2019 Autopsy Report: Chicago Cubs
Welcome to the 3rd Autopsy report for 2019 – yesterday we recapped the 2019 Detroit Tigers
Our 3rd team eliminated is the Chicago Cubs – who really can almost call it a win in not being the 1st team eliminated. Hopes weren’t high on the North Side for 2019, and whatever bar was set, the Cubs likely topped it
Time of Death: Sunday September 1st, as Giants OF Cameron Maybin’s 2-run walk-off secured a win for the Giants, thus eliminating the Cubs from postseason play.
Cause of Death (Primary): Medically assisted suicide. After a on-again off-again relationship with playoff pushes throughout the onset of MLB Pro, the Cubs pulled the plug on fielding a competitive team after the 2017 season. The result is some ugly baseball and 100+ losses for likely the 2nd year in a row.
Secondary Issues: The Cubs are a poor offensive team (just 67 HR), but likely even worse on the mound. Opponents OPS against the Cubs is .760, that’s akin to every batter having an OPS+ of 113, which is what Nolan Arenado has this season.
Left to Play For: Well, they won’t be picking 1st. I know folks love to chase that 1st pick, but honestly it’s probably for the best. The Cubs do have some decent spoiler possibilities – they host Seattle for 2 this week. They host the Reds mid-month and they face the Cards 7 times in 10 days towards the end. They even have a final-day make up game slated against the 2nd place Mets to close out the season. Their other 14 games are against teams with sub .400 winning percentages. If they can get a bit hot and do damage there, spoiler a bit, maybe they can get the 13-14 record they’d need to avoid 100 losses.
2020 Outlook: When the Cubs rebuilt, they really went for the SUPER young return. As such, only 1 of their top-10 prospects have made it to AAA. That 1 is SP Richard Dean, who at 25 and with a solid season in AAA, should get a look. They do have some decent ML pieces – Madison Bumgarner got PAID, and then hasn’t produced. He should rebound a bit. Don Porter and Jose Fierro should be respectable in the 2020 rotation. The big question mark is Scrap Iron Harris. He’s been electric (.350, 22 2B, 20 SB in 292 PA) when he’s been on the field, but can he shake the bad luck and play 130+ games? He has yet to do it – this season he’s played in 96 but he’s currently injured and Cubs medical staff isn’t sure when he’ll return.