Cubs Beg Unanswered Questions Within A Golden Age

Analysis of the 2019 Postseason Chase

Jay DeCoster, Staff Writer

With the Major League Baseball season entering September, teams in contention look to prove why they have a chance to take part in the World Series. 

Chicago Cubs fans have been spoiled with four straight postseason appearances, including a world title in 2016. Let’s just get this straight, this has been the golden age of Cubs baseball, and it’s hard to think of a time where the Cubs were consistently winning every year. 

As of Thursday, the Cubs are 78-68, tied with the Milwaukee Brewers for the second wild-card spot. 

With Brewers star Christian Yelich out for the season with a dislocated kneecap, it’s all up to this Cubs team to clinch the second wild-card spot and go to Washington DC to take on the Nationals for the NL Wild Card game. 

The last three months of Cubs baseball has been rather pedestrian, playing .500 baseball since early June. 

There have been many factors to the Cubs struggles, including a depleted bullpen, inconsistent hitting, and off the field distractions with Ben Zobrist and Addison Russell. Injuries have also been a major issue. Catcher Willson Contreras went down mid-August with a hamstring injury, Javier Baez is out for the season with a thumb injury, and closer Craig Kimbrel is on the injured list with shoulder inflammation. 

Manager Joe Maddon has taken criticism from the fans & media for his decision making. President Theo Epstein has made many questionable moves the last couple of years, leaving Cub fans with major question marks heading into September, and next season. 

Look, Theo has been great during his tenure as Cubs President, but his decision making over the previous offseasons has made the team worse. Decisions like signing Yu Darvish to a 6 year/126 million dollar deal, trading prospects Eloy Jimenez and Dylan Cease to the Chicago White Sox for Jose Quintana. As of right now, it is too early to judge this trade, but the Cubs expected Quintana to be a number two starter, he is at best a number three to four

The 2019 offseason was a silent one for Theo and company, only signing notable free agents like Daniel Descalso from the Arizona Diamondbacks, and that hasn’t worked. 

At the trade deadline, Epstein went out and acquired OF Nicholas Castellanos, and made some minor moves for the bullpen. Castellanos has made a big impact on this team since he joined, hitting .302 with 10 HR over his last 30 games. 

For the Cubs to secure a spot in October, and potentially make some noise, the bats need to get going. Javier Baez is expected to return when the postseason begins if they get there. Craig Kimbrell is coming off the IL next week and hopefully will return mid to late September.

If everyone gets back healthy, and the offense can return to 2016 form, we could see a little magic from a team that was projected to finish with 79 wins before the season.