on the bench, with his limited defensive abilities. More likely, the move would force a trade of Cantu for prospects or relief help.

The other interesting aspect of this move is that Papa Joe is leaning towards Wigginton as the replacement and not B. J. Upton, Akinori Iwamura or to a lesser extent Brendan Harris. Even if Wigginton is Maddon’s first choice, everybody knows that Wigginton can play second. So it is revealing that none of the other players are getting any work at second base.

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  1. Greg says:

    I find it easy to root for Wigginton. Nobody ever expects him to do anything, yet he finds playing time and does well. Cantu really isn't a better hitter than Wig. Consider these 2007 projections from Ron Shandler:
    Cantu: .285/.320/.475
    Wigginton: .283/.341/.492

    I'm surprised that Iwamura isn't at 2B, with Upton at 3B ... but if the goal is to win now, then it's hard to argue with Iwamura at 3B and Wigginton at 2B.

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  2. The Professor says:

    for the most part I agree. i would only say that I believe that Cantu could be better, but I definitely have more confidence in Wiggy.

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  3. Anonymous says:

    Cantu was the Rays super star in '05. An injury hurt his offensive production in '06. He deserves an opportunity to show that he can return to his healthy '05 form. While Cantu isn't fleet of foot and has limited range at 2nd, he more than makes up for this w/ his 120+ RBI's ('05). Someone should tell Maddon(thick as a brick) that Cantu knocks in runs and must be in the line up, whether it's 2nd, 1st,or DH. Hey Joe, scoring runs wins ballgames, something your team didn't do too well last year(61-101).

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  4. Anonymous says:

    the question really isnt Cantu or Wiggy, because Wiggy is in the lineup no matter what. the question is either Cantu or Norton (who would take over at first if Wiggy moves over) or the other possibility is Cantu or Gomes (if Norton moves to first from DH)

    in the end Cantu will get his ABs (if hes not traded) but they may be limited if he fails to produce consistently. It would not be far-fetched to see Cantu only get 350-400 ABs.

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