Hoyer: Clock Ticking On Cubs' Core Reaching Potential

"We haven't turned into that offensive juggernaut that we expected," Jed Hoyer says.

McNeil & Parkins Show
September 03, 2019 - 3:24 pm
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(670 The Score) The question was simple. Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer's response was straightforward.

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Is time running out on this Cubs' core to reach its potential?

"Yeah," Hoyer said on the McNeil & Parkins Show on Tuesday afternoon.

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He went on.

"That's obviously something we talk about," Hoyer said. "We talk about control, how much service time you have of each guy. Yeah, I think sometimes when there's moments of frustration, I think some of that frustration is that dynamic -- that yes, we're running out of season but also we don't control these players in their 20s forever. I think that both (president of baseball operations Theo Epstein) and I, we love offense. We sort of came up with the Red Sox and these grinding offenses. I think what we want more than anything is to sort of be able to recreate that. We haven't gotten to that point. We've gotten to the point of at times good or very good, but we haven't gotten to that excellent level where I think we can be. We just haven't gotten there. And yeah, I think there's some frustration there, of course."

In the mind of Hoyer and many inside and outside the organization, it's been the inconsistency of the offense that has held the Cubs back from being elite since they won the World Series in 2016. The Cubs were third in MLB in averaging 4.99 runs in 2016, well above the league average of 4.48. An offense stacked with rising young hitters did its share in helping the team win a title.

The Cubs thought the core group headlined by Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant, Javier Baez, Addison Russell and Kyle Schwarber would all blossom from there. They have as individuals at times, but they've never fully meshed at the same time as anticipated in Hoyer's mind.

The Cubs are averaging 4.88 runs in 2019, which ranks 13th in MLB and is just a shade over the MLB average of 4.86 amid a season in which baseballs are flying out of parks at a record rate.

"Individually in some ways, we have a lot of guys that are having good seasons," Hoyer said. "We just haven't turned into that offensive juggernaut that we expected in 2015 when you looked at the lineup and you're like, 'Oh my god, at 27, 28 (years old), this lineup is going to be impossible to pitch to.' That's what sort of hasn't evolved in that way. So yeah, I can't explain it. I'm still hopeful that we can get there, but that said, it is something that we've looked at. Like why -- we're still a very good offense in a lot of ways, but we haven't evolved into that monstrous offense of 27-, 28-, 29-year-olds that we expected in 2015. I think I've said it a couple times this year. Sometimes it feels like we're a little bit less than the sum of our parts. That's how I've always explained it. We have a ton of really good players, and some of those players are having really good seasons, but the collective offense has not gotten to the point we expected."