Blue Chip Stocks:
Jesse Chavez: How good has Chavez been since arriving on July 21? After arriving on the North Side, Chavez has pitched eight innings, surrendering no runs while striking out nine in the process. This week, Chavez pitched five scoreless innings, including eating up three innings on Saturday after Jose Quintana laid an egg. The Chavez trade wasn’t sexy, but boy, it has certainly paid dividends thus far.
Javier Baez: Javy continues to tear the cover off the baseball this year, going 8-for-22 with two home runs and five runs batted in. El Mago’s season line now sits at .295/.326/.561, good for a 131 wRC+ which ranks first for the Cubs.
Ben Zobrist: Zobrist continues to look like the 2016 version of himself, as he went 8-for-17 with two doubles and a homer. Zobrist’s 2.6 fWAR this year is higher than anyone on the team not named Willson Contreras or Javier Baez.
Anthony Rizzo: Rizzo continued his tear in the leadoff spot this week, going 8-for-29 with three homers and five runs batted in. Rizzo had a busy week on the diamond, launching a 453-foot walk-off home run against the Diamondbacks and pitching a third on an inning on Monday. In 72 plate appearances from the leadoff spot this year, Rizzo is batting .400/.486/.717 with four home runs and nine runs batted in, culminating in a 210 wRC+.
David Bote: Bote continues to wow at the Major League level, going 4-for-10 with a game-tying home run in the 9th inning on Thursday. McBoteface continues to impress in the field too, making two slick barehanded plays last night. It’s been a small sample size so far, but it looks as if Bote could have a 10-15 year career at baseball’s highest level.
Kyle Schwarber: It was a rough week for Schwarber, going just 3-for-20 with a double, resulting in a wRC+ of just 18. Since returning from the All-Star break, Kyle is batting just .167/.279/.278 over 43 plate appearances. It’s a small sample size for sure, but maybe there’s some truth to the post Home Run Derby hangover?
Addison Russell: Russell had a terrible week at the plate, recording just two singles over 16 at-bats, worth a wRC+ of -19. Since the start of July, Russell is batting just .200/.273/.275 (50 wRC+)
Buy: The Cole Hamels acquisition was a good one. If you didn’t read my article regarding the trade a few days ago, I was ecstatic about the Hamels trade. It was a low risk, high reward move that could pay off handsomely for the Cubs if Hamels can rediscover his ace-like form. The trade for Hamels moves Tyler Chatwood to the bullpen, where he can hopefully work on harnessing his command and come back stronger as a starter next year.
Sell: The Cubs don’t need to address the bullpen: I know I’ve been beating a dead horse on this topic, but the Cubs still need to go out and add another piece to this team. Whether it’s a left-handed reliever a-la Adam Conley, or acquiring another starter that moves Mike Montgomery back into the bullpen, the Cubs simply have to do something to get another lefty other than Brian Duensing and Randy Rosario on the postseason roster in 2018. And no, relying on Drew Smyly to come back from Tommy John and throw meaningful innings down the stretch doesn’t count.
Do the Cubs still need to address the bullpen?
This poll is closed