Cubs: Joc Pederson looks absolutely broken beyond repair

(Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
(Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images) /

Joc Pederson’s decline came without warning. The lefty seemed to have finally found his stride in the spring and looked to potentially be the catalyst that could fix the Cubs’ broken offense. If Pederson could even retain some of his success from the spring, the lineup would really benefit.

But it didn’t happen. Obviously, Pederson was going to regress a bit. Having the expectation of him leading the league in home runs and batting well over .300 the entire year was completely unrealistic. However, no one could’ve foreseen what we’ve gotten thus far.

Through his first 13 games, the former Dodger has slashed an astoundingly bad .119/.208/.190 which is good for a .399 OPS. There was no gradual decline either, as the second spring training ended, the wheels seemingly fell off for Pederson.

He has, of course, been just one out of an entire group of guys that has been struggling to historic proportions, but it doesn’t make it any more excusable, especially when the man he replaced in left, Kyle Schwarber, is doing things like this in Washington.

Obviously, Pederson can’t be this bad all year, and neither can the rest of the offense. Hopefully Saturday’s offensive outburst was a sign of things to come. An OPS below .400 over the course of an entire year would be truly staggering, but can Pederson work his way back to being a starting-caliber player?

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The Cubs put a lot of faith in him when they decided to let him play every day, even against lefties. This was something that Joc had never done in Los Angeles, and from the results so far, there seems to have been a good reason as Pederson has just not lived up to the expectations that were laid out for him.

While Pederson is likely to bounce back a bit, there’s reason to think he won’t ever bounce back to even an average level. For one, he isn’t hitting the ball hard whatsoever, ranking in just the 22nd percentile of average exit velocity and just in the 26th percentile of hard-hit percentage entering play Saturday, according to Baseball Savant. 

Pederson ranks poorly in just about every single offensive category according to baseball savant, which indicates that he hasn’t even been all that unlucky, just flat out bad. This has been a collective issue for the entire lineup, but he, in particular, has struggled more noticeably and the lineup has suffered because of it.

Right now, Joc Pederson seems to be in a slump that he may never fully come out of, and the entire lineup is suffering as a result. A man the Cubs’ front office hoped would reinvigorate the offense, has unfortunately made the offense worse in the early going.

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For both the team and player’s sake, he needs to find a way to find his spring training form. Otherwise, he may find himself back out on the open market, and Cubs may be looking for another everyday left fielder.