So far, it’s been a series of ups and downs for the Chicago Cubs in 2022. For one, you have players that are extremely fun to watch that provide more than just a glimmer of hope for the future. On the other hand, you see some of the same issues that still loom large from last year which resulted in a complete sell-off of the team. Though the Cubs were not thought to be a postseason contender this season, this team has more potential than people realized.
The addition of Seiya Suzuki has been paramount in many ways. You can write up 100 articles on Suzuki alone and the impact he makes every time he sets foot on the field. Just as importantly, Ian Happ has stayed consistent and has earned his everyday spot in the lineup. Frank Schwindel and Patrick Wisdom are proving to be formidable pieces that do belong on a big league roster. Alfonso Rivas is knocking on the door of being an everyday starter if he hasn’t proven that already. Nico Hoerner is red hot. Nick Madrigal has started slow but is getting there. All this being said, here are 3 of my own observations on the still-young season.
3 early season Cubs observations – #3. The offense has been fantastic so far
Starting with the obvious, the offense has been red hot to start the season. Although we are just 17 games into a 162-game season, you can’t hold much against the Cubs in terms of their production at the plate. Before the year started, the front office opted to go with a more high contact type of lineup rather than adding the power of guys like Kyle Schwarber or Nick Castellanos. Though the Cubs need to try to start avoid grounding into double plays, the patience at the plate these hitters have demonstrated has led to much success in the early part of the season.
Yes it’s still a small sample, but having four guys in your lineup (Rivas not included due to appearing in just 4 games) still batting over .300 is a nice thing and shows the potential of these players. Not that you expect everyone to bat .350 on the year or anything like that, but we’re seeing a very different look from the Cubs so far.
The numbers collectively are fun to look at. On Saturday, after destroying Pittsburgh 21-0 on 23 hits, it’s beyond impressive once you learn that only one home run was hit in the ball game. After the Cubs sold off the core, of course the group that replaced them would go on to post the largest margin of victory since 1945. It was truly an offensive display that will stand through the ages and if you were in attendance, you witnessed a once-in-a-lifetime event.
The Cubs, through Sunday night, led the league in batting average (.273), runs (84), on-base percentage (.354), OPS (.774) and were tied for first with the LA Dodgers for RBI (77). Numbers don’t lie: this team’s offensive potential is sky-high. They are currently third in the league in runs per game. Making contact instead of going all-in on power on every batted ball has yielded excellent results in the early part of the season. After taking it to Corbin Burnes, Brandon Woodruff and Freddy Peralta, it’s not like you can really just use the strength of schedule as an excuse to give the Cubs offense the credit it deserves.