Cubs: 3 obvious changes the team has to make to be a contender

Mandatory Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports /
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Joc Pederson / Chicago Cubs
(Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) /

Cubs need to admit that Joc Pederson is purely a platoon player

Look, I get it. You told Joc Pederson he’d get the chance to hit lefties as much as righties. Well, guess what? It’s not working – and as nice as it would be to be able to let him work through this until June or July, the margin for error for this team is just too small to allow it to happen.

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Chicago placed Pederson on the 10-day IL with a wrist injury Friday, adding Hoerner to the roster to fill his spot. That means we’re going to see a combination of Kris Bryant, Jake Marisnick and Ian Happ in left in the meantime. Let’s hope when Pederson does return, we learn this wrist issue is what’s gotten him off to such a slow start.

Because what he’s done at the dish so far isn’t going to get the job done. Pederson is slashing .137/.262/.235 on the year. Against left-handers, it’s even worse, with the outfielder batting just .077/.143/.077. Yes, it’s a brutally small sample size. But the simple truth is this: the Cubs can field better lineups against southpaws without him.

With Hoerner up (which should remain the case after Pederson returns from the IL), you can roll with Hoerner at second, Bote at third and Bryant in left against lefties. That trio is going to add a ton of offensive value in these matchups – and we’ve seen the last few days what a properly constructed lineup is capable of doing.

We’re not here to appease players. We’re here to win (or at least, we should be). Maybe if Pederson comes back and starts hitting against right-handers, you give him a look against lefties here and there to give him shots. But until he has some momentum behind him, we’re setting the offense up to fail.