Chicago Cubs connected to multiple players on Day Two of Winter Meetings
By Jake Misener
Chicago Cubs manager talks shop at Winter Meetings
Joe Maddon, somehow, remains a controversial skipper on the North Side. A lot of old-school thinkers reject his forward-thinking ways and believe he’s cost the Cubs more than he’s helped them get. (Despite the fact he broke a 108-year World Series title drought). On Tuesday, he chatted with members of the media about the offseason and the upcoming 2018 campaign.
A wide array of topics came to the table, including Kyle Schwarber potentially leading off again next season. (Remember talking about controversy?)
"Regarding the leadoff thing, and I know there’s a lot of stuff written about that, it wasn’t — it was only failed in the sense that Kyle had a tough time last year. He could have hit one through nine and still had a tough time last year. Just it was not his year, although he rebounded really nicely."
It’s an interesting thought and we’ll see how it plays out. Schwarber was spotted in Orlando and told reporters he thinks he’s dropped around 25 pounds so far. A more athletic, well-rounded player could drastically change the make-up of the Cubs lineup.
Is Zobrist now a role player?
Another interesting topic: the role of Ben Zobrist in 2018. Of course, the veteran utility player struggled at the plate last season as his numbers across-the-board took a nosedive. A resurgent Zo adds further depth to an already-deep club.
"He’s working his butt off right now. I need to have my conversation with Zo to ask him what he thinks he can do. Honestly I don’t know. Like last year I thought as we worked out, we played him about the right amount of times last year and he was fine for us at the end of the year. That’s going to require a conversation, and probably I’ll get in touch with him as we get deeper into this off-season."