The Chicago Cubs wrapped up the first half of the season Sunday with a much-needed win over the Pittsburgh Pirates. The win brought an end to a five-game losing streak and put the cubbies at 53-35 heading into the All-Star break.
After the incredible start, the North Siders had to the season, things began to fall off quickly as they were only able to win 14 of their last 34 outings. The break will provide the Cubs with some much-needed rest and an opportunity to regroup. Despite the slump they have endured the last two weeks, Chicago still holds a 7 game lead in the NL central as many of the team’s players head to San Diego for the All-Star game.
There will definitely be some changes made to the Cubs lineup over the break as the trade deadline approaches. The rumors won’t go away of Theo Epstein dealing away someone in order to land either Andre Miller or Dellin Betances from the New York Yankees, in order to strengthen a struggling Chicago bullpen.
The Cubs have some great talent to offer in exchange for a new arm or two. Six of the top 100 major league prospects are within the Cubs organization according to MLB.com. Because of the Cubs dominant infield lineup, both shortstop Gleyber Torres and second baseman Ian Happ could end up making their MLB debuts with another team.
There have also been several injuries that have had a strain on the Cubs lineup. Although it was never intended for them to make a difference immediately, Wilson Contreras, Jeimer Candelario, and Albert Almora Jr. have each had the opportunity to step up and play well. The success that they have had creates even more pieces for the Cubs to take into consideration and provide them with more options for addressing the recent struggles from the mound.