Cubs can make these simple changes to fix a struggling offense

(Photo by Ron Vesely/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
(Photo by Ron Vesely/MLB Photos via Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
(Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images) /

The Cubs may be in first place, but changes are needed come postseason time.

As of Saturday morning, the Chicago Cubs (26-20) find themselves atop the National League Central with a three-game lead over the Cardinals (19-19). They have been in first place for a majority of this shortened season, yet for most fans it does not feel like the current state of the team makes them poised for a deep postseason run. One of the big reasons for this feeling ties into what has been inconsistent offensive performances.

Since jumping out the gates with a 13-3 start, the offense has taken a step backward in the past month’s worth of games, and players we usually see carrying the team are struggling.

To put things in perspective, the Cubs post a team batting average of .229  (24th-MLB) and are just as bad with RISP (.235). To much of a surprise, the exceptions this season have been Jason Heyward (.292/.412/.519 5 HR, 17 RBI) and MVP candidate Ian Happ (.284/.394/.608 12 HR, 26 RBI). Willson Contreras also looks like he is coming into form, slashing .455/.556/.682 with a home run and seven RBI in his last seven games heading into Friday’s series opener.

So what about the rest of the lineup? We are seeing uncharacteristic struggles from the players who are heavily relied upon to drive in runs:

Anthony Rizzo: .213/.337/.337 9 HR 20 RBI (44 games)

Javier Baez: .196/.235/.357 6 HR 19 RBI (44 games)

Kyle Schwarber: .208/.317/.444 10 HR 21 RBI (44 games)

Kris Bryant: .206/.280/.320 2 HR 4 RBI (24 games)

This is arguably the worst we have seen these players perform in their careers. Maybe the cause is not having a true leadoff man, having no fans and all the other elements of this strange 2020 season. But, I believe the biggest reason to blame ties into one thing that has yet to change this season.