Thursday, June 20, 2024

Cubs 2017 Quarter-Season Review: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

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The Good

Kris Bryant

After a brutal 0-15 start to the season, the reigning MVP has looked like himself. Bryant is hitting .289 with eight homers, his OBP is up to .394 and his OPS is .934. While his strikeout numbers are still high, he’s still getting his fair share of walks. His RBI numbers are down, with just 20 so far. But that has more to do with Kyle Schwarber struggling in the leadoff spot. The table hasn’t been set enough for Bryant to do his thing. That’ll improve.

Back-End Of The Bullpen

Wade Davis’s dominance is well-documented. Davis is a perfect 9/9 in save opportunities, and the lone run he has given up was unearned. What’s most appreciated is that there have been no nail-biting moments with Davis on the mound yet. It’s been fun to watch.

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Carl Edwards Jr. has been lights out as well. He’s been labeled the closer of the future by many, and for good reason: his stuff is electric. If he can improve his control (he’s still susceptible to walks in bunches), the Cubs have, at least, a two-headed monster to unleash at the end of games.

Koji Uehara and Hector Rondon have struggled mightily in a few situations respectively, and their ERAs are in the mid-3s because of those few situations. But for the most part, they’ve gotten the job done. Uehara is the only Cub other than Davis with a save this year. Stocking up on pitchers with closing experience was a good move from the front office.

Ian Happ

Yes, the sample size is small, but Happ has been unbelievable in his cup of coffee so far with the big league team. He’s already played all three outfield positions, and 1/5 of his plate appearances have resulted in extra-base hits. He’s hitting .333, and is OBP and OPS are a stunning .462 and 1.176 respectively. Bryce Harper-esque numbers (and yes, I already said the sample size is small).

What’s amazing is that 6 games into his career, he has already been worth half a win, with a WAR of 0.5. There’s no way the Cubs can justify sending him down to the minors in the near future with him performing like this.

Honorable Mentions: Kyle Hendricks, Jason Heyward’s New Swing, Mike Montgomery

 

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