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Three up, three down: A weekly update on the 2022 Cubs, May 23 edition

It was a rough week for the Cubs, but there’s still some good to be found.

Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images

The Cubs won just three of seven games on a homestand where they probably could have won four or even five. But that’s the way it’s been at home for the Cubs, who are just 7-15 at Wrigley Field, while playing .500 ball (9-9) on the road. Another weird split for the 2022 Cubs: 9-6 in day games, 7-18 in night games.

With 40 games played, just about one-quarter of this Cubs season is in the books. Let’s look at who’s hot and who’s not.

Three up

Justin Steele is finally pitching to his capabilities

Steele’s last two starts: 11 innings, four hits, four walks (0.727 WHIP), one earned run (0.82 ERA), 20 strikeouts.

Now do it against someone other than the Diamondbacks.

Christopher Morel might force his way into sticking around

Morel made his MLB debut largely because of multiple injuries, called up from Double-A. It was widely assumed he’d play until the IL players returned, to get a taste of the majors, then go to Triple-A for more experience.

His play so far — .333/.412/.733 (5-for-17) with two home runs and decent defense at several positions — might force Jed Hoyer & Co. to reconsider, and maybe keep Morel around for a while.

Patrick Wisdom might have found his home run stroke

Since Friday, Wisdom is 4-for-11 with three home runs. Interestingly, he has hit significantly better in day games:

Day games: .236/.307/.546 (13-for-55), five HR, 21 K in 62 PA
Night games: .206/.256/.452 (15-for-73), four HR, 35 K in 78 PA

Small sample sizes, granted. But maybe get his vision checked?

Three down

Seiya Suzuki’s power has almost disappeared

Suzuki hasn’t homered since April 17 and over the last week: .219/.265/.344 (7-for-32) with 13 strikeouts. David Ross continues to move him up and down the batting order, but Suzuki seems to hit better (again, small sample sizes) hitting fifth or sixth.

After righting the ship, Kyle Hendricks had another rough outing

Hendricks got pounded by the D-backs on Friday, allowing four home runs (with the wind blowing out, granted). His next start will be at GABP, where he has historically not pitched well (4.82 ERA in 22 starts, with 18 home runs allowed in 125 innings).

Andrelton Simmons really can’t hit. At all.

We were warned about this — Simmons had a .558 OPS in 2021, which would have been the worst in MLB if he had enough PA to qualify — but he’s been awful at the plate so far, going 3-for-18 with no extra-base hits. He’s still very good in the field, but...

Back with another “Three up, three down” report next week (probably Tuesday, as there’s a doubleheader Monday).


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