The Chicago Cubs are off to a fast start in the first week of the 2020 season despite a very cold start from their All-Star third basemen.
The Chicago Cubs got out of the gates hot so far in 2020. They were starting 4-2 after having a rainout in Cincinnati on Thursday night. The Cubs lead the division by one game over the Milwaukee Brewers heading into Friday’s games.
The fast start has to be credited to the starting pitching, in the four wins they have, the starting pitching has been excellent. The bullpen, on the other hand, has not been good. After almost blowing the game on Monday night after having a big lead, they were terrible again on Wednesday. The offense has been off to a hot start as well, lead by Willson Contreras, Anthony Rizzo, and Ian Happ.
Kris Bryant has gotten off to a cold start to the new season. Bryant has been tasked with a new role this season, being the everyday leadoff man. Something he has not done consistently in his Cubs career.
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So far, Bryant has not been great out of the leadoff spot. Bryant is batting .091 with zero home runs, one walk, and an OPS of .217. Not what we are used to seeing out of the three-time All-Star third basemen.
The numbers don’t tell the entire story either when it comes to Bryant batting leadoff. Bryant has been seeing tons of pitches at the top of the lineup. Something you want your leadoff guy to do. It seems like his timing just is not down yet. There have been on multiple occasions on pitches we are used to seeing Bryant drive for extra bases, and he’s missing them right now.
Cubs manager David Ross doesn’t sound too concerned about his third baseman slow start to the season.
“You would never worry about a guy if we were playing 162 four games in. And, not a whole lot of at-bats leading up to it,” Ross said. “You have to give trust to those guys who are battle-tested and have been through the grind.
Ross used Rizzo as an example of slow starts. Talking about how he almost always gets off to a slow start in a typical year and bounces back to have All-Star numbers. Bryant doesn’t have the luxury of a normal year with the long season.
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Bryant missed Tuesday nights game because of some left elbow soreness. David Ross was not too concerned by it but wanted to give him a day so that it doesn’t become a more significant issue.
I have full confidence that Bryant will start to heat up soon. With Pittsburgh coming to Wrigley this weekend, it will be a perfect time for Bryant to get back to the level of player we all now he is.