The Chicago Cubs finished their five-game series against the St. Louis Cardinals last night, losing the rubber match of the series 5-3 in extra innings. No, it wasn’t the result Cubs fans were hoping to see this weekend, especially against their biggest rival. But there were still positive takeaways from this series, especially from the offensive side, that fans should be excited about.
Frank the Tank Continues to Crank
Ever since Frank Schwindel was recalled to the major league roster earlier this year, he has consistently been hitting the ball hard. This series was no different, but unlike a lot of other times throughout this season, Schwindel’s hard contact this series found several holes in the Cardinals defense. In 19 at-bats against the Cardinals, Schwindel had eight hits including two home runs, a double, three walks, four runs, and six RBI.
He may have started the season slow, but the righty is starting to heat up. In his last 14 games, Schwindel is batting .291 with eight extra-base hits, 14 RBI, six walks, and a .931 OPS.
Rafael Ortega Shows Out
If you would’ve told me Rafael Ortega would have been a major offensive weapon this series against St. Louis, I would’ve called you crazy. Call me crazy. In 15 at-bats this series, Ortega had seven hits including two doubles, two runs, two walks, and one RBI. For the series, the outfielder posted a .467/.529/.600 slash line. Are we going to see this all the time from Ortega from now on? Probably not, but maybe he uses this hot series as a building block for the rest of the season. Best case scenario: Ortega just bumped his trade value up and maybe the Cubs deal him by the deadline for a potential role player in the future.
Morel Continues The Streak
Christopher Morel continues to be an exciting surprise for the Cubs this weekend. In 23 at-bats this series, the rookie had eight hits with three doubles, two RBI, two walks, and a .400 OBP. I mention his OBP because Morel continued his streak of reaching base in every game he has played in so far in his young career (20).
Morel’s energy so far has been electric, and his ability to bat leadoff and play multiple positions could be a reason why Cubs’ ownership may want to go ahead and lock up the future star now to a long-term deal.
Ian Happ Remains Consistent
Ian Happ continued his consistent offensive year with another very productive series. In 19 at-bats against the Cardinals, the switch-hitter had eight hits with one home run, three doubles, two walks, two runs, and three RBI. For the series he posted a slash line of .421/.455/.737.
So far throughout his career, Happ has always been a player who was known for having slow starts, but this year he’s proven to be different. For the season so far, he’s batting .270 with six home runs, 29 RBI, a .373 OBP, and an .822 OPS. It’s unsure as to what’s going to happen to Happ before the trade deadline. Does he stay with the Cubs or does the organization decide to trade him by the deadline? That’ll be the question for the next two months. Either way, it’s nice to see Happ have a good first two months of the season.
The Cubs have an off day on Monday and then head to Baltimore where they’ll begin a five-game AL East road trip where they'll play two games against the Orioles, and then head to New York to play three games against the Yankees. Be sure to tune in to Cubs On Tap for all your Cubs news and info!