May hasn’t been kind to the Chicago Cubs as they find themselves near the bottom of the division. With a lineup full of young and talented players, this offense has battled inconsistency issues early on.
*This was written on 5/7
So, after taking over the top of the division to end April, the Chicago Cubs sit 3.5 games behind the St. Louis Cardinals. A team that completed a three-game weekend series sweep over our boys, on their own turf.
What hurts is the fact that Chicago had the opportunity to stop their skid at three and four games. However, that was not how the cookie crumbled. For a handful of Cubs, the weekend carried a handful of hitless appearances.
The great thing about this sport is that any and every team has the ability to turn things around. Just like the Cubs did in 2015, eventually winning a World Series title a year later.
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A year in which their offense was absolutely on fire.
Remember the run differential? Straight up nasty. Now, some of those individuals who played a part in that offensive showcase are having troubles finding their grooves. Today, let’s talk about shortstop Addison Russell.
Russell, 24-years-old, had his best season as a big league hitter in 2016. Through 525 at-bats, he hammered a career-high 21 homers, 95 RBI, three triples, 25 doubles, and 125 hits while slashing .238/.321/.417/.738.
A slight decline in play
Following his breakout campaign, Addison found himself in the spotlight. And not the type of spotlight any young player wants to be in or anyone, as a matter of fact. Issues involving his personal life became public and injuries soon followed.
As a result, Chicago’s once-prized prospect turned champion, witnessed his offensive production begin to decline in 2017. Compared to 2016, Russell hit nine fewer home runs, 52 less RBI, and 41 hits under his career-high total.
New year, not so great start
To begin the 2018 campaign, Addison helped his club defeat the Miami Marlins behind a 2-for-4 afternoon. Since then, he has struggled to keep his bat active, picking up two hits per contest only seven times.
Exactly how many games has he gone hitless in? A total of 11 games while he picked up one hit in each of the additional 10. Entering tonight’s series with Miami, Russell sits with four RBI under his belt.
It’s only a matter of time until this young buck breaks from his shell and begins to provide run support for his club. Again, his 2016 totals reflect what he is more than capable of bringing to the table.
Hopefully, the path to an offensive revival for Addison Russell starts this week.