Chicago Cubs Adapt to Changes

Chicago Cubs adapt

While their struggles continue, the Chicago Cubs adapt to a new look lineup as drastic changes are made. On May 19 the team elected to move on from Eric Hosmer as he was designated for assignment. Hosmer had a .234 average with a .280 on-base percentage in 31 games. This move is not a surprise given that the Cubs recently promoted Matt Mervis to the major league roster. Hosmer and Mervis both play first base and bat left-handed so there was not much room on the roster for both of them.

The Cubs also got Nico Hoerner back from the injured list while seeing Cody Bellinger go on the list. The team also won a game in their weekend series against the Philadelphia Phillies after being swept by the Houston Astros earlier in the week. The Cubs now sit at 4th in the NL Central with a 20-26 record. The fall in the division standing is not entirely the Cubs own doing as the St. Louis Cardinals have been improving. The NL Central is still wide open as no team has started to pull away from the rest.

Cubs Rotation Continues to Shine

In the series against the Phillies, both Marcus Stroman and Justin Steele recorded quality starts. Stroman and Steele are part of a tie for the most quality starts among NL starters with eight. Stroman has a 3-4 record and a 3.05 ERA through 10 starts. That does not tell the whole story, however. Stroman has pitched at least five innings in all but one of his starts. He also has only two starts where he allowed more than three runs. Steele on the other hand is 6-1 with a 2.20 ERA in 10 starts.

With that being said it was not a perfect weekend for the Cubs pitching staff. Jameson Taillon did not get out of the third inning during the second game of the series. Taillon allowed eight runs with six earned. Taillon also allowed two home runs and recorded only one strikeout. The Cubs ended up allowing 12 runs in that game while allowing a combined three runs in the games started by Stroman and Steele. The Cubs need to see these quality starts translate into wins if they want to improve their record.

Christopher Morel Is a Star in the Making

As the Cubs adapt to their changing roster Christopher Morel has emerged as a future star. In 11 games, Morel has a .370 batting average with 8 HR and 14 RBI. He has hit a home run in each of his last four games. To add to those impressive numbers Morel has a .396 on-base percentage. In Cubs history, Morel is the only one to have eight home runs in a player’s first 11 games of a season. He is one of one, which is amazing given all the home runs Cubs legends racked up in their careers. Even Sammy Sosa was not able to accomplish this feat.

Morel has made a case to be named to the NL All-Star team whether it be as a starter or a reserve. To add to his success at the plate, he has not committed an error in the field this season. Morel has also played all three outfield positions and one infield position thus far. While 11 games is not a large sample size Morel has shown improvement compared to last season at the plate and in the field. While the Cubs adapt to changes some players are standing out among the rest.

Photo Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Players Mentioned:

Eric Hosmer, Matt Mervis, Nico Hoerner, Cody Bellinger, Marcus Stroman, Justin Steele, Jameson Taillon, Christopher Morel, Sammy Sosa