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Chicago Cubs: Miguel Montero’s injuries slowed down production

Nov 2, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; Chicago Cubs catcher Miguel Montero hits a two-run single against the Cleveland Indians in the 10th inning in game seven of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 2, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; Chicago Cubs catcher Miguel Montero hits a two-run single against the Cleveland Indians in the 10th inning in game seven of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports /
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There was plenty of offensive production to go around for the Chicago Cubs in 2016. Which is obvious because of their run differential that was through the roof. However, one man had a major issue that prevented him from chipping in.

MIGUEL MONTERO. B. 241 AB, 52 H, 8 2B, 1 3B, 8 HR, 33 RBI, .216 AVG, .988 FDPCT. C. Chicago Cubs

Now, for those of you who know, we have been grading the Chicago Cubs one player at a time based on their performance. So far, those who have received their grade are sporting a high A. We’re going to break that pattern right now with veteran catcher, Miguel Montero.

In his first year with the Cubs, Montero swatted 15 homers while driving in 53 teammates along the way. His 15 bombs just so happened to be his highest in three years back when he was with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Chicago acquired Montero in a trade with the Diamondbacks the year they signed southpaw Jon Lester. Not to mention, skipper Joe Maddon jumped ship from Tampa Bay to the Windy City.

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Miggy had a tougher time in his second year with the Cubs, unlike Lester who was absolutely amazing. A few injuries slowed down his production and changed his play in a big way.

Take a look at his offensive stats compared to 2015. The 33-year-old only managed to hit eight homers, including a walk-off the same day the Cubs celebrated their first N.L. Central title since 2008.

Disabled List

On April 25th, Montero was placed on the 15-day DL after experiencing back stiffness. Just three months later, he found himself day-to-day with a thumb injury only to land another 15-day stint because of the same issue.

Luckily, rookie phenom Willson Contreras was called up to help Chicago’s other veteran catcher, David Ross. Someone who was having himself a fantastic year in what would be his final campaign as a big league player.

When it was time for the postseason, Montero’s playing time was limited. Something that he was very verbal about after the Cubs won the World Series. Also, his bat was quiet as well.

Over the course of nine postseason games and 12 at-bats, Montero managed to record only two hits. Those two hits came in Game 1 of the LCS against the Dodgers and Game 7 of the World Series in Cleveland.

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His first hit was a pinch-hit grand slam during the home half of the eighth inning which broke a 3-3 tie. Moments later, Dexter Fowler followed that up with a solo home run of his own, putting the nail in the coffin.

And then you have Game 7. Ben Zobrist just drove in Albert Almora Jr. on a RBI double down the third base line and moved Anthony Rizzo to third in the process. Miggy later slapped a pitch past the shortstop, scoring a run to make a two-run game.

A man who was set back with multiple injuries came through with two of the biggest hits in Cubs postseason history. Yes, he took to the media to complain about his playing time and how Maddon handled him.

But he can’t ignore the fact that maybe if he hadn’t hit a grand slam against the Dodgers, the Cubs could have lost. Or maybe, the Indians completed another late-inning rally had he failed to drive in an insurance run in Game 7.

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