Cubs Struggles Tied to Spring Training

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Call it what you want. A championship hangover is the common verbiage used in sports for a defending champion slow out the gate.

Last fall’s transcendent game seven and pennant win for the Cubs was a classic. With the plethora of youth talent in hand it was a no-brainer to see Vegas offer the Cubs as clear favorites to win again in 2017.

Heading to spring training the victorious celebrations did not stop. The city of Mesa, Arizona heralded the Cubs and even gave Joe Maddon the keys to the city.

Unprecedented charted waters for a spring training city. Yet, Mesa truly does have a Chicago vibe along with other Valley of the Sun cities. Many Chicago transplants have relocated and settled their new lives in the comforts of 365 days of inarguable weather.

Many lauded Maddon for his use of pitching during spring training, but in wasn’t any more drastic from his past experiences.

Two seasons ago the Cubs faced similar direction as they trailed the Cardinal. Too young of a team at that juncture they faded out of contention for the title and weren’t of playoff consideration.

Last year’s team obviously responded in all phases.

This year’s is proving to show glaring weaknesses in a veteran pitching staff that has arms eroding. Keep in mind Kyle Hendricks came out of no where last season and all the other pitchers have been through the crossroads of their careers.

At the plate no one has found their comfort zone, and a treacherous schedule has not helped matters.

Fortunate for the Cubs it’s only the beginning of June. In an expected tight division race they have the legs and roster to withstand the dog days of summer. Pulling through for a division title should be expected but another playoff run shouldn’t.

Expect some tweaks to overhaul the pitching before the trade deadline and for the Cubs to not fade as they’ve shown here in May.

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