Theo Epstein might be compelled to make significant changes to his club if the Cubs are unable to right the ship in the near future. (Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports)
Theo Epstein might be compelled to make significant changes to his club if the Cubs are unable to right the ship in the near future. (Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports)

Theo Epstein threatens 'a ton of change' if Cubs fail to improve


by - Senior Writer -

CHICAGO — In an interview on the Chicago sports-talk radio station 670 The Score on Wednesday, Chicago Cubs President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein threatened "a ton of change" if the Cubs are unable to snap out of their slump. Having gone 7-13 in their last 20 games, the Cubs fell by a score of 6-5 in game three of their 4-game series with the Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday night, thereby assuring the Cubs of their sixth straight series less on the road. In fact, the Cubs have not won a series of any kind since June 9, and their offensive production has been very streaky and unreliable during that stretch.

Despite the fact that the Cubs are just one game out of first place in the National League Central, there is plenty of speculation surrounding the team regarding what improvements could be carried out in order to make the Cubs more competitive. Epstein added to that speculation with his remarks, which came on the heels of a 14-15 June showing by the Cubs that served as the team's first losing month since May of 2017.

"If we don't snap out of this," Epstein warned, "a lot of change is called for. That's obvious. We're all frustrated, obviously. It's a stretch of play that nobody is proud of nor should anybody be."

While it would be shocking for Cubs manager Joe Maddon, who has been with the club since 2015 and is in the final year of his current contract, to be let go during the course of the season, Epstein's comments make it seem as though that is not outside the realm of possibility. The likelier scenario is that Epstein and general manger Jed Hoyer will seek to trade several of the Cubs' underperforming veterans before the trade deadline in an effort to make the roster younger and prepare for the future.

"It's not acceptable," Epstein continued while discussing the Cubs' recent subpar play. "If this stretch of bad play continues, then, certainly a ton of change is order."

In another recent media session, Epstein was critical of the Cubs' shoddy baserunning and lackluster defensive that, along with terrible hitting with runners in scoring position, have been fixtures of the Cubs' current downturn. Since late May, the Cubs have seemed to stay afloat mostly due to their impeccable talent because their quality of play has certainly not done them any favors. However, scraping by on talent alone does not bode well for a postseason run, and, in the coming weeks, Epstein might be forced to make drastic changes in order to keep the Cubs' playoff hopes alive.

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