Chicago Cubs: Staying healthy is the key for success in 2020

(Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images)
(Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Cubs have failed to stay healthy over the last few seasons. If they want to get back to the winning ways staying healthy will be key.

It has been a tough few seasons for the Chicago Cubs and their fans. From very underwhelming offseasons to back-to-back September collapses, the last few seasons have been very challenging for everyone.

In 2016 a year that we cherish the farther we get away from it, the Cubs were very lucky with staying healthy pretty much the entire year. Besides Kyle Schwarber, there were no major IL trips in 2016. We all saw how good that team was when they were able to stay healthy. Since 2016 it has seemed like it’s always something happening to someone at a key moment.

Kris Bryant is a name that comes to mind as he has had lingering injuries since the middle of 2018.  It started with that headfirst slide in Cincinnati, where he injured his shoulder. When it happened, no one thought anything of it; it didn’t look like a severe injury. It affected Bryant as he spent time on the IL multiple times during the second half of 2018.

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A severe drop in power as his home runs were down in 2018 as he only hit 13. In his first three years, he hit at least 26 in all of those years. We all know how 2018 ended in losing game 163 and then the Wild Card game, and it makes you think if Bryant was fully healthy, would it of ended differently.

2019 was an absolute rollercoaster of a year full of some ups and many downs. Mostly due to the fact that it felt like it was rare to have the entire team healthy all at one time.  Every one of the Cubs “core four” players all spent at least some time on the IL in 2019.

Javier Baez spent some time on the IL in 2019. In May, a heel injury that he suffered against the would-be World Series Champions, Washington Nationals didn’t send Baez to the IL but effected his play. In and eighth game stretch after the heel injury, Baez was day-today Baez was only hitting .222 with a .717 OPS. It’s no surprise that the Cubs lost six of those eight games. Then the 2018 NL MVP missed basically all of September with a thumb injury suffered against the Brewers.

Willson Contreras missed about four weeks in a crucial stretch in August with another hamstring injury like the one he had in 2018. Anthony Rizzo suffered that severely sprained ankle against the Pirates in the middle of September right before the biggest stretch of the season against the Cardinals. He did make the heroic comeback but was nowhere near 100%.

The lack of depth that the Cubs will have in 2020 will be a big reason the stars will have to stay healthy. The depth will be nothing like what they have had in the past.

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The Chicago Cubs will have to stay healthy in 2020 if they want to be successful, there is no way around it. They can’t have these injures to there big starts like they had last season. I get it that people get hurt, and things happen in sports, but it’s happened before (2016) where they can, for the most part, stay away from the injury bug. We all have seen what these guys can do when they all can stay healthy.