Andrew Nelles/Associated Press
Compared with last season, the Cubs' offense hasn't been much different this year. Despite this, stars Anthony Rizzo and Starlin Castro have dramatically improved from their disappointing seasons in 2013. One could argue that either player is the most improved from last season across all of baseball. There was even a point in 2013 in which manager Dale Sveum mentioned that the possibility of demoting either of them to the minors wasn't out of the question.
Fast forward to 2014, and both players are All-Stars and hitting .280 or better and have a combined 39 home runs. In comparison, the two hit a combined .239 while being paid a total of over $7 million in 2013.
Generally speaking, the Cubs overall haven't improved much from 2013's offense. The team average has gone up only one point, from .238 to .239, better than only the Mets and Padres. Their on-base percentage is one point lower than last season, an abysmal .299.
Too bad .299 isn't their batting average.
Despite a .239 batting average, some players are hitting the ball well. Rizzo (.280), Castro (.285), Justin Ruggiano (.281) and Chris Coghlan (.286) lead the team in average for players with at least 200 at-bats. However, the rest of the lineup is the reason that the Cubs are hitting just .239.
After those five, Ryan Sweeney's .251 is the next-highest average on the team.
The Cubs have the third-most strikeouts in all of baseball with a disappointing 1,049 K's.