Chicago Cubs: It’s hard to get consistent when everyone’s getting hurt

(Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
(Photo by David Banks/Getty Images) /

This has been one of the most up and down years of Chicago Cubs baseball I’ve experienced and with the injuries and inconsistencies, it’s easy to see why.

I had a ton of optimism coming into this season for the Chicago Cubs. Kris Bryant had his shoulder back at 100 percent, Yu Darvish would be back in action and hopefully Wilson Contreras, among others, would bounce back after a tumultuous 2018 campaign.

What I did not expect, however, was a series of gut punches followed by moments of elation and celebration immediately followed again by more gut punches. This team has been one mired in inconsistency and injuries that have certainly hindered in hammering out the problems.

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It all started at the beginning of the year, with the team still out Brandon Morrow from last year due to shoulder issues. After that, the bodies on the IL continued to pile up.

Now, towards the end of the season, the Cubs have taken their biggest hits yet, with closer Craig Kimbrel, team captain Anthony Rizzo and All-Star Javier Baez going down with injuries. All three have been on the IL at different points in the year, alongside various others on the team.

It would be foolish to say that the myriad of IL stints have been the sole theme of the season and are responsible for this see-saw style of play. However, it certainly hurts when the lineups are hodgepodges of players that aren’t the best the team has to offer.

Throughout the year, the Cubs have had all four of their main core players (Bryant, Baez, Contreras, and Rizzo) on the shelf for significant amounts of time with various different issues. In terms of pitching, Morrow’s season ending injury is most significant, but Cole Hamels’ stint on the IL proves weighty as he’s struggled with his mechanics ever since coming back.

This team has not played up to its potential, but it’s awfully hard to at times when everyone keeps going down with an injury that seems to continually affect them after coming back. Just think about how hard it has been to get Bryant, Rizzo, Baez, and Contreras in the same lineup due to someone having soreness, or inflammation, or a full on fracture.

The Cubs certainly aren’t the Yankees where they can fully embrace the “next man up” mentality since they aren’t exactly known for their talented organizational depth. Once one of the core four goes down, there isn’t one player in the organization that can step up and fill their shoes to the fullest.

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There are no excuses for the sheer amount of inconsistencies, but sometimes it’s darn hard to get consistent when everyone keeps getting hurt. Now with two of their catalysts down possibly through the end of the regular season, time will tell if the Chicago Cubs can endure into the postseason.