And that kinda sums up the Chicago Cubs this year. I'm not saying Genesis wrote the damned song about the Cubs back in 77 or whatever, but the song fits the struggle. The Cubs lost almost their entire core- Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, Javier Baez, Craig Kimbrel and Andrew Chafin. And they had to ride out the rest of the year with whatever they had left. So they gave their soul to the contenders and walked the rest of the year is this sort of husk of a team, with lots of new players, terrible relievers and barely any resemblance to the team that won it all in 2016. It was downright depressing, and I say this as someone who watched my team beat them at home.
It's even more depressing seeing Jason Heyward become more and more ineffective with every passing year. Heyward's 31, has played in every season since 2010, and hasn't had a season with a WAR higher than 2.5 since he was 25, in St. Louis. His run from 2010 to 2015 was glorious, and I wish the Cubs had gotten even a hint of that when they signed him for that large contract. This year, Heyward's batting numbers gave a -11 batting WAR total, leading him with a 0.4 WAR finish, on account of his decent outfield numbers and .214 average. I don't know if it's gonna get any better for him.
2022 Prediction: He loses the starting spot to a rookie.
2022 Prediction: Either he becomes a trusted starter again and leaves at the deadline or it's back to bullpen work full-time.
2022 Prediction: A big season that lets him climb the ladder to ace status.
2022 Prediction: Whoever signs him won't have the intention of starting him, but he'll slide into a starting position and do very, very well.
2022 Prediction: Oh yeah, the closing position is looking kinda open, isn't it? Heuer might make a run at that.
Tomorrow, another team that needs autopsying, the 2021 Diamondbacks.