The dog days of August certainly feel different this year, right?
Far from the pennant races that we had grown so accustomed to over the past six years, this season is grinding towards its end, one irrelevant game after the next. Empty seats and a continuation of the team’s longest home losing streak in years defined the last week for the Cubs.
Who’s doing everything they can to prevent the tank and who is playing the role of tank commander? Let’s take a look.
Frank the Tank: Despite his nickname, Frank Schwindel is doing everything he can to prevent the Cubs from tanking. The journeyman first baseman continues to rake, slashing .365/.421/.673 with 3 home runs over his last 15 games.
Schwindel’s defense at first base leaves quite a bit to be desired compared to what Cubs fans are accustomed to over the last couple of decades with Derrek Lee, Anthony Rizzo, and even Carlos Peña for that one year manning first base. Still, with the designated hitter likely coming to the National League next year, Frank’s combination of contact skills and power could give him a role with next year’s team.
If nothing else, we’ll always have that gif.
— Marquee Sports Network (@WatchMarquee) August 18, 2021
Patrick Wisdom’s Rookie of the Year Campaign: Patrick Wisdom has tailed off just a touch over the last week or so, hitting under .200 over his last 15 games, but the overall numbers remain quite strong. They’re strong enough, in fact, that Wisdom very well might win the Rookie of the Year Award on a better team.
In only 76 games, Patrick has been worth 1.7 fWAR and most of that has come from his combination of strong defense and a heck of a lot of power – he’s slugging .546 and just hit his 20th home run.
While he continues to strike out at a high rate, you can afford that in lineup that’s likely to have some more diversity next year, led by a contact first middle infield of Nico Hoerner and Nick Madrigal.
Zach Davies: The worst season of Zach Davies‘ career continues. On Friday, Zach gave up four runs in six innings. More worrying still, it came on the strength of four more home runs – he’s given up a whopping 20 on the year.
Davies has a 6.88 ERA over his last seven starts. Any team that was thinking of trading for him is surely glad that they passed.