Chicago Cubs: Team needs to dump Addison Russell

Chicago Cubs (Photo by Jeff Curry/Getty Images)
Chicago Cubs (Photo by Jeff Curry/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Cubs have kept Addison Russell through his domestic abuse issues but his on-field play doesn’t warrant keeping him around.

Despite his off-the-field issues, the Chicago Cubs have stood by Addison Russell when most wanted him gone. Last season, his ex-wife’s blog post surfaced indicating some disturbing behavior and mistreatment on Russell’s part. He was suspended 40 games without pay and placed on Major League Baseball’s restricted list.

Russell headed into the offseason serving approximately 10 games of his suspension and would be available to return in early May. He spent much of the winter going through therapy and educational counseling with the hope that he would be a changed man. Come February, Russell showed up for Spring Training and spoke with the media for the first time since being suspended.

It was a very robotic interview with rehearsed answers with responses like this:

"“Through counseling I now have a better understanding of what domestic abuse is,” Russell said, adding later: “The person who has been inflicted the most in this process is Melisa. And … I want to own those actions and I am sorry for the hurt that I have caused Melisa and the pain that I put her through.” – Chicago Tribune"

Much like the Cubs front office, his teammates were willing to give him a second chance but they too needed to see changes from Russell as he progressed through the season. As for what Russell has done on the field, the once prized trade acquisition from the Oakland Athletics may have peaked in 2016.

Granted, 2017 and 2018 were when both allegations of his domestic abuse surfaced which could have impacted his on-field play. However, that’s not an excuse. Russell has done this to himself and he’s been horrific for the Cubs this season. Since returning to the team on May 8, he’s batting just 0.230 with a wRC+ of just 74 (100 is league average) in 31 games.

He has 4 home runs and 10 RBI’s but looks nothing like the player he was in 2016. The batting average is similar, yes, but 2016 Addison Russell was driving the ball well and hitting groundballs at just 41.2 percent. This season, he’s hitting groundballs at nearly a 50 percent clip.

In the month of June, Russell is batting a lousy 0.156 and a wRC+ of just 1. That’s not a typo. 1. He’s lost his starting gig as the everyday shortstop to potential perennial MVP candidate in Javier Baez and has been forced to share duties at second base with Daniel Descalso, David Bote, and eventually, Ben Zobrist when he returns.

Next. Re-visiting the Quintana/Jimenez trade. dark

The Cubs have Russell under team control through the 2021 season but they need to cut the cord already. Nevermind the off-field issues which are bad enough, but he’s not worthy of a roster spot based on his production on the field. The once budding superstar will never be that guy and he’s a black eye on the Cubs roster right now.