Baseball has somehow managed to roll along far enough to get past the midway point of the season, against at least *some* odds. It’s been nice listening to a Cubs game or two on the radio but this bizarre and awful dumpster fire of a year has really put a damper on anything it touches, at least for me.
Anyway, on that happy note, here’s where the Cubs stand now
Record: 21-14, first place in NL Central
Games up: 3.0 on Cardinals (14-13)
Playoff odds: 98.1% (74.1% to win division, 23.8% for one of the other options)
- Ian Happ: .304/.420/.643, 10 HR .440 wOBA, 1.9 WAR
- Yu Darvish: 43 IP, 7 GS, 52 SO, 8 BB, 1.47 ERA, 2.03 FIP, 1.8 WAR
- Jason Heyward: .299/.411/.563, 5 HR, .409 wOBA, 1.2 WAR
- Anthony Rizzo: .225/.365/.450, 8 HR, .351 wOBA, 1.0 WAR
- Kris Bryant: .191/.276/.324, 2 HR, .268 wOBA, 0.1 WAR
- Javier Baez: .200/.243/.369, 5 HR, .261 wOBA, 0.1 WAR
- Craig Kimbrel: 8 IP, 10 G, 15 SO, 12 BB, 10.13 ERA, 7.90 FIP, -0.3 WAR
- Kyle Ryan: 11.1 IP, 13 G, 10 SO, 4 BB, 5.56 ERA, 7.03 FIP, -0.2 WAR
Happ and Darvish have certainly been the standouts so far this year. I also think David Ross has vastly exceeded my expectations (which are low for any manager). His on-field stuff has been fine, but as has been noted around here it seems like he’s been doing a great job with all the off-field stuff. The bizarre circumstances around this season would be tough for any manager, especially a rookie one, but it seems like he’s riding out the storm and keeping things in perspective with the team on the pandemic.
Trade deadline acquisitions and roster moves
The Cubs main focus was left-handed pitching at the trade deadline, either relievers or guys who can hit said relievers:
- The Cubs traded 2 PBTNLs or cash to the Rays for former Cardinal Jose Martinez, who always seemed to crush the Cubs but never seemed to find playing time in the glut of big bats/lousy gloves that the Cards had. He’ll fit well as a DH or late game PH
- The Cubs also picked up Cameron Maybin, who can play a credible CF and hit lefties. They sent Zack Short to the Tigers in the trade.
- He’s picking up time from Albert Almora, who was supposed to be the lefty-facing CF but just couldn’t improve his bat. He was sent back to the minor league camp as part of these trades.
- The Cubs also picked up lefty relievers Andrew Chafin and Josh Osich from the Dbacks and Red Sox, respectively, both for PBTNLs. Chafin has been pretty solid for the Dbacks for the last few seasons, but is currently on the IL with a finger problem and it’s not clear when he will be available. Osich is pretty much a replacement level guy, but that would be an improvement on what Kyle Ryan has looked like this year.
There’s 4 more weeks to go, and luckily the Cubs only have one more doubleheader on the schedule. They have two off-days in the middle of the month but are currently in a stretch of 13 straight days of baseball. Enjoy it while you can. Or don’t. I can’t tell you what to do.