Looking back at 2014 Cubs to separate myth from reality in this reconstruction

Winners must write their version of the date. The Cubs Romanticizing the end of the 2014 season, giving their fans and the Chicago media a hook for this year of rebuilding, maybe this really is the start of something special and it will all work out in the end. However, this narrative sheds light on how I really felt at the moment and what the product actually looked like.

In September of that year, the Cubs had a seven-game losing streak, a losing record (12-13) and a -38 running teams. Yes, the top of the farm system was full of talent, and 1908 gave the entire organization a sense of purpose and plans to renovate Wrigley Field were so ambitious that costs eventually escalated into the billion-dollar range. But here is the lineup the Cubs put up for Labor Day 2014 at Wrigley Stadium, as no one expected the team to host the following year’s National League Championship Series:

Chris Coghlan, LF
Javier Baez2B
Starlin Castro, SS
Luis Valbuena, 3 b
Jorge SolerRF
Wellington Castillo, C
Arismendy Alcantara, CF
Chris Valica, 1 b
Jacob Turner, p

Anthony Rizzo played just 11 games in September dealing with a strained lower back, and the first All-Star player struggled with some leadership responsibilities imposed on him. Baez hit 95 times in his first 229 Major League games, and he wouldn’t return to the Cubs squad until he was called up in September of 2015. Soler had several leg injuries – a strain in his left hamstring, a strain in his right hamstring, and a strain in his calf. Left leg – where the cubs basically tried to re-teach him how to run.

Ahead of the 2014 Cubs Convention, the team introduced their big off-season addition: Clark the Cub, a new spell that Deadspin described as “nightmare perverted fur.” The Baseball Operations Division took the money left over from the failed pursuit of Japanese bowler Masahiro Tanaka and pushed it into the future, a highly unusual budgeting maneuver. Junior Lake wore the wrong way jersey in the first half of Game Three of the season. There was such a high turnover at the club that Darwin Barney said after the Jeff Samardzija trade: “My wife is the only one left since 2011.”

After the 2014 season, Cubs executives Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer fired their selected manager for the second year in a row. Bill Muller resigned his position as batting coach after the Cubs fired his assistant coach Mike Bromley, continuing at the revolving door in those situations. The Cubs finished fifth for the fifth consecutive season and then left Wilson Contreras Shown in Draft Article 5. In some ways, this was more of what Matt Garza, the former Cubs pitcher of “crabshaw” rather than the upcoming attractions of a mega-chain, might call it.

bring it back to the present, Justin Steel He stands out as a very good starter in the Major League, but he wouldn’t jump to the 229 innings Jake Arrieta made during his Cy Young award winning season. It will be difficult, if not impossible, to replicate the good health/wealth the Cubs received in 2015 when Arrieta, John Lester, Kyle Hendricks and Jason Hamill each started over 30 times.

At the moment, the Cubs may have a deeper and more extensive farm system than they did in 2014, but it lacks the same powerhouse stars at the higher levels. Just like no one in baseball will surpass Arrieta’s 2015 workload next season, it’s hard to fathom another possibility match for Cubs. Chris BryantThe first two seasons in majors like NL Rookie of the Year, MVP winner and World Champion.

While the Cubs have added their 2015 All-Star catcher (Miguel Monteiro), the most likely scenario next season is that they will try to make up for the loss of Musk’s All-Star after Contreras turned down a qualifying offer.

If there’s any lesson from 2014, it’s that things can change quickly with the right moves, such as Leicester signing the largest contract in franchise history at the time (six years, $155 million), and trading for a major, well-established talent (Dexter Fowler). )) and identifying the appropriate player for the complementary role of the group (David Ross). Then and now, the Cubs must have the financial flexibility and motivation to achieve great success in free agency.

Hoyer isn’t going to fire Ross to hire Joe Madon, the way the Cubs fired Rick Renteria after the 2014 season, because Ross has a lot of credibility at the club and a level of prestige that comes with the 2016 World Series episode. They don’t rally for — and make documentaries — for teams. Which plays hard until the last exit and goes 15-15 in August. However, maintaining a professional work environment and avoiding a complete free fall after the trade deadline reflects well on Ross and his coaches and what they hope to achieve next year.

Nothing is predetermined in these lead ratings either. The Cubs finally laughed at which expert they thought they came up with Kyle Schwarber With the No. 4 pick in the 2014 draft, Schwarber eventually didn’t commit to hunting — and the Cubs didn’t later introduce it as a cost-cutting measure during the COVID-19 pandemic — but he helped hit the basics From the 2015 qualifiers he is back in legend to help the Cubs win the 2016 World Championship after ‘end-of-season surgery’ on his left knee.

Player development is not always a linear process, nor does it necessarily have to be a cautionary tale, This means that prospects are like Brennen Davis and Pete Crowe-Armstrong can make tweaks and improvements that lift their ceilings. Cubs used first-round picks on two college pitchers in the last two drafts — Jordan Wicks and Cade Horton — with the idea that they would improve faster within the ad serving infrastructure.

This is a drastically different farming system than that of “America Baseball” that ranked first in the 2015 season. Overall, the hitters aren’t close to making much of an impact at the major league level, while sweeping changes in player development in recent years have built on what It looks like an assembly line of powerful painkillers and an interesting start-up prospect.

It’s unclear whether–there may be doubt about it–any of these indoor options next year can approximate what Hendrix did in his second season in the Majors (8-7, 3.95 ERA in 180 innings). But you don’t need Statcast data to find out Jeremiah Estrada fastball has a great time and Brandon Hughes He is the most reliable Russian curator at the moment. If the Cubs don’t have to buy nearly an entire pulp from the free dealer market this winter – and spend most of the next April and May figuring out what they have in their mid-to-late turns – they could spend more elsewhere and early season speculation about Being a Deadline Seller to Trade Again.

This is not a high hindrance to clarify, resulting in a separation of reds And the pirates In baseball’s worst division, staying fit in the All-Star break and playing meaningful games in the second half of the season. Because you never know what might happen when the team finds out some things, gains more confidence and adds some pieces. Just look at 2015 Cubs.

(picture Anthony Rizzo and Javier Baez: Quinn Harris / USA Today)