Wednesday, July 6, 2022

3 Chicago Cubs players wasted when Jason Hayward gets minutes

NEW YORK, NY – JUNE 12: Rafael Ortega #66 of the Chicago Cubs takes on the New York Yankees in the third inning at Yankee Stadium on June 12, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Adam Hunger/Getty Images)

These three members of the Chicago Cubs should get more minutes than outfielder Jason Hayward.

Jason Hayward’s underwhelming performance with the Chicago Cubs continues. Signing a massive $184 million eight-year deal before the 2016 season, which is still high even by 2022 standards, is a contract that gets really ugly, very fast.

Hayward hit .230 in his first year with the Cubs, but has continued to average mediocre numbers every year since. He made a new low in 2022, struggling to break 0.200. His defense is also declining, making the penultimate season of his contract tough, and he’ll only feel more pain if he stays and isn’t assigned to be assigned to next season in the first place.

The Cubs may feel obligated to play Hayward on a regular basis, but they shouldn’t feel compelled. There are other players who deserve more minutes than him. We know exactly what Hayward can do. Time to see what these other guys have to offer.

Rafael Ortega

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Cubs should give Rafael Ortega more minutes than Jason Hayward

Rafael Ortega could be an interesting trade for the Cubs this summer. His ability to play midfield should appeal to teams looking for more outfield depth. He can also run and hit the ball with enough power to get his bat into the lineup.

Ortega has played in all three outfield positions for the Cubs this season and has also found himself a regular DH. The Cubs may be afraid to expose his weaknesses too much. Otherwise, the value of the deal he has could quickly evaporate.

Ortega is 31 years old, and his fifth major league team has yet to reach 1,000 MLB plate appearances. Last year, he hit .291/0.360/0.463 in 330 appearances with the Cubs and hit 11 homers in a small sample. He continues to play well this year, far exceeding the numbers Hayward has provided for Chicago.

Ortega needs to be in Hayward’s lineup in order to hope to improve his trade value. Fortunately, even with Hayward on the floor, the Cubs are looking for ways to get him on a regular basis.

sporty.

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