The Daniel Descalso era for the Cubs has been one to forget. After getting injured and missing the end of last season, he is back and trying to regain his form from before he became a Cub
The Cubs’ Daniel Descalso was never a great hitter, but he was always passable. Before he signed with the Cubs, he had a career year with the Diamondbacks, setting career highs in home runs, RBIs, walks, OPS, and slugging percentage. He parlayed that into a two-year deal with Chicago worth $5 million.
The first year with the Cubs was forgettable, slashing .173/.271/.250 with two home runs in just 82 games. Descalso spent the majority of his career with the Cardinals before playing two years each with the Rockies and Arizona.
His career slash line is .235/.320/.362 with a .683 OPS, but that’s at least playable as a part-time player, but his offensive skills last year were just flat out not playable. In 2020, he’s projected to have 339 plate appearances with a .223/.320/.385 slash line with a .705 OPS.
The projection has him hitting nine home runs, 40 RBI, 14 doubles and three triples. In spring training, he is slashing just .160/.250/.160, so he’s not doing an outstanding job of proving that he’s worthy of a roster spot.
Descalso is not alone on the struggle bus, however, as guys like Albert Almora and Ian Happ both saw minor league time in 2019 due to performance, but Happ seems on a mission this spring to win his spot on the roster for 2020 and beyond.
Descalso can play anywhere around the infield and even bounce around the outfield a little. The fact that he bounced around in spring training seems to indicate that he is going to make the 2020 roster for the Cubs and get a chance to make amends.
A lot of the determination for his roster spot may depend on what happens with Nico Hoerner. If Hoerner makes the team, Descalso may very well see his Cubs’ career end before it ever got started. Either the wrist injury he had last season was legit and messed him up at the plate, or he just doesn’t have it anymore.
His leadership skills are well documented, but at a certain point is a leader only goes so far. There are much better options than Descalso and multiple players who can play the same various positions. The possibilities are just to make the roster in general, not necessarily in the same position.