After an unsuccessful 2019, it is essential that veteran second baseman Daniel Descalso redeems himself in order for the Chicago Cubs to compete in 2020.
At long last, pitchers and catchers have reported to spring training and Opening Day is just over a month away. While the Chicago Cubs have most of the team figured out, there are things that the team needs to address before the season officially begins. One of these things is finding an everyday second baseman.
Throughout the 2019 season, the Chicago Cubs went through a total of eight players who played second base. Looking onto 2020, this position is up for grabs, but the question is: who will get it? Enter: veteran second baseman Daniel Descalso. Descalso, 33, was signed to a two-year five million dollar deal before the 2019 season.
Going into 2019, Descalso was expected to be the team’s second baseman. Descalso had also previously come off of three solid seasons, so there was no reason to doubt his ability.
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He had the versatility and veteran presence that was exactly what the Cubs were looking for, but simply put, in 2019, he didn’t meet the mark. Descalso was doing just fine until he fell into a funk last May, and with that funk, it all went downhill from there.
His first year on the north side of Chicago was anything but ideal. Descalso went .173/.271/.250 with a .521 OPS in a total of 82 games. His fWar on the season was -0.8. A downfall like this doesn’t happen overnight, and a downfall of this brevity doesn’t happen unfounded.
On May 4, Descalso sprained his ankle. He also admitted to playing through this injury, ultimately making it worse. Descalso did not go on the Injured List for several months after and proceeded to miss time. Arguably, this was when the Cubs were still in the playoff race and needed him the most.
After Descalso returned in September, he wasn’t the same. Being set to make $2.5 million this upcoming season, who knows what the Cubs will decide to do with him. With that being said, Descalso bouncing back is essential to his career continuing. Also, with the opening for an everyday second baseman, maybe the 33-year old veteran could assume that role.
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The key words there is maybe. On Tuesday, the Chicago Cubs signed former Cleveland Indian center fielder and second baseman Jason Kipnis to a minor league deal. If Kipnis can work his way up to the majors, the veteran adds yet another option for an everyday second baseman. Only time will tell, maybe the Cubs will surprise us, and Descalso could assume the role of every day, or even backup second baseman.