Chicago Cubs: Brennen Davis’ struggles throw wrench into big league plans
After what looked like a solid start with a winning series against Milwaukee, the Cubs have since spiraled down the standings to the tune of a 9-17 start. Offensively, Chicago has gone ice-cold of late. After a hot start in leading the league in batting average and OPS, the Cubs took a nose dive into the deep end and now rank 20th in the league in wRC+.
Over the last several seasons, it’s been no secret that Cubs veteran Jason Heyward has struggled at the plate. As a personal fan of Heyward’s leadership and elite defense, it still must be said that this season hasn’t been much different at this dish. He is currently hitting a mere .234/.333/.298 without a long ball and just two runs batted in. It goes without saying that Heyward’s contract (including $22 million annually in both 2022 and 2023) has turned into one of, if not the worst, deals in franchise history.
If you spend any time aboard the social media train, you’ll find the mentions of potentially designating Heyward for assignment straight up and just eating his contract while bringing up Cubs prospect Brennen Davis in his place. Especially after the New York Mets DFAed Robinson Cano this week when rosters were trimmed down to 26, more and more mentions have supported the idea of giving Heyward the axe. For the Cubs, it’s important to realize one thing: The Mets are going for it and the North Siders are not. This team is just simply not in contention. Furthermore, money is not an object to Steve Cohen the way we wish it wasn’t in Chicago.
Before the season began, MLB Pipeline listed top prospect, Brennen Davis, overall at #15 in the league’s top 100. However, since the start of the Triple-A season, Davis has unfortunately hit an early wall and had struggled to get it going. He is currently slashing .195/.286/.299 with just a .584 OPS to go along with two home runs and 7 RBI. It is time to address the elephant in the room. Designating Heyward for assignment would do nothing other than make things worse at this juncture.
Not only is Davis struggling in general, but the front office is absolutely not going to start Davis’ service time in the MLB while he’s struggling this bad at Iowa. The sad reality is that Heyward’s struggles at the plate are currently more valuable to the Cubs then what Davis is bringing to the table in Iowa. It wouldn’t make much sense to simply cut Heyward to bring up somebody unless he’s absolutely on fire and ready to go.
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Of course, as time goes on, the thought is that Davis will adjust as he always has and will improve as time goes on. He raked in Triple-A for a little while to end the season last year and pitchers have adjusted to him. He will need to prove he can make some tweaks of his own if he wants to get promoted to the big league level. At that point, the Cubs will have a tough decision to make regarding Heyward and the future of center field – but that time hasn’t come just yet.