Breakdown: What’s Wrong With the Cubs
This Cubs team has an entirely different feel to it compared to last year’s. Here’s a quick rundown of what’s wrong with the Cubs.
- Last night Geovany Soto was replaced for a pinch-hitter. The hitter was Bobby Scales and he was trying to lay down a sacrifice bunt. The Rookie of the Year is being replaced by the career minor-leaguer to lay down a bunt. Speaks volumes.
- Milton Bradley was injured again, this time straining his right calf running out a grounder.
- Carlos Zambrano blew off the team flight to Atlanta. This after his well-publicized freakout and suspension. And he’s not pitching like an ace.
- There are only 2 players that have been excellent at the plate this year. One is the injured Aramis Ramirez. The other is the player most people left for dead, Kosuke Fukudome.
- The only pitcher in the rotation pitching as well or better than expected is Ted Lilly. The others have been hurt, bad and inconsistent.
- The bullpen has been awful. Cotts was finally shown the door. Marmol has walked almost a batter an inning. Kevin Gregg has already allowed 5 home runs, has an ERA over 5 and has a WHIP of 1.66. Heilman walks too many hitters too.
- The Cubs are 13th in the NL in runs scored, ahead of only San Diego, Houston and the Giants. They are 11th in average, on-base percentage and walks.
There are plenty of games left. But the players look lifeless and the manager looks increasingly uncomfortable. He needs to shake it up even more. Move Marmol to closer. Get Soriano out of the leadof spot once and for all. And hope they are still in it when Ramirez comes back.