It’s that magical time of year when anything is possible. So this holiday season, what might the Chicago Cubs infield desire from Santa Claus?
The Christmas season is one of my favorite times of the year (right up there with when the Chicago Cubs kick off another campaign). When I start seeing the lights go up around the neighborhood, my mind is transported back to when I was young.
My parents used to take us to see the displays in Marshall Field’s windows. The automated scenes were the first clue that magic was in the air, and soon we might be receiving Christmas presents!
If the Cubs infield could ask the magic man (not Javier Baez) from the North Pole for some gifts, what might be on their list?
A look at the Cubs’ infield wish list
First and foremost, the Cubs are certainly wishing that Kris Bryant returns to healthy form. It’s no mistake that many of the team’s issues were a lack of rhythm due to the loss of Kris Bryant for some of the 2018 season. If Chicago wants another shot at a title, Santa needs to bring Bryant’s health back fully.
Next, we’re all hoping Addison Russell finishes coming off the naughty list without any further issues and returns better than before. Everyone says Russell is making progress in his personal life and with his emotions.
Let’s face it, the Cubs do better when Russell is with them and he will be back but will his loss initially throw off the rhythm of this tight Cubs infield? Stay tuned.
How could the Cubs’ MVP runner-up ask for more than what he showed this year? Easy. The team is hoping Javier Baez goes off the grid and just explodes with hits, homers and incredible plays, becoming the undisputed MVP in 2019.
El Mago becomes El Increíble (The Unbelievable) and the rest, as they say, is history.
Anthony Rizzo might be asking Santa to keep Bryant healthy as well. Rizzo might want the infield to surpass its double-play totals which made the Cubs sixth-best in MLB double plays in 2018. That was up from 20th in 2017 but Rizzo’s wish from Santa: to be in the Top 3 in 2019.
Consistency would be a great gift
The Chicago Cubs infield would love a team gift of consistency. Everyone knows there are going to be some substitutions and we will most likely see utility player Ben Zobrist or maybe even third base-stand-in David Bote out there to give guys a blow, but notwithstanding, the infield needs some consistency.
They need to build it, trust it and play it often. Putting big-name subs in the game like second baseman Daniel Murphy caused the Cubs to re-learn their basic instincts and threw off their natural consistency and trust.
Notice how last year it took some time to get Murphy rolling with the infield and vice versa? The best present Santa could deliver to this infield is keeping them healthy, consistent and together as a unit for as much of 2019 as possible.
Coming soon is what the Chicago Cubs outfield, pitchers and management want from Santa for 2019. There are some big and expensive Christmas lists out there from Joe Maddon and Theo Epstein. Will everyone get all they desire this holiday season?
Let’s hope Santa is a Chicago Cubs fan because, after all, he is a North Sider.