Chris Coghlan came into Chicago last year and snuck up on a lot of people, earning his way into the Chicago Cubs’ lineup on a consistent basis. This season, the former NL Rookie of the Year has come out of the gates slowly.
He’s not hitting the ball as well as last year, but he is playing hard in left. Maybe Coghlan would be a better option for the Cubs as a spot starter outfielder, rather than an everyday option out in left field.
Coghlan started in 95 games for the Cubs in 2014, but appeared in 125 games during the season. He finished the season with a line of .283/.352/.480 to go along with nine home runs, 41 RBI, seven stolen bases and five triples. His numbers as a starter compared to coming off the bench favor him as a starter. He had a batting average of .289 as a starter compared to his .222 off the bench.
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This year, Lake was brought up for a few games, but was sent back down to the minors. Chris Denorfia has been dealing with injuries so far this season. Mike Olt was thought to be an option to split time in left and third, but is now on the 60-day disabled list with a wrist injury.
Kris Bryant could be an option for the Cubs to play some in left, but if management is adamant about keeping Bryant at third, then there is no reason to stop his progression that’s been evident so far in his young big league career.
This may not be a conversation that would be taking place if not for the fact that the Cubs have an unusual situation with three catchers on the roster. If something can be changed with the three catchers or having the bullpen cut down by one pitcher, then Matt Szczur is possibly the best option for the Cubs right now to share left field with Coghlan.
There isn’t a need to make a big roster move like a trade to acquire an everyday option; the Cubs have plenty of options in their farm system to use. And, to be frank, the future outfield seems set with the Cubs’ internal options, which include a combination of Albert Almora, Billy McKinney, Jorge Soler, Kris Bryant and possibly Javier Baez being utilized as a utility option.
Coghlan is a good player for the Cubs and one that does hold value for them. With his struggles at the plate, it would be nice to have another option to lean on until Coghlan can catch on again. But with a short bench and a taxed bullpen, this seems unlikely.