The 23-32 Chicago Cubs haven’t had a good season so far; and that’s clear by just looking at the standings in the NL Central division.
Japanese import Seiya Suzuki, currently out injured, cooled off after a scintillating start of the season, and the starting rotation, particularly Kyle Hendricks and Marcus Stroman, has been disappointing.
Yet, they haven’t really helped themselves with the most basic aspects of the game.
For example, the Cubs lead the National League in baserunning outs, which is less than ideal.
“22 baserunning outs by the Cubs leads the National League,” Codify Baseball tweeted.
22 baserunning outs by the Cubs leads the National League. https://t.co/kDMoEeFjF4
— Codify (@CodifyBaseball) June 6, 2022
Many times, we tend to shift our focus to hitting and pitching when analyzing the game; and a team in particular.
But fielding and baserunning are just as important: we definitely shouldn’t take them for granted at any time.
When a team gives away 22 outs in less than two months, something bad is going on.
Baserunning Is An Important, Often Underrated, Part Of Baseball
Baserunning requires some savvy play: the difference between aggressiveness and recklessness can be very, very slim, and sometimes, a more passive approach is recommended.
The Cubs have given away almost a game’s worth of baserunning outs.
For a team that has issues building leads and holding the ones they can get, not giving away easy outs should be mandatory.
On several occasions, coaches can be blamed; while baserunners are at fault in some cases, too.
In any case, it’s something that the organization should definitely address.
Last season, for example, the New York Yankees had a similarly bad performance on the basepaths, and third base coach Phil Nevin wasn’t brought back for 2022.
The Cubs definitely can’t afford to gift outs to other teams on the basepaths.