Chicago Cubs: What holes will the team look to fill this offseason?

Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images)
Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs: Second base was a black hole for the team in 2019.

One of the Cubs’ main concerns going into the offseason will be addressing the lackluster production at second base. Nobody really stepped up during the season to claim the second base position as their own and, while Zobrist performed well there upon his return, he was out for most of the season and is a free agent.

Cubs second basemen altogether hit for an abysmal 86 OPS+ relative to the league, marking an offensive low point for the team (until we get to center field). The spot was left vacant after Baez took over at shortstop to begin the year, leading to a large drop in production immediately.

Throughout the year, it was mostly Daniel Descalso, Addison Russell, or David Bote commanding the right side of the middle infield and, while Bote was a standard offensive player (103 OPS+), Russell and Descalso were far from that. Neither of them had an OPS+ over 80, with Descalso’s reaching an unsightly 37(!).

Granted, things could improve soon without the need for an acquisition. Nico Hoerner, who made his debut this year, could very well take over the second base slot after some time in Triple-A.

Hoerner filled in at shortstop at the end of the season and performed well considering he had previously never played a game above Double-A. He played solid defense while putting up a .282/.305/.436 slash line, showing his potential to take over the second base spot.

There’s also the case of Tony Kemp, though he feels more like a utility player than a fixture at second. The same could be said for Ian Happ who also saw time at second base after returning from Triple-A.