Chicago Cubs: What does Jonathan Lucroy have left?

CLEVELAND, OH - AUGUST 09: Carlos Gonzalez #5 of the Colorado Rockies scores on an RBI double by Jonathan Lucroy #21 (not pictured) against the Cleveland Indians in the ninth inning at Progressive Field on August 9, 2017 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by David Maxwell/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - AUGUST 09: Carlos Gonzalez #5 of the Colorado Rockies scores on an RBI double by Jonathan Lucroy #21 (not pictured) against the Cleveland Indians in the ninth inning at Progressive Field on August 9, 2017 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by David Maxwell/Getty Images) /
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The Jonathan Lucroy era with the Chicago Cubs got off to a roaring start with the catcher going 3-5 with 2 RBIs from the 8th spot.  What can he offer the Cubs for the stretch run?

As many people expected, Jonathan Lucroy signed with the Chicago Cubs after being designated for assignment and released by the Angels. With Willson Contreras back on the Injured List with a pulled hamstring and previous insurance policy Martin Maldonado now playing in Houston, the Cubs had to find another catcher and find them quickly. As there is now only one trade deadline, there was a limited pool of to pick from and Lucroy found himself in Cincinnati wearing a Cubs jersey batting 8th.

The past few years have been a major fall from glory for Lucroy, who was one of the best catchers and players in all of baseball. He was racking 5 and 6 WAR season with ease, peaking at an insane 8.1 WAR in 2014. Since 2017 though, he has been worth a cumulative -1.2 WAR with everything from his offense and framing falling off a cliff. The Angels cut bait on Lucroy after he made his way back from a jarring concussion in a game a few weeks ago.

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Obviously, superstar Lucroy isn’t coming back, but there’s no reason he can’t be a serviceable part timer to split the load with Victor Caratini until Contreras comes back. This season, Lucroy has hit an underwhelming but good enough for a catcher .242/.310/.371 (84 wRC+) with below average defense.

That being said he is a veteran presence who can give you professional ABs, navigate pitchers through lineups, and mentor Caratini who is still early on in his MLB career. There is another added benefit to Lucroy in that he’s already caught a number of Cubs pitchers which has a value that can’t be quantified.

Maybe, just maybe being in a playoff chase with a division favorite will invigorate Lucroy in the same way Nick Castellanos has found another gear since coming over at the deadline. Ultimately, his stay with the Cubs may be short-lived and he may be expendable once Contreras gets back.

Next. All aboard the Tony Kemp bandwagon. dark

Jonathan Lucroy may be a diminished player, but with three hits tonight Chicago Cubs fans can dream on him bouncing back.