Chicago Cubs: Addison Russell showing improvement in second half
By Paul Steeno
Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
Russell’s move to shortstop has also coincided with his improvements during the second half of the season.
In the aftermath of Joe Maddon benching three-time All-Star Starlin Castro, Addison Russell became the Cub’s everyday shortstop on Aug. 7. He has played well in this role. Since earning the starting job, Russel has 25 putouts, 46 assists and one error in 168.0 innings of work. His fielding percentage is 98.6 percent and he has been a part of eight double plays in this time frame.
Cubs manager Joe Maddon has liked what he has seen from Russell at shortstop this season.
"Right now, I think Addie’s [Addison Russell] doing a wonderful job. You guys can see it. You’re around, you talk to him. You can see his confidence. He’s very confident right now. He’s different as compared to the beginning of the season. Just look at his swings. They’re much freer, looser. Just a different animal right now. … Right now, Addie looks like the guy we thought he was going to be. —-Quote obtained by MLB.com columnist Phil Rogers"
Confidence is key for Russell. The confidence that he has gained from playing his natural shortstop position has carried over to his at-bats as well. Since becoming the Cubs everyday shortstop on Aug. 7, Russell slashed .269/.292/.463 with 18 hits, two home runs and seven RBIs.
Russell’s recent position change has been instrumental to his success during the second half of the season.