This will be the final edition of “Three up, three down” for this season. After the season’s over I’ll post some thoughts about how it went, and then separately, my usual final season grades for Cubs players.
Seiya Suzuki is finishing strong
Suzuki got off to a great start, faded a bit, got hurt, came back strong, faded again and now, after missing some time to attend to the birth of his first child, has hit well since coming back. Over his last five games: .333/.429/.611 (6-for-18) with a triple, a home run, six runs scored and three walks. While his first MLB season had its bumps, I think overall it was a success. He’s currently at 2.1 bWAR.
Hayden Wesneski just kept on rolling
Wesneski made two starts after the most recent post in this series, one of those against the contending Phillies.
In those two starts: 11 innings, 10 hits, three walks (1.182 WHIP), three runs allowed (two earned), 1.64 ERA. Overall his six-outing debut with the Cubs was, in my view, a rousing success. I look forward to more nasty stuff like this:
Hayden Wesneski, Nasty 82mph Slider. pic.twitter.com/wJLx4KzaRZ— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) October 3, 2022
Marcus Stroman finished the year with two great outings
One of those was, like Wesneski’s, against the contending Phillies September 27. Stroman gave the Phils just five hits and a run in seven innings. He followed that up with six shutout innings against the Reds on Sunday.
Since returning from the injured list July 9, in 16 starts: 2.56 ERA, 1.106 WHIP.
He’d probably defer to someone else, but I think Stroman deserves to be on the mound at Wrigley when the Cubs open the 2023 season March 30 against the Brewers.
Franmil Reyes is playing his way out of a 40-man spot
Since the last update in this series, Reyes is batting .177/.300/.294 (3-for-17). He hasn’t homered since August 31, a span of 93 plate appearances, and didn’t homer at all in 86 PA at Wrigley Field this year.
While Reyes is apparently a real good guy and great teammate and loves to have fun:
Franmil Reyes has marked his territory in the Cubs’ dugout. pic.twitter.com/3Z2i9K3Us3— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) October 1, 2022
... I don’t think the Cubs can use a 40-man spot on him, especially with him being arbitration-eligible. I suspect he gets non-tendered. Acquiring him was a worthwhile experiment; it cost nothing in players and only a little money and it could have worked. It didn’t and the team will likely move on.
Nico Hoerner could probably use some rest
This is the most Nico has played in his MLB career, 133 games and 509 plate appearances through Monday, and it’s starting to show.
Over the last week he’s batting .115/.111/.154 (3-for-26) with one double. And yes, that’s an OBP lower than his BA (one sac fly, no walks).
He’s become a team leader and played good defense at shortstop, though if the Cubs do sign one of the top FA shortstops, Nico likely moves to second base.
Esteban Quiroz has come back to Earth
After some good hitting, including several extra-base hits, in his first few MLB games, Quiroz is batting .214/.313/.214 (3-for-14) since the last update here, and his brain fart ended Monday’s game.
He’s 30 and another player who the Cubs likely can’t use a 40-man spot for this winter. He’ll probably be non-tendered and offered a minor-league deal and NRI to 2023 Spring Training.
Who is the Cubs MVP for 2022?
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Someone else (leave in comments)