The magic that seemed to propel the Cubs through the strong National League last year has evidently worn off here in 2017. They are 21-19 and 2 games behind the Milwaukee Brewers in the NL Central. The question is: Is it time for Cubs fan to bite their nails?
Before you make the argument, “Oh, it’s only May, there’s still 120 games left”, let me take you through some stats:
Ben Zobrist (World Series MVP): .244 BA, 3 HR, 14 RBI
Anthony Rizzo (2016 Regular Season MVP Candidate): .224 BA, 7 HR, 22 RBI
Addison Russell (franchise shortstop): .215 BA and only 25 runs scored
Kyle Schwarber (critical piece in the Cubs coming back from 3-1 against the Indians): .188 BA, 17 RBI, and 46 strikeouts
Jake Arrieta (perennial Cy Young candidate): 4-3, 5.44 ERA, and a WHIP of 1.46
Clearly, I highlighted the bad things happening for them this year to make a point.
Kris Bryant is hitting well and is returning to MVP form, their bullpen is turning into a strength with Carl Edwards, Jr., and Kyle Hendricks and Jon Lester are under-performing, but not by much.
But there is still so much wrong with this Cubs team, and we officially a quarter of the way through the season. Where is the star power and the excitement that we saw last year? Was the leadership and expertise of Cody Ross really that much of a factor? Will they be forced to make trades this season just to contend? These are not questions you thought were going to be asked at the beginning of the year.
All in all, it is not time to be concerned…yet. They are young, learning, and have an abundance of talent. But they seem to be missing the X-factor this year, and you cannot wait until August to find it. As a Cubs fan, I’d be on my heels because a team that falls into complacency can quickly fall into trouble.
The Chicago Cubs are playing average baseball right now, and that is SCARY considering they finished the 2016 season looking like this: