It’s been 115 seasons since the Cubs won the World Series. Some say it’s a curse. It doesn’t really matter though anymore. It appears that what they are doing now is working fine. Actually make that better than fine.
Jorge Soler, who joined the Cubs on Wednesday and hit a three run homer in his first big league at-bat, was not the first of a handful of players who have been called up and given a chance to play by the Cubs. A few other key names include Javier Baez, Arismendy Alcantara and Kyle Hendricks.
The list also will include Kris Bryant and Albert Almora who are part of what they’ve been calling the “core four” along with Baez and Soler. Almora and Bryant are still in the minor leagues but not for long. Almora is currently at Double-A Tennessee and Bryant is at Triple-A Iowa.
Baez, 21, was drafted in the first round (ninth overall) of the 2011 draft. The infielder, like Soler, hit a home run in his first big league game. He has only played in 23 games so far for the Cubs yet he already has seven home runs and 13 RBI.
Hendricks, 24, is a right-handed starting pitcher. He’s started eight games for the Cubs since being called up on July 10. In those starts he has gone 5-1 with a 1.78 ERA.
Arismendy Alcantara is from the Dominican Republic and was picked up by Chicago as an amateur free agent in 2008 and plays both shortstop and second base. The 22-year-old is currently hitting. .226 with five home runs and 17 RBI in 44 games since being called up in July.
Soler, who we already know hit a 3-run bomb in his first at-bat, was another amateur free-agent from Cuba signed by the Cubs to a nine-year $30 million contract in 2012. The 22-year old has been to the plate eight times and is batting .500 with a home run, a double and three RBI. Some players play an entire season without getting their first Major league hit, Soler has four.
Matt Szczur, 25, and Logan Watkins, 23, made their big league debuts on August 4 . Szczur has three hits since then and Logan has driven in three runs. These young guys are being given a chance to gain valuable experience that will benefit them next season, they’re being allowed to play. Watkins told the Chicago Tribune,
“It’s like an Iowa Cubs party in here. It’s good. It just shows that the organization … they trust us to come up here and play the game.”
The Cubs are young, extremely talented and not going anywhere. They’re making headlines and have barley been in the big leagues a month, some of them have been in the Majors less time than that. It should scare all the other teams out there.
The Cubs have the talent it takes as well as the depth – they also got top prospects, Addison Russell and Billy McKinney, this summer from the Oakland Athletics for two of their more seasoned pitchers in Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel.
Oh and you can’t forget the job Jake Arrieta, who is just 28 years old, has done pitching for the Cubs this year. It has been his breakout season.
It’s almost guaranteed that within the next few years the curse will be broken and a World Series will be held at Wrigley Field. The Cubs won’t be parting with any of these kids anytime soon so the Cubs will become and likely remain a force in the league for quite sometime.