This stat shows how bad Chicago Cubs first basemen have been offensively
It has been a horrific start to the season for the Chicago Cubs' first basemen from an offensive standpoint as both Trey Mancini and Eric Hosmer have struggled to string together quality plate appearances despite the overall success that the team has had.
Addressing first base was a priority for the Cubs this past off-season as the team was looking for more consistent production out of the position after the shortcomings of Frank Scwhindel and Alfonso Rivas last season.
Justin Schultz of "Baseball is Dying" on YouTube shared a calculation that put a value on negative at-bats by players this season and it should be no surprise that both Hosmer and Mancini are listed among the leaders with the highest negative at-bat percentage.
The first base position is a cornerstone position for a Major League Baseball team in regard to finding offensive success. That success has been lost upon both Hosmer and Mancini to begin the 2023 season and should be an area of concern moving forward for the Cubs.
The Chicago Cubs still have a problem at the first base position.
Hosmer has a graded as a below-average offensive player since 2017 and that has not changed with the Cubs in 2023 as he currently has a 82 wRC+ on the season. Mancini hasn't been better as he currently has a 62 wRC+ heading into Tuesday night's game against the San Diego Padres at Wrigley Field.
If this trend continues for the veteran first basemen, the calls for Cubs' prospect Matt Mervis will grow louder. Mervis has not missed a beat with the Iowa Cubs this season as his 145 wRC+ is an indicator of the type of offensive production he could provide the team at the Major League level. The Cubs have remained hesitant to promote Mervis due to the presence that the likes of Hosmer and Mancini have with the Major League team but if that comes at the cost of quality at-bats, the team will be making a mistake.