Cubs for Breakfast

Cumann Daorchluiche Cubs na Chicago

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Rehashing an Old Hope

It has been a long time, nearly a year, since I’ve seen any reference made to Derrek Lee’s home/road splits for home runs established with the Marlins. Remember, in 2003 Lee hit 20 home runs on the road but only 11 at home in the cavernous Pro Player stadium. In 2002, he had put up the same 2:1 ratio. Much speculation was spouted when Lee was traded that his HR totals could potentially increase by one-third after his move to the Cubs. Of course, it didn’t turn out that way in 2004. Lee increased his home totals by seven, but his road totals decreased by six, leaving him with 32 jacks for the season as opposed to 31. That is a 3% increase in longball production, not 33%.

Maybe it just took a year to warm up for the slow-starting giant, at least that’s what we hope. Lee has six homers in 17 games at home and four homers in 16 road contests. At this pace, he will hit 29 at home and 20 on the road in 2005. While it would be foolish to expect his output to date to hold up over the course of the whole season, expecting last year’s hoped for 33% increase—about 40 total jacks—seems more than reasonable.