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Why Cubs are NL's ‘biggest disappointment,' according to MLB insider

There are a multitude of reasons the Cubs currently sit in last place in the Central Division


Jun 2, 2024; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Cubs manager Craig Counsell (30) looks on from the dugout before a baseball game against the Cincinnati Reds at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

In his midseason awards column for USA Today, Bob Nightengale handed out plenty of hardware and gave the Cubs a prize they surely would’ve loved avoiding: the mantel of being the National League’s “Biggest Disappointment.”

“The Cubs spent money, have gotten tremendous value out of rookie sensation Shota Imanaga, and somehow find themselves in last place,” he said. “The only category this team leads is having players thrown out stealing: 35 and counting.”

The Cubs crossed the halfway mark of their season this week, and after Sunday's loss to the Milwaukee Brewers find themselves in last place in the division, 11.5 games out of first place and seven games under the .500 mark. While the club is only five games back of the third wild card spot in the National League, currently held by the St. Louis Cardinals, they would have to jump over seven teams to get there, showing just how tightly bunched the Senior Circuit is this season.

The team’s anemic offense has largely driven their struggles, with only two qualified players currently batting over .250 on the season. Their leading home run hitter, Christopher Morel, is only batting .198 on the season.

Their high-priced free agent signing of the 2023 offseason is still struggling too, as Dansby Swanson is batting .217 with eight home runs and 77 strikeouts.

Justin Steele has started 12 games this season for the Cubs, and despite a 3.20 ERA and 70 strikeouts in 70 innings has still not been credited with a win. Hector Néris, tied for the team lead with seven wins, has a 4.25 ERA and has blown four saves in 15 opportunities for the North Siders.

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