COLUMN: What happened to my Cubs?

Mark Spensley
Express Co-Publisher

   This just hit me the other day, well maybe a month or so ago. My favorite Cub players are not coming back. I didn’t realize it until I finally was able to watch an actual Cubs game on TV.

   After the dismantling of the only Cubs team to win the World Series, I wasn’t all that upset. I was tired of watching the likes of Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant, Javier Baez and Kyle Schwarber underachieve as offensive players.

   None of their contact rates were all that spectacular. There were tons of strikeouts and swinging at pitches out of the strike zone. It seems like more so on this team than other teams I would watch around the league.

   When the Cubs broke this team up, I thought maybe one or more of them might come back, rejuvenated. The guys called up to replace them seemed like pretty good hitters late last season.

   Frank the Tank and Patrick Wisdom were better contact hitters. Wisdom was still swinging and missing but when he did connect, he hit more home runs than a few of those former Cub all-stars.

   Now I miss those guys. I miss Baez making spectacular plays at short. I miss Bryant being aggressive on the base paths. I miss just about everything about Rizzo. And yes, I miss the defensive lapse of Schwarber in leftfield.

   After seeing them on ESPN the other night, it felt like I hardly knew any of the current players. And a few current ones really have no business even being on a professional roster, i.e., Jason Heyward.

   I’m glad Wilson Contreras is still the Cubs’ catcher. I hold out hope that someday Ian Happ will be an all-star. I like the new guy, Seiya Suzuki. I don’t know much about the Cubs infielders other than they seem to make quite a few errors.

   Pitching, that’s another story. You can’t win games without a solid staff. Kyle Hendricks is about the only proven winner. Marcus Stroman should be good but he has struggled and is now on the IL.

   I hear the Cubs minor league system is full of some good young prospects. I know a couple of those young gunslingers have thrown no-hitters already. But it sounds like most of those guys are a few years off from making it to the parent club. I’ll continue to follow and cheer the Cubs on. How can you not? The Cubs have always been a team of lovable losers.



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