Cubs: The pressure, real or imagined, is on these key players

(Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)
(Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images) /

Like many Cubs fans, I’ve been thinking about the Cubs’ woes so far this season. What is really wrong with our offense? Last night it occurred to me that the cause may be painfully obvious.

Three important members of the Cubs: Anthony Rizzo, Javier Baez and Kris Bryant, are in their final contract year and none of the three has been offered a legitimate offer to re-sign. The management did tender something to Anthony Rizzo, but it was laughable in light of what other comparable players have received in recent years.

Meanwhile, Baez has clearly stated his wish to stay in Chicago, and yet, so far, not even a peep from ownership on that front.

Cubs: Defense is not the problem for the team right now

True professionals that they are, these omissions have not seemed to affect their play on the field (Baez’s ill-advised late innings ‘eephus’ throw to first in the game against Milwaukee last night not withstanding).

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No, for Rizzo and Baez, the effects of being left in limbo may be what is hindering their work at the dish. Of the three, only Bryant is performing anywhere near his capabilities at the plate. And I have a theory about that too (as if you hadn’t already guessed as much).

I think Bryant has mostly made up his mind this is his swan song on the North Side and, now, he’s auditioning for his next team. Unfortunately, Baez and Rizz, don’t have that luxury yet and so they are pushing themselves, and doing it too hard, thus inhibiting their performances at the plate.

Rizzo is batting a feeble .118 this year so far. Baez is doing better, at .243, but he has 17 strikeouts in 37 at-bats, many of them on embarrassingly wild swings.

Cubs: The law of diminishing returns

Have you heard the phrase: “See the ball, hit the ball”? It speaks to the need to relax and let your motor memory take over when hitting. If you press while trying to bat a pitched ball, you become a victim of a law of diminishing returns: the harder you try, the worse you do.

The Cubs need steady production from all their offensive stars for this year’s team to be successful.

Fergie Jenkins did things today's pitchers only dream of. dark. Next

Step up to the plate, Cubs management, and negotiate in good faith, or better still, tender reasonable offers for these two stars and I believe you will see a big change—for the better.