Almost one-tenth of the 2013 MLB season has been completed. For the Chicago Cubs, they’ve gotten off to a 5-11 start. Most fans knew that this team wasn’t going anywhere. What’s frustrating isn’t the losses; it’s the way they’re losing games with what manager Dale Sveum referred to as “rookie ball.”
This team reminds me of a bad fantasy baseball team. Every few days, the Cubs are acquiring someone either through free agency or the waiver wire. They sign these players, hope they can ride them for a hot streak, and then designated them for assignment once they get cold.
Kevin Gregg had a great spring training? Let’s sign him and hope he can carry that into the season. Gregg failed to record an out after he surrendered one walk and one hit during his first performance on Apr. 19.
How bad have the Cubs played? Through 16 games, the Cubs have committed 15 errors. Starlin Castro was responsible for four of those. He’s on pace for 40-plus errors. On Apr. 20, the Cubs committed thee errors. Those errors led to four unearned runs in a 5-1 loss. On top of horrific defense, the Cubs have a .235 team batting average. That number drops to .148 when runners are in scoring position.
It’s discouraging to see that many of these losses have been from mental gaffes more than talent. Eliminate the defensive miscues and blown saves—this team is over .500. These are mistakes that any major leaguer—or Triple-A player—should avoid.
As far as Alfonso Soriano wanting a fast start, that’s hard to do when the cleanup hitter has two RBI. While Soriano has started to hit more, he must produce when runners are in scoring position. Unless that happens, this offense has no chance for consistent production. Or should I say, no chance for consistently good production.
Can Sveum do anything to correct these errors and lack of clutch?