Chicago Cubs: Who is hot and who is not in spring
Chicago Cubs: Some struggling players might have a tough hill to climb now if they want to make the roster
After suffering an ankle injury and putting up a dismal .173/.271/.250 slash in 2019, Descalso looks to rebound in 2020. So far, the 33-year old utility man is hitting just .095/.208/.095 in 21 at-bats. The bat speed looks slow, and he just cannot seem to catch up to anything. He is in the final year of his deal, but his roster spot could be in jeopardy. He had some decent years Colorado and Arizona as a bench/utility man, but he might just be washed at this point.
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Brought in on a MiLB deal, Perez was never really expected to hit much. His best asset is his above-average glove and ability to play virtually every position on the field. Still, one cannot ignore the .105/.292/.105 slash this spring so far. Unless he is the 26th man as a defensive replacement/pinch-runner on the Opening Day roster, Perez is probably not staying around much longer with the log-jam of position players ahead of him.
The past few seasons, fans have held out hope that Mekkes could be a useful spot in the bullpen. Mekkes (25) put up some great numbers in the minors in his career before struggling in Triple-A last season. So far this spring, he sports a 10.38 ERA and 2.31 WHIP in 4.1 innings pitched. The future for him is a bit unclear.
One of the big-name prospects in the Cubs organization, Alzolay, has had a bumpy road to the majors. While showing flashes of promise, he has dealt with multiple injuries. He has a real tough spring, sporting a 10.80 ERA and 2.20 WHIP in 5.0 innings. He might start in the minors if he does not win that fifth-starter spot, which right now is not looking good for him.
While not the worst hitter on the team, Kipnis has not done much with the bat. His defense has looked solid and seems to be a welcoming presence on the team, but the hits are not coming. So far, he is slashing .222/.250/.333 in 18 at-bats. Whatever a step just below lukewarm is, that is where Kipnis is at. His likely role of being a platoon guy at second to start the year at least does not have the entire second base position riding on his performance.
As we reach nearer to Opening Day, it will be interesting to see if some struggling veterans are replaced with some of the younger fringe guys playing well. The five-spot in the rotation is also an exciting thing to keep an eye on. The beginning of the season is right around the corner.