Chicago Cubs: Top 3 players feeling the heat after team’s hot start

Kris Byrant,,Craig Kimbrel, Chicago Cubs (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Kris Byrant,,Craig Kimbrel, Chicago Cubs (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
Craig Kimbrel, Chicago Cubs (Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images) /

The Cubs have started hot but these guys might be feeling added pressure.

In what could be their last season with the players that brought the team a World Series championship back in 2016, the Chicago Cubs have come out on fire this season posting a 10-3 record and blasting critics who thought the team would be under too much turmoil to produce.

What’s different this season is that offensive production is coming from all corners of the dugout and new players like second baseman Jason Kipnis and outfielder Steven Souza Jr.have stepped up when the Cubs bats have gone quiet.

A few Cubs have struggled and are feeling the heat to pull their weight in this every game counts, every player must contribute season. Here’s the one’s feeling it the most:

Cubs need Albert Almora to step up, or it’s end of the road

Before the pandemic, Albert Almora came to spring training with chip on his shoulder. He looked ready to battle the demons of 2019 and begin taking his game to another level.  Almora has always been consistent in the outfield and his acrobatic prowess has caused critics and fans alike to sing his praises season after season.

The biggest question has always been whether he could tune the bat into a major league swing that could help his team? Last year, was by far his worst performance tallying a .236 average and a .271 OBP, the worst performance since he entered the league.

So do you keep playing the guy who isn’t performing? That isn’t Chicago Cubs manager David Ross’ mantra. Ross has made one thing clear to the team if you don’t perform; then you sit. Ross is holding players accountable and no one more than Almora.

Almora has only been to the plate 13 times this season compared to other Cubs outfielders who have gotten 30 or more trips to the dish. Out of those 13 trips, Almora has tallied two hits, five strikeouts and a pair of walks. Almora’s .154 average is among the lowest of active Cubs players.

Let’s face it, we know Almora can catch the ball but imagine the impact he could be making if his offense could match.  Teammates like centerfielder Ian Happ and utilityman David Bote, once considered in the same league, have passed their buddy offensively.

Almora is facing the heat to perform; can he meet the challenge?