Chicago Cubs: Playing matchmaker with a Patrick Wisdom platoon

(Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images) /

Following the retirement of Mariners legend Kyle Seager, the Chicago Cubs could still use a competent platoon-mate for their slugging third baseman Patrick Wisdom. Despite a strong showing in his rookie year, Wisdom comes with a lot of downsides that make running him as the sole body at the hot corner a tough decision. Seager made the most sense to partner up with P Wizzy in a platoon, but who else is out there to supplement his strikeout-heavy bat?

Wisdom has stupid power from the right side of the plate to accompany all those strikeouts. Even with his struggles down the stretch, he ended with a slugging percentage of .518 as part of a very solid 117 OPS+. Surprisingly, he kept that up between lefties and righties too, posting similar numbers against both.  If he’s not striking out on heaters in the zone, he can mash anyone.

Seager made such a good fit with Wisdom because he not only provided pop from the left side, but his bat historically profiled as more contact-oriented than Wisdom. His ability to grind out at-bats and limit strikeouts made him the perfect foil to the Cubs’ slugging third baseman. There are few that fit that bill as well as Seager, but let’s play matchmaker and find some potential fits for Wisdom.

Let’s find the perfect platoon-mate for the Chicago Cubs’ Patrick Wisdom

One fit that would satisfy both parties is Brad Miller. Miller is a utility infielder with some pretty insane pop against righties. His numbers against both sides last year were practically night and day, posting a putrid .538 OPS against lefties compared to a much rosier .842 OPS against righties. Moreover, the .354 OBP makes him a much better grinder than Wisdom. As a solid bench platoon guy who won’t overshadow Wisdom, Miller makes a lot of sense.

Former Cubs rival Colin Moran is also out there and while the fit isn’t as good, there’s a case to be made. Moran has shown flashes throughout his career, something reflected in his still slightly above average OPS+. For his career, Moran also owns pretty solid numbers against righties with a .782 OPS. Last year though, there were definitely problems. He had the second-highest strikeout rate for his career and his lowest launch angle yet at only 7.2 degrees.

Where Miller has more of an established history, Moran has the former top prospect pedigree surrounding him as the number six overall pick in 2013. Adjustments would need to be made to Moran’s game, but he’s always going to be a high-risk, high-reward type. It’s certainly a stretch, but there’s little to lose and there are definitely worse options.

Past those two, the choices get far more limited. Internally, the Cubs have David Bote who, after an abysmal season last year, inspires little confidence as far as playing with any regularity goes. There are a few other low-cost, high-risk theoretical outside the organization as well like Jake Lamb or Matt Carpenter (imagine that!) who are coming off a string of terrible seasons.

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It’s not unrealistic that the Cubs just run Wisdom alone next year, but it’d still be beneficial to grab someone to platoon with him while not overshadowing his presence on the team. Seager really was the best one for this job by a country mile, but I’m personally partial to Miller as far as remaining options go. Or, maybe, find a lefty bat at literally any other position.