Chicago Cubs News

Chicago Cubs: Addressing The Outfield “Dilemma”

Jun 18, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Cubs left fielder Kyle Schwarber (left) and left fielder Albert Almora Jr. (right) talk prior to the first inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 18, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Cubs left fielder Kyle Schwarber (left) and left fielder Albert Almora Jr. (right) talk prior to the first inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports /
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With Jorge Soler‘s recent trip to the disabled list, Chicago Cubs fans have gotten to take a look at Albert Almora, Jr. He has not disappointed, in the field, or at the plate.

With the way he is performing, it has become a real question of whether he is in Chicago to stay. What does that mean for guys like Jorge Soler and Matt Szczur? Let us not forget about recently re-acquired Chris Coghlan, what happens if he performs well here over the next couple of weeks?

Soler was really starting to heat up before heading to the DL, as he was taking over the left field spot vacated by Kyle Schwarber. He injured his hamstring on a line drive single to left, and came up limp around first.

The next day, he was placed on the disabled list, and Albert Almora, Jr. got the call from Iowa. Soler’s line currently sits at .223 Avg/.322 OBP/.377 SLG,with five home runs.  He’s come a long way from such a slow start.

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That brings us to a guy like Matt Szczur, who has performed well in limited action. His line sits at .333/.375/.533, with three home runs. Szczur has gotten just 60 at-bats, however, which is a small sample size, but good results, nonetheless.

Then, we have Almora. He is the best fielder of the three, and it’s not even close, which gives him an advantage. We saw his glove in full effect in his first start, a day game against the Phillies. He threw Odubel Herrera out at the plate in the first inning, setting the tone for the entire game.

In an even smaller sample size, he is slashing .360/.385/.520 in just 25 at-bats. Almora is thought of by many to be the Cubs center fielder of the future, as he was part of Theo Epstein’s original core players, along with Anthony Rizzo and Javier Baez.

Next: Cubs look to sweep Pirates at home

There is no timetable currently for Soler’s return, which gives the Cubs more time to think, and more time to see Almora. Matt Szczur is out of options, which means he has to pass through waivers, which also means it will be harder to send him through to the minor leagues.

Soler has the best bat of the three players, and he’s not going anywhere. The guy that could really shake things up is Tommy La Stella. He and Soler went on the DL right around the same time, and it will certainly be interesting to see what happens when both come back.

It certainly is an issue, if it should even be thought of as an issue. As a Chicago Cubs fan, it’s a great problem to have.

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