Chicago Cubs skipper Joe Maddon is always finding a way to utilize the talent he holds in his possession. As a ballplayer, getting out of your comfort zone by learning multiple positions is often necessary.
Look out; the Chicago Cubs are red-hot having won five of their first six games to begin the second half of the campaign. A much-needed start to continue their match back to the postseason for the fifth year in a row.
Hopefully, as National League Central champions instead of having to square off in a one-game Wild Card showdown. Of course, they’ll march forth with some fresh faces added to the mix of familiar faces we’ve grown to love over the years.
Individuals who have gone out of their way to help this baseball team win despite the extra weight that comes with learning a different position.
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For instance, Kris Bryant, who started primarily as a third baseman, has been inserted into the outfield numerous times since making his debut in 2015. Bryant would go onto capturing National League Rookie of the Year honors and will still make appearances in the outfield when needed.
Next up, you’ve got a former linebacker in Kyle Schwarber. The 26-year-old power lefty emerged onto the scene behind the dish, only to swap spots on the depth chart shortly after. It has been his new role since, opening the door for Willson Contreras while keeping Schwarber’s pop in the lineup.
Moving forward we’ve got the likes of Robel Garcia making the best of his team with the big league organization. He was called up by the Cubs on July 3 and had been hitting .333/.370/.875/1.245 behind 21 total hits, two doubles, one triple, four homers, and six RBI.
Not a bad start if you ask me. Garcia has been tabbed as a primary second baseman, having made five starts opposite short. However, in a recent discussion with the press, Joe Maddon spoke on wanting Garcia to get some work in the outfield according to MLB.com.
Also mentioned, Robel was fielding groundballs at the hot corner just hours before the Cubs 5-2 win over the Cincinnati Reds. So, could this possibly mean that Maddon has plans for him to stick around at the big league level for the remainder of the season? Quite possibly.
Joe’s decision to move Robel around the field could have something to do with Ben Zobrist. We still have no idea when the switch-hitting veteran will be returning — if he decides to come back at all this year.
So, the Cubs may be interested in acquiring another infielder and potential leadoff hitter via trade at some point this month. There’s no set timetable as to when Robel could be inserted into the outfield or who he’d be sharing time with.
Either way, experimenting with Garcia should give them more flexibility later on down the road.