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Travis Wood Can Swing the Lumber

June 18th, 2014 at 6:00 AM
By Tim Duxbury

'STCHC13_Wood_014' photo (c) 2013, Mike LaChance - license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Travis Wood is proving again this year why he is one of the best hitting pitchers in all of baseball. Wood was the hero of Monday night’s extra inning win over the Miami Marlins as he laced an RBI double right down the third base line to put the Cubs up 5-4. The hit raised Wood’s season average to .276, a respectable average for an everyday player (never mind a pitcher). That got us thinking, how many Cubs hitters has Travis Wood been significantly better than this year? Take a look.

 

Player

Average (at bats)

On base %

Homeruns

RBI

OWAR

Travis Wood

.276 (29)

.323

2

9

0.6

John Baker

.160 (81)

.225

0

4

-0.8

Darwin Barney

.190 (126)

.248

2

9

-0.4

Chris Coghlan

.182 (66)

.270

1

3

-0.3

Mike Olt

.153 (150)

.231

10

25

-0.4

Nate Schierholtz

.215 (209)

.263

2

21

-1.1

Eli Whiteside

.053 (19)

.050

0

1

-0.4

 (All stats are as of 6/17/14, and are courtesy of baseball-reference.com)

 

The most disturbing of all of these stats has got to be the offensive wins above replacement because Travis Wood is, apparently, the only hitter in the bunch who is performing better than an average major league hitter! The good news for the Cubs offensive attack is that Darwin Barney and Nate Schierholtz have a good chance of being dealt before the July 31st trade deadline, Eli Whiteside will be gone once Welington Castillo returns from the disabled list, and it wouldn’t be surprising if the Cubs parted ways with Coghlan and Olt at some point before the season is over.

The moral of the story is this: until the Cubs have more capable hitters at the big league level, maybe they shouldn’t wait until the 13th inning to let Travis Wood pinch-hit on his off days. It sounds crazy, but at this point, what do they really have to lose?

Tags: Baseball, Chicago, Chicago Cubs, Chris Coghlan, Darwin Barney, Eli Whiteside, John Baker, Miami Marlins, Mike Olt, MLB, Nate Schierholtz, Travis Wood

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