The Chicago Cubs started the first week of the 2022 MLB season with a respectable 4-2 record.
However, the Cubs would start a downward trend after that strong start.
While hitting wasn’t too much of an issue the first couple weeks of the MLB season, even that would suffer later.
Their star outfielder, Seiya Suzuki, went from a nine-game hitting streak to a six-game slump with only one hit.
Even their pitching has suffered in the funk they currently are in.
So what are the three things the Cubs can do to turn things around early in the MLB season?
3. Be Aggressive At The Plate
When examining the woes of the Cubs’ offensive play, we see players who strikeout looking.
They are showing patience at the plate, but it’s a little too much.
I’m really of watching #Cubs batters take strike 3. #ItsDifferentHere
— CPAP Squad Leader (@DebonairMick) May 5, 2022
A little more aggression while batting wouldn’t hurt the Cubs.
They are in a mode of taking walks, strikeouts, or home runs with each at-bat.
There’s very little medium ground for the Cubs’ offense, hurting their production.
If they swing at those close strikes, they might make some solid contact and get a hit.
But they can’t continue to let pitchers take advantage of that plate patience they are showing.
2. Starting Pitching Needs Work To Keep Cubs In Games
The three top starting pitchers for Chicago have allowed 45 runs over 74.2 innings pitched.
That puts their combined ERA around 5.42, an ERA no starting pitcher wants.
Those three starters with these problems are Kyle Hendricks, Marcus Stroman, and Justin Steele.
With Hendricks, his concern is first-inning struggles, something he had issues with last season.
Examining Stroman’s issues, he needs consistency with his pitches.
Marcus Stroman’s pitching mechanics are — or were — better than they look.
However, his velocity’s been up and I wonder if that’s due to a mechanical — and/or a Timing — change.
Which, at least, is causing him command and control problems. pic.twitter.com/CKiTKQDDm0
— Chris O’Leary | Baseball + Critical Thinking (@thepainguy) April 21, 2022
If he can get his timing and mechanical issues fixed, his command should improve, helping him keep his ERA down.
However, with Steele, he has a combination of bad pitching with bad fielding to plague him in 2022.
While he can control his pitching issue, the errors by his teammates are out of his control.
The young pitcher can’t get past the fifth inning in any game, with his last three starts seeing him pull by his third inning.
However, that is because he’s allowed too many runs early in games, getting the Cubs in early jams.
He needs to go back to that great start he had on April 9th and recreate everything from that start.
1. Cubs Need Work On Fielding Errors
Chicago has 12 errors for 2022 going into their series against the Los Angeles Dodgers this weekend.
While that’s lower than some other MLB clubs, it still needs improvement.
Early fielding mistakes have gotten starting pitching into jams they struggle to get out of.
However, cleaning up these errors gives those pitchers a chance to get out of innings unscathed.
It could also allow pitchers to go deeper into games, relieving pressure from the bullpen.
While the Cubs bullpen is good, they can’t keep coming into games early.
Preventing the simple mistakes will go a long way for Chicago.
It will also give the Cubs better chances in games against opponents who won’t let up when mistakes are made.