Quantifying Hope: Cubs Lead Cactus League in Ties, Schwarber/Bryant/Heyward/Zobrist Have Two Combined Hits
I really hope none of you are concerned with what the Cubs are doing so far in Spring Training. If you are, you’re going to have a pretty miserable existence over the next few weeks. Not that the Cubs will continue to look somewhat moribund, mind you, just that investing in the on-paper results of exhibition games is not going to net you much in terms of emotional return.
That goes for both individual and team results, since neither is the focus this time of year. Sure, you want to see guys getting warmed up and having success with various adjustments and whatnot. But given the small overall sample and the fact that they’re not playing with or against regular lineups, it’s hard to really take any of this stuff too seriously.
Like, if you were worried that the collective of Kyle Schwarber (1-for-8), Kris Bryant (1-for-9), Ben Zobrist (0-for-6) and Jason Heyward (0-for-11) is batting .059, you should probably stop paying attention to games. I’m just looking out for your sanity, folks. If each of those guys goes 2 for his next 3, the aggregate average jumps to .227. Then you tack on a few more hits here and there, and voila!
It’s no different for the 2-4-2 record the Cubs have compiled so far. In fact, that’s of far less importance when you consider that it’s been compiled largely on the backs of guys who won’t be on the roster come April. Even as the minor leaguers are pared off and the games begin to more closely resemble those we’ll see at Wrigley, the record matters not. Except when it comes to ties, in which the Cubs lead all of Major League Baseball.
Consider that the 103-win World Series champs finished last year’s Cactus League slate with an 11-19 record, just ahead of San Diego at the bottom of the standings. If anything, we should expect the Cubs to finish poorly because they already know what they’ve got for the most part and need to focus their efforts on tinkering with lineups and rotations and seeing what works.
Now is the time to sit back and simply enjoy meaningless baseball for a few more weeks. Because, come April, stuff’s gonna get real again.