Chicago Cubs: Time to get rid of the long ball approach

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Cubs have a bunch of home-run hitters in their lineup, and that may be why they have been a disappointment for a few years now.

Who doesn’t dig the long ball these days? Whether or not you believe baseballs are juiced, home-runs are being hit now more than ever. The Chicago Cubs in particular, have so many power hitters in their lineup, you’d think they’d be able to lead the league in offense every season.

Nope. The reality is while the Cubs have players like Kyle Schwarber, Anthony Rizzo, Ian Happ, and a whole cast of others who can give you 30-plus homers in a full season, they really have a hard time doing anything else well besides taking their fair share of walks at the plate.

Hitting for average in particular, is not something the Cubs’ players over the years have done efficiently. That, along with hitting well with runners in scoring position. Those two key components of hitting have held the Cubs back regardless of who the hitting coach is.

The organization has tinkered with just about everything to fix the Cubs’ inconsistencies on offense. Firing well-respected hitting coaches, juggling up the coaching staff, and changing the head manager haven’t solved these never-ending issues. The reality is that players on the Cubs can be coachable, but just can’t get rid of their bad habits at the plate.

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It’s time Theo Epstein and company get rid of their current players, while starting over fresh with a completely new roster of young talent. A rebuild from scratch is the best way forward. Accumulate a bunch of draft picks or young prospects who aren’t primarily focused on hitting the long ball. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t always have to be a home-run hitting team to achieve success.

The Tampa Bay Rays are a World Series contender, yet they don’t emphasize hitting home-runs. They even beat the New York Yankees in the postseason, and had a better regular season record, despite the Yankees having a more potent offense filled with players all over who could mash home-runs.

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The Rays have great pitching and defense which helps, but so have the Cubs and other teams who have failed to win consistently in recent years. Making solid contact, while striking out less is the safest way to manufacture runs; something the Rays in particular and other successful teams in the past… the 2015 World Series Champion, Kansas City Royals immediately come to mind, do best. Even if that means sacrificing the long ball.

The Cubs’ front office must keep this in mind, when they decide on how to fix their offensive deficiencies this offseason.