Chicago Cubs: Albert Almora deserves to be a starter moving forward

CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 13: Albert Almora Jr. (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 13: Albert Almora Jr. (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Cubs have been on a roll as of late. Much of that has to do with the play of Albert Almora, who deserves to be an every-day starter.

The Chicago Cubs are still the defending World Series champs for a reason. They have a surplus of talented players throughout their roster, typically making life difficult for opposing teams’ pitchers.

Having a talented roster has its downsides, though, especially if you’re a player that’s good enough to be an every-day starter but doesn’t have the opportunity to be an every-day player.

For example, the Chicago Cubs have a promising young outfielder, who typically goes unnoticed but could start on any major league team right now. Unless, of course, that team is the Cubs.

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If the Cubs want to repeat as World Series champs, they need to stick with what’s working. That means keeping Albert Almora’s hot bat and stout defense in the starting lineup.

Entering Monday, over the past six games, Almora is hitting .666. For the season, he’s batting an impressive .299 in 281 at-bats.

Even more impressive, Almora has already driven in 14 runs in the month of September, much of that coming during pivotal situations late in games.

Not enough bats to go around

Like the rest of his teammates, Almora looks to do whatever he can to help the Cubs win. That’s why he’s been so valuable to the organization.

He could care less about getting his fair share of at-bats. He understands his role on the team coming off the bench to pinch hit during key situations and providing valuable defense late in games.

Still, given what he’s demonstrated over his brief two-year career, it’s fair to argue that he’d be a better starter than Jason Heyward in the outfield moving forward.

Unfortunately, money plays a huge role in determining who gets to regularly play. And Heyward, despite being an inferior hitter to Almora, plays more because he’s paid more.

It’s also why Ben Zobrist is in the lineup more often than Almora. Zobrist is clearly in decline, as age has finally caught up to him. Yet, he often plays in the outfield now, giving way to Javier Baez and a healthy Addison Russell in the infield. This, in turn, takes away valuable playing time from Almora, who has proven to be a more efficient hitter and fielder than Zobrist this season.

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Hopefully, the Cubs will soon recognize that Almora provides more value to the organization by playing every game as a starter. If not, it could cost them mightily down the road.