The offensive approach needs to be changed heading into next season.
It’s no secret; the offense flat out stunk this past season. Players like Baez and Bryant put up the worst offensive numbers we have seen thus far in their big league careers.
The only players who had good seasons were Ian Happ and Jason Heyward. While they definitely had solid seasons, it didn’t feel like they had a huge impact on the team with the Cubs playing under .500 baseball after getting off to a 13-3 start.
The team recently parted ways with assistant hitting coach Termell Sledge, so that’s a step in the right direction.
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It seemed like there was an emphasis on the Cubs’ offense to build up the opposing pitch-count and work deep in their at-bats. Clearly, it did not work for a large portion of the season, and nothing changed in the two playoff games where the team managed just one run.
The old saying of “if you see a pitch you like, rip it” will always apply to the game of baseball ‘til the end of time. Sure there are some circumstances where hitters should take a pitch or two; I’m not talking about going up there and swinging at everything. I’m referring to situations like knowing when a first-pitch fastball is coming and taking a whack at it.
Cub hitters watched good pitches go-by to get themselves down in the count too many times because pitchers knew their gameplan. If you watched the Dodgers playoff-run, nearly every batter in their lineup made things tough on opposing pitchers with their at-bats. Not only would they work the counts by laying off unhittable pitches, but they were aggressive with anything near the strike zone and were forcing the opposition to beat them with pitches in the strike zone more often than not. In some games, you could even count on your hand the number of times the Dodgers would go down 1,2,3 in an inning.
Ultimately, the Cubs’ offensive success won’t just come from the coaching game plans, but the players. It will be up to the hitters to make the necessary adjustments to see more success in 2021.
Adding a few new players to give the offense a different look will probably be necessary, but like many things this past year, any changes will remain unknown.