Chicago Cubs management delivered on their offseason plan
Both Epstein and Hoyer Address Leadoff Need
Epstein spoke to the other glaring need for Chicago, filling the hole at the top of the batting order, as well. Cubs GM Jed Hoyer backed up Epstein’s remarks with some of his own in regards to the leadoff hitter situation in Chicago.
"“We didn’t have a perfect leadoff guy last year and there’s not one clearly on the roster.” Hoyer said in a November interview with the Chicago Tribune. “Every team doesn’t have one, but we definitely saw last year that…some guys (are put in) the leadoff spot and changes their approach on offense. Some guys just don’t like to do it. So that’s an area we’ll keep looking at.”"
While this isn’t exactly news – nobody doubts the need of a solid leadoff hitter – it does tell an interesting story.
The Cubs’ brass recognizes that they don’t have a true leadoff hitter on the roster. They also seem equally cognizant of the fact that perhaps they may have a player that can succeed in that role, though they haven’t yet proved that theory out.
This approach is further supported by Epstein himself.
"“More important than identifying one guy as a leadoff hitter is the arc of the young hitters are (on to) have consistent, tough at-bats, team at-bats, grinding at-bats…perform well with situational hitting…”"
The emphasis from Cubs management was on looking to fill this need internally. Rather than chasing a traditional leadoff hitter, both Epstein and Hoyer stress that finding one is a process. And this process is still very much ongoing within the Cubs. Considering the evidence that everyone is on the same page on this subject provides confidence that they will get it right.