Chicago Cubs Weekly Review: All-Star edition

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So those are some of the positives. There are more, of course. Chris Coghlan and Justin Ruggiano as of late have started to hit the ball well. These were low risk-high reward pick-ups that can only help the Cubs either on the team or as trade chips. The bullpen has been a pleasant surprise after a rocky start. But I can be overly optimistic, as I am a lifelong Cubs fan. It’s what I have to do to keep my sanity.

But now we have to admit there are some flaws. Okay, more than some. But like I said, I try to be optimistic.

Edwin Jackson is just…ugh. – Last year I wrote an ever optimistic piece on the Cubs staff for this year. Once the season got rolling I didn’t appear as crazy as I seemed then. No, they weren’t the best. But they were better than most thought. But Jackson. I just have no words.

The Cubs will be doling out $11 million to E-Jax this season, and the next two after this. I defended him as an “innings eater”. I don’t even know what that means. But he isn’t doing it. He’s losing games at a torrid pace, taxing the bullpen by failing to pitch deep into games, and basically frustrates me with a four or five-run inning each start.

But never do I hear a word mentioned about doing anything different. The Cubs made a huge mistake with Jose Veras. They realized it and fixed it. E-Jax was that mistake before the Veras mistake. I don’t know what the Cubs can or should do. I feel like a move to the pen would be the least they should consider.

Unfortunately now with two starters shipped out and the future of the last two rotation spots up in the air, I’m going to be stuck watching him go out every fifth day and lose a game. I mean, the Cubs aren’t winning many, but a 5.64 ERA and 10 losses at the break is actually worse than last year.

Please Cubs, do something. Anything, I beg of you.

Cubs’ outfield struggling to produce – After trading Alfonso Soriano last year, the Cubs were going to be looking at some new options in the outfield. Nate Schierholtz was a given with his breakout season in 2013. Junior Lake impressed late in the year and figured to be in. Then you had names like Chris Coghlan (Started in Triple-A), Ryan Kalish (now in Triple-A), Ryan Sweeney and Justin Ruggiano.

As I mentioned, as of late Ruggiano and Coghlan have started to give the Cubs some good production. But Schierholtz looks nothing like the hitter he was last year. And Lake has broken more bats over his knee in the last few weeks than he has hits. I’m exaggerating, of course, but it’s close.

Former highly touted prospect Brett Jackson never developed into what the Cubs hoped. Kris Bryant may end up an option at some point, as his final defensive positioning is up in the air. Alcantara can play some outfield, and has the jump with his current audition.

Renteria continues to shuffle the lineup, so hopefully he’ll find a combination that works. But for the Cubs to improve in the second half, the three in the outfield have to have a stronger presence at the plate.