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Thursday, February 29

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Cubs Mon May 16 2011

Head-Scratching Cubs Offense Has Work to Do

Thumbnail image for cubs.gifThis thing the Cubs are doing -- it's not easy to do.

It's not easy to have the National League's third-best on-base percentage and fourth-best slugging percentage and still rank 11th in the league in runs per game.

OK, yes. Right. We didn't say this thing they're doing is a good thing to do.

But as we've touched on before, the Cubs (17-21) are beginning to develop something of a reputation as they approach the quarter pole:

They don't hit for power (28 home runs, 13th in the NL) and they don't draw walks (6.8% walk rate, last). But they hit line drives (20.6% line-drive rate, second) and they don't strike out (19.5% strikeout rate, third).

cubs ranks.PNG

They put the ball in play, and so far the results are working out ... to a point. Their .327 batting average on balls in play (BABIP) is the best in the league. But that statistic includes a huge dose of luck. It's not likely all those singles will keep falling in.

Even if their .234 batting average with runners in scoring position normalizes a bit, the Cubs still will need to find power sources beyond Alfonso Soriano and his 11 homers. As they set out on a seven-game road trip, Aramis Ramirez and Carlos Pena and Marlon Byrd need to start hitting the ball out of the yard.

Let's hope warmer weather, whenever it gets here, can get Chicago's bats jumping, because their rivals from St. Louis and Cincinnati sure haven't wasted any time getting going.

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