By Nina Zimmerman on May 25, 2014
Sometimes it can be difficult to find positives to say about a team that has an 18-29 record, the second-worst in baseball. Nevertheless, the Cubs have a surprising amount of talent despite their dismal record and characteristic collapses. Here are the Cubs’ most irreplaceable players who are invaluable to the North Siders at the moment.
It’s easy to get distracted by the fact that Mike Olt is indeed hitting just .175 on the season. However, he leads the Cubs in RBIs with 25 and home runs with nine. Seventeen of those RBIs came with runners in scoring position, showing a tendency to deliver when the opportunity presents itself. But Olt’s days as the Cubs’ regular third baseman could dwindle, especially if he doesn't improve his batting average and given the rise of Kris Bryant.
Last year, Rizzo became fully entrenched as the Cubs’ long-term first baseman after he signed a seven-year, million contract in May of 2013. His numbers that season weren’t much to look at, turning 2014 into a sort of redemption year for the almost 25-year-old. This season looks much better, with Rizzo posting a .263/.399/.443 slash line. He also has 23 RBIs and eight home runs to his name, reaffirming the faith of the Cubs’ brass and fans.
Chicago newcomer Jason Hammel came in as a question mark after missing part of the 2013 season with an injury while playing for the Baltimore Orioles. Hammel quickly emerged as a strong third starter who anchors the rotation from the middle. In nine starts in 2014, Hammel is 5-2 with a 2.91 ERA 0.90 WHIP.
Like Anthony Rizzo, Starlin Castro also had a 2013 to forget, but seems to be using his 2014 to once again prove himself. Castro hit .317 in April, but cooled off significantly in May. Nevertheless, he’s still hitting .274 with six home runs and 23 RBIs.
Jeff Samardzija is having a career season despite being winless in 10 starts. His 1.46 ERA leads baseball, and his 1.09 WHIP ranks 11th in the National League. It’s a travesty that Samardzija doesn’t have any wins to show for all of his efforts. The Cubs’ rotation as a whole ranks eighth in baseball with a 3.57 ERA, and credit Samardzija for his huge contribution. He will more than likely be traded come July, but is still a valuable Cub now.
May 21, 2015 by Brad Faber
After being called up from Triple-A Toledo earlier this week, Tyler Collins has a chance to give the right-handed heavy Detroit Tigers some left-handed thunder. Read More
May 21, 2015 by Bryan Zarpentine
Here's a look at five things we've learned about the New York Mets roughly a quarter of the way through the 2015 MLB season. Read More
May 21, 2015 by Jason Fletcher
It's very difficult with the length of a MLB season to outperform the talent on your roster for 162 games. These five teams that are currently above .500 will finish below that mark. Read More
In MLB, it's difficult for a player to get a significant bump in pay early in their career due to the arbitration rules. There are 15 players who deserve to be compensated handsomely. Read More
Reality strikes the New York Mets, as they have dropped to second place in the NL East behind the red-hot Washington Nationals. Read More
May 21, 2015 by Samantha Riley
Because the Oakland Athletics' middle infield is lacking depth and quality defense, they should add Andy Parrino to the 40-man roster. Read More
May 21, 2015 by Jacob Kornhauser
The Chicago Cubs will likely be buyers at the trade deadline, but they will have to give players up. Here are five guys they could entice other teams with. Read More
May 20, 2015 by Tim Letcher
The Cincinnati Reds were in need of a starting pitcher at the beginning of the season. Read More