Blue Chip Stocks:
Javier Baez: If Javier Baez could consistently produce at this level of offensive production, he would probably be a first ballot Hall of Famer. We all know that he has some consistency issues at the plate, but there are very few (any?) second basemen I would rather have than El Mago. Javy went 9-for-21 with four doubles, a triple, four runs, and four runs batted in. AND HE WALKED THREE TIMES!!!! Although one was an intentional walk, it’s encouraging to see Baez be a bit more selective with his swings. His season line sits at .269/.311/.530, worth 118 wRC+.
Jon Lester: Never mind that he’s outperforming his peripherals by a mile, Jon Lester is undoubtedly one of the best pitchers in the National League this year. All he did on Wednesday against the Dodgers was pitch seven scoreless innings, lowering his ERA to 2.10, good for third-best on the Senior Circuit.
Mike Montgomery: Had it not been for a Pedro Strop implosion, MiMo probably would have earned himself another win. Even with the four earned runs on Sunday, Montgomery owns a 2.02 earned run average through six starts, and again, continued his streak of pitching six innings, making this the fifth time in a row. I have a feeling Tyler Chatwood might see some time on the disabled list in the near future once Yu Darvish returns.
Kyle Schwarber: Usually a 4-for-22 week will land you in the Penny Stocks, but three of Kyle’s four hits were for home runs, and he walked six times. His season average only sits at .233, but his on-base percentage is .362, and his slugging percentage sits at .484. It’s been a quietly stellar season thus far for Warbird, as he ranks second on the Cubs in fWAR (2.1), and takes home positive marks from Fangraphs with his defense too, something I thought I would never write.
Jason Heyward: If there was any doubt that we were seeing an impostor Jason Heyward for a few weeks, I think he’s beginning to put that concern to rest. This Jason Heyward is here to stay. J-Hey went 9-for-25 with three doubles and four runs. He's hitting the ball the opposite way with authority, and when you pair this offensive ability with his usually superb defense in right field, this is an incredibly valuable player to the Cubs. His rocket to gun down Chris Taylor at the plate didn’t hurt his value either.
Anthony Rizzo: It was a poor showing from Rizzo this week, going 4-for-25 with two unintentional walks. He managed to at least salvage a an extra-base hit in Sunday’s crippling defeat to the Reds, but a week of 48 wRC+ will always land you on the naughty list.
Kyle Hendricks’ control: For the second week in a row, Hendricks walked four batters, something he only did twice in 2017. In his last seven starts, Hendricks owns a 4.22 BB/9, highly uncharacteristic of a guy who can usually paint the corners with seemingly every pitch. Maybe it’s an anomaly, but whatever it is, the walks are killing him.
Willson Contreras: If Willy was trying to outdo Anthony Rizzo for worst Cubs performance of the week, I think he takes the cake with this one. Contreras went 2-for-20 with eight strikeouts, good for a wRC+ of 12.
Getting swept by the Reds: After taking two out of three against the Dodgers at Wrigley, it looked like the Cubs were in prime position to secure the lead in the N.L. Central with a four-game series against the last place Reds. Well, we all know how things turned out, as the Cubs left Cincinnati with no wins, and a tarnished reputation. A tip of the cap to the Reds, they came ready to play, and they kicked the snot out of the Cubs.
Buy: The series against the Reds was incredibly discouraging. After the Cubs went up 6-1 on Sunday, I thought to myself “at least they’re going to take one against the Reds, a sweep would’ve been disastrous.” Sure enough, in pre-2015 Cubs fashion, they found a way to self-destruct and cost themselves a victory. To most, a split would have been a bit of a letdown. But getting swept? That sucked.
Sell: It’s time to panic. I love Twitter for a lot of reasons, but one of my favorite things about it is the raw emotions fans display on the social media platform. People calling for Joe Maddon’s head, others criticizing Theo and Jed for never having developed a capable starting pitcher, and a slew of other hot takes. While some of those are valid, let’s not forget that this team has reached the NLCS three years in a row and won a World Series in 2016. This is an outrageously talented team, and while getting swept by a last place team is never fun, it’s only June. The team is still only two games back of the Brewers, and there’s still a ton of baseball to play. The Cubs are a second half team anyways.
Over/under on how many walks Javier Baez draws this week? (1.5)
This poll is closed