This Cubs 2021 campaign has featured all four seasons we get in Chicago, and right now they’re playing like we’re in hibernation in January counting down the days to the spring.
There is always stuff we enjoy in the winter, whether it’s the holidays, the first days of snow, or playoff football. Michael Hermosillo is one of those few things Chicagoans like about the winter for Cubs right now.
Hermosillo only has three hits in his seven games with the Cubs, but they have been memorable: one being a two-run homer in Cincinnati on the previous road trip and the other a game-tying double against Colorado on Monday.
The North Siders have five wins since the July 30 trade deadline and all Cubs fans have left are silver linings.
In some ways, that is OK. They could have been like the team they’re playing this week, Colorado, who decided to keep Trevor Story in a contract year instead of moving him at the deadline to build for the future. The Cubs could have done much of nothing like St. Louis did, except trade for Jon Lester and J.A. Happ, both of whom are both past their prime. Meanwhile, the Cardinals are barely clinging on in the hunt for the second National League Wild Card spot.
Jed Hoyer and company decided on a new direction, one some Cubs fans have been calling for a while now.
The future is currently in South Bend, Indiana, and Tennessee, but they are using the rest of the 2021 season to see if any players who have bounced around the league could find a home with the Cubs.
It’s similar to the rebuild during the Theo Epstein era.
Nate Schierholtz comes to mind when I think of players performing on the Cubs right now. In 2013, Schierholtz mashed 21 homers, drove in 68 runs, and finished with a .770 OPS. Then he went to the Giants and was found himself out of baseball rather quickly.
The left-handed outfielder was 29 when he came to the Cubs. That is the same age as Patrick Wisdom and Frank Schwindel. Rafael Ortega, a 30-year-old, is giving the Cubs his best season as a professional.
Hermosillo is still only 26, however, and had a total of 108 total plate appearances at the Major League level before this season. To put that into perspective, Wisdom only had 88 plate appearances in the big leagues before his call-up to the Cubs this season.
Wisdom has gone on to show off his elite power and above-average defense this summer.
It’s hard to figure out why the Cubs waited so long to promote the Hermosillo, but he was one of the best outfielders in the Pacific Coast League this season, accumulating 176 weighted runs created (wRC+) and a .306/.446/.592 slash line in 43 games.
He made his Major League debut in 2018 with the Angels but only got 62 plate appearances. In 2019, he spent most of the year in the minors and only got 43 more plate appearances with the Angels. In the 2020 shortened season, Hermosillo played in just seven games.
His road to the Cubs sounds familiar to that of Wisdom, who looks like he could start at third base next season for the Cubs. Neither player got the opportunities with their former teams.
Hermosillo should be given every chance to earn a spot with the Cubs beyond 2021. If there is any positive from this season for Cubs fans, it’s the emergence of players no one has ever heard of.
If Hermosillo performs like it’s summer (with a hot bat!) the rest of the season, he could be living out every Cubs fan’s dream next season on the North Side.