Home Run hitting is vulnerable to breaking down. Combine that fact with an aging starting rotation and an inconsistent bullpen and you have a summary of the Chicago Cub’s last two seasons.
The Cubs currently have 5 batters with 20 or more home runs, and one more, Jason Heyward at 19. No Cubs hitter has a batting average of .300 or better, Anthony Rizzo is hitting .286. Even if you add Ben Zobrist to the mix, the Cubs lineup is too much the same making it easy to defend.
I understand the resistance in parting ways with the talent that got you the World Series three years ago, but I think it should be clear now that unless there are some diferent players in the lineup next year, you are going to end up with the same result.
Many will put blame on the manager, but he is not the person responsible for the roster, that lies with the front office. You clearly see a bias towards a single style of player that is good but not diverse enough, and that really doesn’t give Madden many options to change things up.
Ownership has some hard decisions to make during the off season. It’s easy to decide whether or not to spend money, it is much harder to decide whether the people running your team know how to change and if you do replace them, with whom?
I expect the Cubs to replace Madden because that is the easy choice that just about every team makes at this point. A different leadership style might spark a different emotional result, but it won’t change how teams pitch to the Cubs.