There is only a week left in the month of June before we prepare for the second half of the season. The Chicago Cubs are traveling to Miami to begin an 11 game road trip and appear to be in a bit of a slump.
Hey you, yeah, the one who keeps mashing the panic button. Let’s take a few breath’s in, take a seat and relax. First off, every team in major league history has found themselves hitting a brick wall along the way no matter how good they are.
And just so we’re all on the same page, the Chicago Cubs, are in fact, still the best baseball team in the league (Rangers are a game behind) as of right now. While their previous three games against the St. Louis Cardinals may not show that, they are.
I was going to talk about Jake Arrieta for a while but my co-editor, Nicholas Blazek should have something about his recent performances within the next day or two. So be sure to keep an eye out for that.
The run differential is still well above 160+ but things are going to get difficult. Especially with the largest target on your back even though you were swept in the National League Championship Series thanks to those New York Mets.
More from Chicago Cubs News
- Cubs should keep close eye on non-tender candidate Cody Bellinger
- Cubs starting pitching has been thriving on the North Side
- Make no mistake: the Cubs are very much about power hitters
- Cubs: It’s time to start thinking about potential September call-ups
- Cubs: P.J. Higgins deserves to be in the lineup on a daily basis
So before we continue forward, let’s review a few things. Kyle Schwarber is out for the year after running into center fielder Dexter Fowler in a weekend game against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the first week of the season.
Yes, that was heartbreaking and he’s not scheduled to return to the active roster until the start of spring training of 2017. Schwarber is still with the team in the dugout, rooting for his teammates who are out on the field winning ballgames.
But while Schwarber and a few others were placed on the disabled list, Theo Epstein, and Jed Hoyer reached into the deepest (and richest) pool of top-notch prospects only to bring up a couple of guys who are already making a name for themselves.
Contreras was called up last week and didn’t make his first big league plate appearance until Sunday night in the 10-5 win and sweep of the third-place Pirates. He has two home runs with a handful of RBI including a two-run shot off Michael Wacha in the sixth inning of today’s loss.
It was a tough loss but the Cubs still have themselves a nine-game lead in the division. A division that has been dominated by both the Cardinals and Pirates since the 2008 campaign — which just so happens to be the last time the North Siders were crowned division champs.
We’re aware of the fact that Chicago has struggled in games that come down to one run. In order for them to fix this, they are going to need to make a few adjustments which means going out and acquiring another arm to strengthen that bullpen.
That’s one spot on the depth chart that has always been a question mark for the Chicago Cubs. Do you guys remember a guy by the name of Carlos Marmol? One day the hard slider throwing Marmol was absolutely lights out, leading the league in holds, only to stumble and fall flat on his face.
Eventually, he was shipped off to the Los Angeles Dodgers and honestly, we haven’t seen or heard from Marmol since. The beautiful thing about the Cubs being at the top of the food chain right now is that teams are going to listen to any type of deal that is thrown in their direction.
Chicago has more than enough pieces to throw a more than satisfying trade package in order to acquire another bench player and or bullpen/rotation arm. Guys such as Javier Baez will more than likely remain with the Cubs, so think more along the lines of Dan Vogelbach, Donnie Dewees, Justin Steele, Mark Zagunis, Carson Sands, or even Christian Villanueva.
The names listed above could be on the move within the next year or two. Names that aren’t expected or won’t make their big league debut in a Chicago Cubs uniform. They’ll just have to do so elsewhere.
Now, last year before the All-Star break, the Cubbies sat with a 47-40 record. With only a few weeks until this year’s All-Star game — that should feature the entire Cubs infield — they tied their win total with 18 games left before the second half begins.
There’s no doubt that this stretch of 20 or so games without a day off is going to be difficult for this club but Joe Maddon knows exactly what to do in order to keep his team on the right track.
That’s the plus side of having such an experienced and well-respected manager running a team full of young players with a mix of veterans in-between. Slumps are going to be broken and the Cubs are going to eventually pull out more one-run victories along the way.
We, as fans, need to be patient and trust in this team that is trying their hardest to bring home a World Series trophy. This may not happen in 2016 but it we will all celebrate the next two or three years if that’s the case.
Let’s take it game by game. It’s only the beginning of what’s expected to be one hell of a ride.