The Chicago Cubs’ Jose Martinez was called up and needs to step up in a critical week if they want to make noise in the postseason
The Chicago Cubs offense reverted back to their old, volatile ways this weekend against the Twins, dropping two out of three by scoring one run all weekend. The Cubs have only played four teams with a winning record this year, so this past weekend was an excellent opportunity to gear up the postseason against a good Twins team.
However, the series ended with disappointment, and with one week to go, the Cubs find themselves clinging to a 3 1/2 game lead in the division over the Cardinals. With the division at stake, this offense needs consistency, and Jose Martinez was called up yesterday to do just that.
Theo Epstein made a significant move at the trade deadline to acquire Martinez from Tampa Bay. Martinez is known for his batting average, specifically against left-handed pitching, where he has a career average of .313. An impressive clip, and it brings a stat this Cubs offense desperately needs.
However, Martinez is off to an ice-cold start since arriving, going 0-15 in seven games with the team so far, prompting a demotion to South Bend. At this stage of the game, the Cubs need him desperately to step up.
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Despite the 31-22 record and division lead, the Cubs rank 27th in baseball with a team batting average of .224. Horrific numbers, and we can’t blame the lack of video for that, sorry, Javier Baez. In addition to his career average against lefties, Martinez has a career total average of .291. Consistency is vital, and something the Cubs offense has not had for a while, and the hope was that Martinez would come in to provide some of that.
With one week to go, he provides the blueprint the Cubs offense needs, so it’s worth taking a chance on him in the lineup to see if he can step up to not only win the division but to make a postseason run.
Martinez has a golden opportunity, and the Cubs need him to be some X-factor as they complete the season with four games against the Pirates and three against the White Sox. The boom or bust nature of this offense has gotten tiring, and there becomes no certainty with this team night in and night out.
It’s essential to see David Ross holding his players accountable, as we saw him bench Kyle Schwarber for a defensive blunder during Sunday’s game. The relaxed nature Joe Maddon brought is gone, and Ross’ new mentality will hopefully have positive rewards in the long run. The accountability is great, but that doesn’t fix the offensive issues the team continually experiences. New bats to the lineup do that and Martinez is a great example.
With seven games to go, it’s time for them to wrap up this division, and the table is set for them to do so. Let’s hope the bats come to life and we can get excited about this team in the postseason.