10 Reasons the Cubs Are Missing the Playoffs
Wait til next year. Wait til never. Wait til who knows when. Here are 10 reasons the Cubs will miss the playoffs this year and continue their brutal run of misery. In no particular order…
- Alfonso Soriano Soriano has more errors than stolen bases. His OPS is just slightly higher than Carlos Zambrano and lower than Fukudome, Jeff Baker, Jake Fox and other Cubs. He was supposed to be the big spark at leadoff, the superstar player that carries the team to championships. Didn’t happen. Now he can’t run, he can’t field, he can’t stay healthy and he’s crashing hard. Soriano’s numbers have been on the decline in each of his 3 seasons with the Cubs. His 40-40-40 season (HRs, DBLs, SBs) for the Nats in 2006 seems like decades ago.
- Geovany Soto Soto had as big a sophomore slump as I can remember here in Chicago. Another player that couldn’t stay on the field and when he did he was fairly awful. His slugging is down 100 points and his batting average is down 60 from last year. And I don’t care if he pads it up this last few weeks. He’s had a brutal year.
- Milton Bradley Probably the worst signing by any GM in the offseason. Another guy who can’t field, can’t handle pressure, can’t stay healthy and likely doesn’t have many friends in the clubhouse. Yes, Bradley leads the Cubs in OBP. That’s wonderful except that we brought him here to hit for a high average and hit for power from the left side in addition to all those walks. Didn’t happen. Slugging is down 155 points from last year and his average almost 60. Congrats to him though; he had an epic contract year and cashed it in.
- Kevin Gregg Gregg is/was a closer in name only. He has no “out” pitch and cannot blow hitters away. He often couldn’t paint corners and when that happened his average fastball would get jacked out of stadiums across the league. Gregg has actually allowed more homers than 3 of the Cubs starting pitchers. That’s actually kind of amazing in its own sad way.
- Carlos Marmol The crazy thing about Marmol is that no one hits him. Yet he couldn’t or wouldn’t throw strikes and in turn he’s hit 12 batters and walked almost one per inning. Then you look at his hits: only 38 in 67 innings. Marmol’s season can only be truly described one way: So Cubs.
- Lou Piniella I’m not going to get into strategy and some of the odd moves Lou has made this year. But it seems as if he doesn’t like this team much and basically has just about had it. He has exactly exuded confidence at any one point throughout the season. There’s also been too much garbage from Bradley, Zambrano and even Piniella himself. That this Cubs season seems similar to Dusty Baker’s final year with the Cubs says it all.
- Jim Hendry Bradley is the ultimate fail for Hendry and a dollar to a donut says it’s going to be exhibit A when he’s let go, maybe as soon as the whole Cubs sale settles. I’ve long been a Hendry fan, but he couldn’t have had a worse year. Along with Bradley he acquired Aaron Miles, Aaron Heilman, Ryan Freel and Joey Gathright and not one of them produced. He also couldn’t settle on a bullpen, with guys coming and going throughout the year, most of them awful.
- Carlos Zambrano The expected weirdness and issues with Zambrano were much too prominent this year. Besides that, he couldn’t stay healthy and wasn’t as good as he should or could be. His games started and innings pitched will drop for the second straight season. He’s not a true ace, but he he used to log a lot of innings. Not anymore. Z, go do your fitness and strengthing in the offseason, grow up some and dominate the league next year. Is there really any reason he shouldn’t be a top 10 pitcher in the NL?
- The Bullpen Heilman, Cotts, Gregg, Marmol, Samardzija, Patton, Marshall and whoever else they threw out there were basically terrible this year. Guzman and Grabow are the only exempt pitchers.
- Power Outage Before the season I bet most Cubs fans would have guessed that the lineup would have 5 players with 20 0r more homers. It’s going to end up being 2. Bradley never found his power stroke. Ramirez got hurt. Soto stunk. Fontenot regressed. The Cubs are 13th in all of MLB for HRs, 20th in slugging and 22nd in runs scored. Just ridiculous.