The Cubs have gone from thinking about contending to thinking about the future. With so many moves at the trade deadline and so many roster spots to be filled, the Cubs are in a position to have job interviews at the big-league level.
One player who has made the most of his opportunities is third baseman Patrick Wisdom, who burst onto the scene with an impressive power surge. As the team decides who is a part of its future, Wisdom has made quite a first impression.
The Cubs have openings on the corners of their infield for the first time in years, and Wisdom, 29, seems to be a prime candidate for one of those spots.
“Super-excited about the chance,” Wisdom told the Chicago Sun-Times on Sunday. “Hopefully, I fit in their plans for the year or years to come. Who knows? I can just hope that I’m in those thoughts and those ideas and my name’s on that board.
“That’s all I can hope for, really. Then just go out there and play my game. I know what I can do. Hope that’s enough. We’ll see what happens when everything kind of shakes out. I hope I’m a part of the plans.”
Wisdom has held his own during his first real opportunity in the majors. He had a slash line of .259/.324/.545 with a team-leading 16 home runs and 32 RBI after the Cubs’ 9-3 loss to the White Sox.
“Change creates opportunity, and there’s a real opportunity here for new guys to prove that they’re sustainable big-leaguers,” manager David Ross said.
“That’s a really valuable next two months [where] we’re gonna have to continue to keep an eye on the guys that can prove it every single day.
“I think there’s a real opportunity to play here. This is a special organization to get a big-league opportunity with, to get to come to work at this ballpark and play for a Chicago Cubs franchise that has been on the map for a while now. It’s a winning franchise, and you got young guys coming up.”
One thing working in Wisdom’s favor for next season is the expected return of the designated hitter to the National League as a permanent addition of the new collective bargaining agreement.
But Wisdom also has shown that he can hold his own defensively. He’s plus-two in defensive runs saved and plus-three in outs above average.
“Being in the minor leagues, pretty much every time there’s a trade deadline, it didn’t really impact me,” Wisdom said. “So to see it unfold here at the big-league level with superstar names, it’s kind of eye-opening, just how much of a business it is.”
Wisdom has been around the block with opportunities in St. Louis and Texas before joining the Cubs last season, but there’s no question that he looks comfortable in his new home. He believes that comfort has helped him get to this point.
“It’s been huge,” Wisdom said. “I think it plays a huge role in success on the field. Just being comfortable coming to the clubhouse every day, being comfortable around the staff and your teammates. I think it plays an important role in your mental well-being.”