Cubs Positional Performance: Infield Through 5/27

Denis Poroy

It's time to take another look at the Cubs' performance by position, with today's segment featuring the performance of the infield.

Greetings again, stat-lovers!

As the Cubs make their way back to the Midwest after a 3-4 journey through California, it's time to take a refreshed look at the Cubs' positional performance. Similar to the initial installment on May 3, the first segment will focus on the infield.

The figures presented below are the standard four-way slash line (AVG / OBP / SLG / OPS), as well as rank in the National League and NL Central. The May 3 slash line is also included as well as the change in rankings from May 3 (positive being better, negative being worse). Statistics are as of games played on Tuesday, May 27.

CATCHER

Cubs: .232 / .279 / .363 / .643
May 3: .250 / .304 / .423 / .727
NL Rank: 12 (-3) / 12 (-3) / 11 (-1) / 10 (-2)
Division Rank: 5 (-1) / 5 (-1) / 4 (0) / 5 (-1)
NL Average: .253 / .320 / .396 / .717

The month of May has not been kind to Welington Castillo. Since the last update on May 3, Castillo has put up a meager .211 / .253 / .282 / .535; however, most of that slump was in the early part of May, including a 2-for-23 stretch from May 4 to May 11. He has hit safely in seven of his last eight games but has also struck out 13 times in that span.

FIRST BASE

Cubs: .263 / .394 / .436 / .829
May 3: .296 / .421 / .520 / .942
NL Rank: 10 (-3) / 2 (0) / 10 (-5) / 8 (-4)
Division Rank: 3 (-1) / 1 (+1) / 3 (-2) / 2 (-1)
NL Average: .269 / .342 / .458 / .800

Anthony Rizzo continues to be the only Cub with any plate appearances at first base, and it seems that the lack of a day off could be starting to take its toll. Since the last update, Rizzo has hit .222 / .360 / .333 / .693 including a 5-for-31 stretch in his last nine games. While his power has taken a downturn, his on-base percentage thankfully still remains near the top of the National League, and his 37 walks currently lead all NL first basemen.

SECOND BASE

Cubs: .238 / .329 / .315 / .643
May 3: .232 / .345 / .303 / .648
NL Rank: 10 (0) / 5 (-1) / 12 (0) / 11 (-2)
Division Rank: 4 (0)  / 2 (0) / 4 (0) / 4 (-2)
NL Average: .245 / .306 / .368 / .674

Not much has changed at second base since the last update other than a decline in on-base percentage. The decline is due primarily to the return to reality for Emilio Bonifacio, whose on-base percentage has dropped 57 points since May 3. The Cubs continue to lead the National League in walks at second base with 25, thanks in large part to Luis Valbuena with 11 and Darwin Barney with nine.

THIRD BASE

Cubs: .219 / .301 / .443 / .744
May 3: .186 / .276 / .343 / .619
NL Rank: 13 (-1) / 11 (+1) / 4 (+5) / 5 (+6)
Division Rank: 5 (0) / 4 (+1) / 2 (+2) / 2 (+3)
NL Average: .255 / .316 / .397 / .712

Oh, if only Mike Olt could hit for average. Since the last update, he has hit .193 / .284 / .491 / .775 including five home runs. Valbuena also gets a lot of credit for the third base numbers as he is hitting .292 / .400 / .486 / .886 in 85 plate appearances at the hot corner. The Cubs' 31 RBI at third base is third in the National League, and their 10 home runs are tied for first with Milwaukee and Pittsburgh.

SHORTSTOP

Cubs: .279 / .319 / .451 / .770
May 3: .316 / .345 / .474 / .818
NL Rank: 2 (0) / 4 (-1) / 2 (0) / 2 (0)
Division Rank: 1 (0) / 1 (0) / 1 (0) / 1 (0)
NL Average: .253 / .313 / .392 / .705

Despite the drop in performance for Starlin Castro since May 3, the Cubs are still second in the National League in every category at shortstop except for on-base percentage. Castro could probably also use a breather as he still has all but two of the plate appearances recorded at short. He has hit .233 / .289 / .422 / .711 since the last update and is 5-for-33 in his last eight games.

TOTAL INFIELD

Cubs: .247 / .325 / .402 / .728
NL Rank: 12 / 6 / 9 / 6
Division Rank: 5 / 2 / 3 / 2
NL Average: .255 / .319 / .402 / .722

Despite the lack of hitting for average, the Cubs actually fare decently across the infield, ranked middle or better in the division in on-base percentage, slugging, and OPS. They are also tied for third in the National League in home runs at 33 and are second in walks at 102.

Coming up next time:  The outfield and the pitching staff. Sneak preview for the outfield: It's not pretty. Viewer discretion is advised.

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