After Opening Night a season ago, Jason Heyward was quickly developing into the latest “Cubs killer.” His very first Major League at-bat in 2010 was a home run against the Cubs, and last year playing for the Cubs biggest rival, Heyward hit over .300 with four doubles, four stolen bases, and five RBIs. A year later, he is a member of the Cubs, and a very important piece of their outfield plans. Heyward is projected to be the full-time center fielder for Chicago, which is something he has not done to this point in his career. Some skeptics say that his traditional right field defense may not be able to translate to center field at the level his huge contract calls for.
Heyward shifting to center is not the only question mark for the Cubs’ outfield going into camp. Jorge Soler has a rocket for an arm, but his overall defense is still being developed. Kyle Schwarber is going to be a converted catcher playing left field on a regular basis. With the inexperience in the corners, more defensive dependability will be asked of Heyward this season. Going into the year, the outfield defense is arguably the biggest uncertainty for the Cubs.
This winter, Javier Baez also worked in center field to add possible flexibility. Then there are Kris Bryant, Ben Zobrist, and Chris Coghlan who can give Maddon some creative concoctions in the outfield on any given day. With the potential for injury or trade, the outfield production will be very impactful for the Cubs in their quest for a World Series.
Arrieta “pitched like there were three of him on the mound”? What does that even mean? My guess is you found a cool graphic you wanted to use and you forced that goofy sentence in to introduce it.
Regression? Schwarber hit .240, Russell hit .240 and soler .260 with injuries. Not much to regress from with those guys. Don’t forget Baez either