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

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Chicago Cubs
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Chicago Cubs: A second chance has opened to the door for Russell

This is the one guy on the list I feel I might be going out on a limb for. Addison Russell has been playing well, but there’s always the question of his off the field situation. Are the Cubs sticking by him until he turns the corner and then they trade him? I don’t believe so. If they were going to abandon ship on Russell, they never would have tendered him a contract. Unless he makes a mistake of ridiculous proportions, he’s going to remain a Cub.

Why is he the key to the Cubs? First, Zobrist. He’s been a fantastic piece to this Cubs team over the past few years. And if he doesn’t play another game in a Cubs uniform, he’ll still be remembered for what he’s done in Chicago. But since he’s on the restricted list to deal with his divorce, there’s no timeframe for him to return.

Then, there’s Daniel Descalso. After a hot start to the season, Descalso has gone ice cold at the plate. Once Russell returned to the team, Descalso has seen his playing time limited, near non-existent. Mostly, Gonzalez and Russell will have to do the work that Zobrist did.

Is there a chance Russell’s not part of the team after the deadline? Anything is possible. But Zobrist’s absence, coupled with Descalso’s struggles, has ‘re-opened’ the door for him. It would be best for him to take advantage, but there’s no denying he’ll be an essential piece down the stretch for the Chicago Cubs.