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MLB Today: The Cubs’ Offensive Woes

April 17, 2012 | By RotoRob | comment on this post
Blake DeWitt has been rancid for the Chicago Cubs.
Sadly, Blake DeWitt makes a better Marilyn Monroe than a baseball player.

We’re now a couple of weeks into the season, and one thing has become painfully clear. The Chicago Cubs’ offense, which was middling last season, has sunk to among the worse in the majors this year.

With a team OPS that’s currently sitting at 643, the Cubs are only better than the following NL teams: San Diego, Philadelphia, Cincinnati and Pittsburgh. You know the Reds will fly by them in short order and the Phils should as well, especially once Ryan Howard and Chase Utley return. Hell, even the Pirates could wind up better, given their upside. Yes, the Cubs are reaching for new lows offensively, and it’s manifested itself in the standings where they are currently tied with Pittsburgh for last place in the NL Central.

Toss in a team ERA that also ranks near the bottom of the majors, and we could be looking at a very long season in Chi-Town.

Where do we even start with this team?

Blake DeWitt should never be allowed to use a bat for anything but smacking a piñata, and even then, he’s not to be trusted to actually get any candy out of it.

Marlon Byrd’s regression has continued, and he’s off to a horrifically slow start. Any chance the Cubs have of peddling his contract will be gone if he doesn’t wake up.

Joe Mather, brought in to beef up the bench, is hoping to raise his average to the point where it is 50 per cent of his weight. And no, he doesn’t weigh 400 pounds.

Jeff Baker is another veteran that’s taking up space on the bench.

Geovany Soto’s trend of one good year, one bad year looks like it’s ending. That’s the good news; the bad news is he was scheduled for a good season in 2012.

Alfonso Soriano is actually hitting for average (like that’s going to continue), but he doesn’t have a single extra-base hit in nine games.

While he hasn’t been awful, Reed Johnson hasn’t really been able to take advantage of Byrd’s struggles and certainly isn’t seeing enough PT to matter in anything but super deep NL-only leagues.

Quick Hits

  • Remember how some people were worried about Roy Halladay’s decreased velocity and lackluster results this spring? Okay, so his command hasn’t been as dominant in the early going, but give me a break. The dude has won all three of his starts with a 1.17 ERA and 0.78 WHIP, and for good measure, he helped put the Giants away on Monday with an RBI single. Talk to me when Halladay’s results suffer.
  • James Shields, a flyball pitcher throughout his career, is suddenly inducing ground balls at a shocking high rate (41 ground balls to 25 flyballs after Monday’s 14 to 1 ratio). It’s only three starts, so it’s hard to call it a real trend yet, but this is definitely something to keep an eye on – especially given that many pegged Shields as a bust candidate this year. Shields got smacked around pretty good in his season debut, but has given up just 10 hits and two earned runs in 16 1/3 IP in winning both starts since.

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