Chicago Cubs: Maddon has been better than ever in 2018
Anyone looking for a way to criticize Maddon is likely to point to the Cubs’ relative health during his tenure. Aside from Kyle Schwarber‘s devastating knee injury in 2016, this club has largely been on the field from start-to-finish every year.
That certainly has not, though, been the case in 2018.
The Cubs’ biggest offseason additions, Yu Darvish and Brandon Morrow, have both missed significant chunks of the regular season. Darvish, of course, turned in just eight starts before being shut down for the year after multiple failed rehab attempts.
Former National League MVP Kris Bryant has played in just six games after the All-Star Break this year. His corner infield partner Anthony Rizzo battled lower back issues early in the season, as well. The two have barely been on the field together at their best – yet, entering September, the Cubs still boast the best record in the National League.
That’s not to mention the horrendous showing from Tyler Chatwood – which left Maddon balancing an overworked bullpen and finding spot starts wherever he can for months on end. Chicago hasn’t enjoyed tremendous fortune this year – but they’re exactly where they need to be with a month left in the regular season.