Sports. Honestly. Since 2011

With Cubs Lineup Struggling, These 3 Players Need To Step Up

The month of May has been a struggle for the Chicago Cubs offensively. The Cubs lineup has collectively hit a league-worst .207 in the month of May. They also rank 27th in MLB for the month in hits, runs, and OPS. Coming off their third straight series loss, something has to change or the Cubs (27-24) will soon find themselves below .500.

Cubs Lineup Struggling to String Together Hits

One of the problems with this offense isn’t just their lack of run production, but their lack of hits. The Cubs have not had more than five hits in five of their last six games. In fact, there have been only four games this month in which this Cubs lineup has recorded double-digit hits in a game. You won’t win many ballgames with these kinds of low hit totals.

There really isn’t anybody who is “hot” for the Cubs right now. Nobody is hitting consistently. But there are three glaring underperformers in this lineup that have been weighing it down considerably. These three are Ian Happ, Dansby Swanson, and Michael Busch. If these three slumping Cubs can come alive at the plate, it would be key in turning around the offense’s current lack of production.

Three Players the Cubs Need More From Offensively

Ian Happ

It’s hard to think of a time when Ian Happ struggled like he is currently. He’s hitting just .218/.328/.324 on the season, but more concerning is his power outage. He has only two home runs in 170 at-bats. While Happ has often had a high strikeout rate, he could always be counted on to provide some pop from his bat, hence his .446 career slugging percentage. But right now he looks lost at the plate. Now in his eighth year with the Cubs, Happ is a veteran and has been a key cog in this Cubs lineup in years past, so his bat is important to run production for this offense.

Dansby Swanson

To be fair, Dansby Swanson just returned from the 10-day injured list, but he wasn’t hitting well before that either. Swanson is hitting .200/.259/.280 in his last 15 games, and just .198/.248/.283 in his last 30 games. Currently in his second year with the Cubs, Swanson was signed to a 7-year, $177 million contract before the 2023 season. This isn’t a contract solely for a guy to win Gold Glove Awards. He was paid to come here and drive in runs. Last season, he did just that, hitting 22 home runs and driving in 80 runs. So far this season, though, he has just four home runs and 12 RBI. The Cubs need Swanson’s bat to wake up in order for this offense to run smoothly.

Michael Busch

Michael Busch came into this season as somewhat of a mystery. As of now, he joins the ranks of Cubs hitters who need to find another level at the plate. Busch, 26, was a first-round draft pick by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 2019 MLB Amateur Draft. He made his MLB debut in 2023 but only played in 27 games for the Dodgers. He was traded to the Cubs this past offseason as a highly ranked prospect who the Dodgers just didn’t seem to have room for (must be a good problem to have). Busch not only made the Cubs roster this year, but has been in the lineup consistently, mostly playing first base. In a stretch from April 10 to April 15, Busch homered in five straight games, tying a Cubs record.

Since that five-game stretch, Busch is hitting .188/.276/.287 with an OPS of .563. Furthermore, in that span of 32 games, Busch has just one home run and has an astronomical 40.5% strikeout rate. Even though Busch is still a rookie, his consistent presence in the lineup demands more than what the Cubs have gotten from him.

Everyone Has Struggled in Cubs Sputtering Offense

There are obviously more than just these three individuals that the Cubs need more production from. Christopher Morel currently sports a .205 batting average. Seiya Suzuki has been dealing with minor injuries, but while in the lineup he has been ineffective as of late. Even Cody Bellinger has been quiet, though his slump is more recent (4-for-27 over his last seven games). This Cubs lineup has not gotten anything resembling production out of their catchers either, though we were never expecting that spot to be the catalyst of their offense.

If Happ, Swanson, and Busch can shake their slumps and start producing, it can act as a domino effect. Hitting is contagious, after all. When a couple of guys get going, everybody wants to get in on the action. It is still early in the season, but the Cubs are lucky to be in a division that has them sitting only two games out of first place with a 27-24 record. This weekend’s series against the St. Louis Cardinals provides a good opportunity for the Cubs to start hitting. The Cardinals have allowed the most runs in the division and are 21st in MLB in team ERA.


Photo Credit: © David Banks-USA TODAY Sports


More Posts

Send Us A Message