A Two-Week Season: The Dale Sveum Chicago Cubs

Sveum_1988

I know the numbers don't mean a ton at this point in the season; eleven games does not a representative sample make, especially not for any one player. And as a team, there's still far too little to effectively evaluate how good bad the 2013 Cubs will be . . . as a team. But if you combined all the Cubs' offensive stats from two weeks into the season to form a single player? Well, we've got almost enough stats to Frankenstein together our own utility player, even if all he is really good for is moaning "Fire bad!" and occasionally pinch hitting for Brent Lillibridge.

So far this season, the Cubs have amassed about 400 plate appearances, 11 homers, 35 runs, a 23.9% strikeout rate and a 5.5% walk rate (these numbers are offensive, of course, and, yes, I mean that in multiple ways). All that and more is good for a .635 OPS and a .275 wOBA. In case you're wondering, no, the Cubs position players have not yet attained replacement-level production. With positional, fielding, and baserunning adjustments factored in, they're worth 0.1 wins below a replacement level player. So that's awesome.

I used baseball-reference.com's play index to find a player in recent history who had posted a season similar to what the Cubs have accomplished so far this year as a team, and the result was mildly interesting. The player who most closely resembles your 2013 Chicago Cubs to date:

Dale Sveum, circa 1988. Check it out:

  PA K% BB% OBP SLG wRC+ wOBA
Chicago Cubs, 2013 397 23.9% 5.5% .271 .364 73 .275
Dale Sveum, 1988 495 24.6% 4.2% .274 .347 68 .280

After considering the numbers for quite awhile this morning, I've drawn the following conclusions:

. . .

Yeah, nothing really. I mean, we know neither the Cubs nor a 1988 Dale Sveum are very good, but we know that because of a lot more than just the past two weeks of data and a quick traipse through the annals of baseball-reference.com. I would never suggest that the Cubs are performing this way because of Dale Sveum. It's just a fun coincidence. It would be a more fun coincidence if their current manager was Barry Bonds and their wOBA to-date was .376. 

Still . . . come on, Cubs. Would a little plate discipline kill you?

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