Chicago Cubs: Why is Anthony Rizzo struggling so much this season?

(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /
4 of 4
Chicago Cubs
(Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs: Looking for answers, coming up empty

When you keep digging into the numbers, you really just come up with nothing.

Last season, Rizzo swung at 30.4 percent of pitches outside the strike zone. This year, he’s cut that down to 28.8 percent. It’s not a dramatic shift, but clearly trends in the right direction. It’s actually below his career average in that department, so this isn’t the culprit in this mystery.

His contact rate overall? Also up year-over-year and when compared to his career trends. He has, however, hit much better at Wrigley Field than on the road. At the Confines, he carries a .269/.380/.446 line, as opposed to a .211/.296/.354 slash away from the Windy City.

He also has struggled against left-handers to the tune of a .294 OBP. Meanwhile, he comes in at .346 against righties. By contrast, last year, he put up a near-even .374 on-base clip against southpaws and .398 versus right-handed hurlers.

Overall, clearly he’s not performing up to what he – or fans – expect. But, despite what many might think or say, it’s not a matter of just poor performance. The numbers only cloud the situation more, leaving all of us with more questions than answers.

Next: Cubs look to take control of Central ahead of the break

At this point, we have to hope he figures it out and gets rolling. Because if he does, this Cubs lineup represents the most lethal threat in the entire National League.