The Cubs have plenty of potential scapegoats for the way the 2023 season is going. Which ones should be fired, kept on a short leash or given time?
If Cubs fans hoped the 2023 season would be the turning point to get the franchise back on the path to compete, they’ve been sorely disappointed.
Chicago sits at the bottom of the NL Central at 24-31 after two months. The only consolation they can cling to is that the Cardinals have been slumping while the first-place Brewers are only 4.5 games up.
With the MLB trade deadline beginning to loom, it’s that time of year when fingers are pointed and consequences hit.
Who are the scapegoats and where do the stand?
The Cubs scapegoat to have patience with: Matt Mervis
Cubs fans badly wanted Eric Hosmer out of the lineup in favor of prospect Matt Mervis. And Chicago ultimately gave them what they wanted, promoting Mervis to the big leagues on May 5. Unfortunately, it hasn’t been a dream start.
The first baseman has struggled in his first month, slashing .188/.268/.297 with two home runs.
It’s simply too soon for anyone to write off Mervis. He needs time to find his feet at the plate in the majors and that’s perfectly understandable.
If he was having a terrible time at first base defensively it might be a different story. However, he’s taken care of business positionally. He has one error in 19 games and his fielding percentage is right around the league average.
Prospects can’t be given forever to figure things out, and maybe Mervis will ultimately need to be sent down. For now though, the Cubs should take a wait-and-see approach, especially because the other options aren’t exactly the most encouraging.