Robel Garcia got his first career start on Thursday and helped the Chicago Cubs offense bust out in a big way. He could be the spark they needed.
The Chicago Cubs offense has struggled mightily as of late, enough for Theo Epstein to threaten major changes if the team did not turn things around. They made one moved, calling up second baseman Robel Garcia from Triple-A Iowa and sending reliever Dillon Maples back down.
Garcia, 26, was raking for the Iowa Cubs this season after playing for Team Italy for the last several years. With Iowa, Garcia slashed 0.281/0.352/0.596 with 15 home runs and 32 RBI’s. He started the season with Double-A Tennessee and has 21 home runs on the season combined.
He was called up on Wednesday and pinch-hit in the 8th inning that evening. Garcia got his first career start, playing second base in place of Addison Russell, and went 3-for-5 with a solo shot in the 6th inning of an 11-3 Cubs victory.
The offense broke out in a big way with Garcia batting sixth in the lineup. As a team, they converted on 5-of-12 chances with runners-in-scoring-position today which is a huge improvement from their season average of 0.246.
While it’s an extremely small sample size, and I do expect Garcia to struggle at some point, it’s encouraging to see how he changed the dynamic of this lineup. He was able to keep the line moving past the five-spot in the batting order, which has been a glaring eyesore to this point.
I’d like to see Garcia given the chance to take the everyday second base gig. We already know what Addison Russell and Daniel Descalso can provide for this offense. It’s time to let Garcia have his turn in the spotlight. If he struggles, and it’s clear he cannot handle major league pitching being the every day second baseman, then at least we know.
With the off-day on Friday, Joe Maddon and the Cubs will get a much needed mental break before a quick two-game set against the White Sox to finish off the first half of the season. Hopefully Maddon realizes the potential that Garcia can provide to this offense and lets him start in both games over the weekend.