Chicago Cubs: Four in-house players that are critical for the second half

(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
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Chicago Cubs: Hoping Gonzalez find his stroke again

When the Cubs’ signed Carlos Gonzalez to a minor league deal, it didn’t seem like big news. Gonzalez had seen his production decrease in the past few years and was eventually released by the Cleveland Indians when he was hitting just .210 with them.

It wasn’t that long ago that he was considered one of the best five-tool players in the league. Others questioned if the ‘Coors Field’ effect inflated his numbers, and he wasn’t as good as most people thought.

You can’t deny what he was. He was a three-time All-Star, three-time Gold Glove winner. He was third in MVP voting in 2010, winning the NL batting title that season. Where the Cubs always had Ben Zobrist to rely on to play multiple positions, this may be an indicator that Maddon will go with a more ‘standard’ approach.

Look, Gonzalez has already made a bigger impact on the Cubs in a few weeks than Mark Zagunis in the first two months. Sorry, Mark. But this is the truth. With Gonzalez, Albert Almora, Jason Heyward and Kyle Schwarber in the outfield? That’s a solid group.

Gonzalez might not return to his old form, and we don’t need him to. He’s a better option than Zagunis or Jim Adduci, and you never know. When Cole Hamels came over, he was reinvigorated by playing with the Cubs on a contender. After leaving the Rockies, his landing in Cleveland didn’t bring the same vibe he had in Colorado. Maybe playing with the Cubs will do the same for him as it did Hamels.