Chicago Cubs offense can not be predicated by feel-good Mike Tauchman story

Mike Tauchman is once again showing regression due to exposure as a regular in the starting lineup.
Chicago Cubs v St. Louis Cardinals
Chicago Cubs v St. Louis Cardinals / Dilip Vishwanat/GettyImages

With Memorial Day on Monday, the point in the Major League Baseball schedule has been reached where determinations can be made about where the Chicago Cubs' season is headed.

It's a much different conversation being had about the Cubs on Memorial Day weekend, losers of 7 of their last 10, than when they were playing at a 95-game win pace during the month of April.

The main reason why the Cubs' season seems to be on the verge of being turned on its head is because of the struggles that the team has had in scoring runs. When the Cubs do score runs, 6 on Saturday against the St. Louis Cardinals, it's the bullpen that winds up blowing a 4-3 lead in the eighth inning.

To speak to the struggles of the Cubs' offense, veteran outfielder Mike Tauchmans has been the unquestioned best offensive player on the Cubs this season. For a starting lineup that includes Dansby Swanson, Ian Happ, Cody Bellinger, and Seiya Suzuki, it's problematic that the team's best offensive player is someone who is no better than a fourth outfielder on a good team.

That is no slight to Tauchman.

What Tauchman has done this season is impressive. Entering play on Sunday night, Tauchman is slashing .263/.376/.410 with a 131 wRC+.

Mike Tauchman being the Cubs' best offensive player is not sustainable.

Tauchman's numbers are being carried by the hot start he had to the season in April. The numbers wasted no time in showing regression during the month of May. In 94 plate appearances in May, Tauchman is slashing .222/.319/.309 with a wRC+ of 86.

The biggest lesson that should have been learned during the 2023 season was that Tauchman is a near-perfect fourth outfielder to have on the roster but his limitations are exposed when he's in the lineup regularly. Those are the limitations that we are seeing this month.

As the calendar will soon flip to June, Tauchman can't be the determining player in the Cubs' starting lineup. If that is the case, the season will be over well before September.