Fifty games into the season and the Cubs ship still lists in the harbor.
A .500 team with flaws in each element of the game is not what we expected from the defending world champs.
Either Maddon believes (hopes) or expects his lineup to start to produce factory perfect six run games by getting on base and bashing homers. But the only consistent thing so far is inconsistency.
Slumping players are still playing big roles. The discouragement is growing daily. The excuses no longer sound legit after two months of play.
The bold experiment of Schwarber in the lead off spot is over. He did not get on base to set the table for Bryant and Rizzo. His strike out rate of 33% was too high with his low batting average of .181.
The Cubs have no prototypical lead off man. Fowler was the table setter last season (but is struggling himself in St. Louis.) Zobrist has been moved into the spot, but he is not a speedy, run manufacturing type player.
If you were going to set the order based on merit alone. it would look something like this:
1. Bryant 3B
2. Rizzo 1B
3. Zobrist LF
4. Happ CF
5. Contreras C
6. Heyward RF
7. Russell SS
8. Baez 2B