Illinois native is putting up stellar numbers when the Cubs need him the most

With the Cubs outfield banged up, Mike Tauchman is stepping up in a big way to help hold the offense together
Colorado Rockies v Chicago Cubs
Colorado Rockies v Chicago Cubs / Matt Dirksen/GettyImages

The Chicago Cubs are dealing with significant injuries right now, but Palatine, IL native Mike Tauchman is stepping in with a career stretch at the plate to help keep the team afloat.

In 84 plate appearances this year, Tauchman is slashing .294/.429/.500 with a wRC+ of 164. The 33-year-old is also striking out at a rate of just 19 percent, the third-best on the Cubs with only Cody Bellinger (15.5 percent) and Nico Hoerner (9.4 percent) better in that category. Tauchman is also walking 17.9 percent of the time and seeing 4.76 pitches per plate appearance, which would lead all of MLB if Tauchman had enough at-bats to qualify.

Cubs getting much-needed help offensively from Mike Tauchman

These numbers are coming at the perfect time, as the Cubs offense is missing two key contributors in Cody Bellinger and Seiya Suzuki. I don't know how much manager Craig Counsell was planning on using Tauchman when he made the Opening Day roster in March, but he has certainly been valuable given the current state of the roster.

There's no telling how long Tauchman can keep up this type of production, but we saw last year that he is capable of coming in clutch in big moments. Most notable was the game-winning catch against the St. Louis Cardinals last July, which was one of the moments that cemented the team as buyers at the 2023 trade deadline. Another one of those clutch moments came on Sunday night against the Boston Red Sox, where Tauchman launched a game-tying three-run homer in the eighth inning.

One thing's for certain, Tauchman likes playing for the Cubs and he's proving that he is capable of handling an everyday role in the outfield and betting toward the top of the lineup, at least temporarily. Suzuki is expected to miss several more weeks with an oblique strain while Bellinger's return from two broken ribs is hard to gauge. This means we can expect to see a lot of Tauchman in the near future, and I'm all for it given his recent excellent work at the plate.