Just over a month into the 2014 regular season the Cubs are 13-25 and sit at the bottom of of the NL Central, something Cubs fans have gotten used to seeing over the past few years. As the batting woes continue to plague the Cubs, fans are preparing themselves for another long summer on the North Side. Entering this season, no body had very high expectations of this team, to the point where it was almost comical when owner Tom Ricketts said that they were playoff contenders. Although their record is abysmal, the standings don’t tell the whole story of the Chicago Cubs.
In year 3 of the rebuilding process, fans would like to see some process or validation that the Cubs plan is “working”. For many people, another 90+ loss season (which the Cubs are on pace for) will not cut it. Although I agree that another season seeing the Cubs be the laughing stock of the MLB does not strengthen my confidence in President of Baseball Operations, Theo Epstein’s, master plan in bring a world series to Chicago, there has been some progress this season.
2013 was a year to forget for young talents Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo. After struggling from start to finish last year many people were concerned about their future in the major leagues. Hoping to bounce back this season, both have performed extremely well in the early going. Playing in ever game so far, Rizzo has arguably been on the best streak of his career hitting .275 with a .396 on base percentage to go along with 7 home runs and 21 RBIs in a month and half. These may not be extraordinary numbers, but considering he hit .224 and had a .315 on base percentage last April Cubs fans should be happy by his production.
Not only has Rizzo improved his game, but Starlin Castro is having an excellent start to his season as well. After going through his first true slump of his career last year, Castro has bounced back to start this year.