4 Cubs players who should be ditched by the All-Star Break

Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports /
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Daniel Norris / Chicago Cubs
Mandatory Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports /

4 Cubs players who should be ditched: #2 – Daniel Norris

I understand the need for left-handed pitching, but the Daniel Norris reclamation project just hasn’t produced the results the Cubs hoped for. Sure, he’s racking up the strikeouts – his 33.6 percent strikeout rate ranks in the top six percent of the league – but there are too many other red flags to simply ignore.

His 50 percent hard-hit rate? Bottom two percent of the league. 116.8 MPH max exit velocity? Same story – bottom two percent. He’s carrying a wholly unsustainable 14.6 percent walk rate and the final results speak for themselves: a -0.8 bWAR, 7.24 ERA and 5.73 FIP.

He’s allowing way too much slugging to be a reliable presence in the pen for Ross and, combined with the walks, it’s a recipe for disaster. Norris is on the IL now with a left index finger strain but once he’s eligible to return, it’s time for the team to cut ties and move on.

The front office has been great at uncovered some diamonds in the rough in recent years, particularly in the bullpen, but this just hasn’t been one of those instances. Once the rotation gets healthy, the guys who’ve been starting can shift to the pen and cover the innings Norris has been getting.