The Cubs are bad. A 9 run beat down from the worst team in baseball makes that fact crystal clear. The 2012 winning percentage sits at a .391 percent. While that rate is certainly bad, it is not even a top 5 worst season for the Cubs. The .391 percentage would rank 7th and would be the worst season since 1981. That percentage is likely to go down in the final two months with the top 3 pitchers from the start of the season no long pitching for the Cubs this year.
Rebuilding is going to be ugly, and many fans are not ready for what is going to be a sometimes painful couple of months to finish the season. This team might challenge the 1962 and 1966 Cubs for the worst record in franchise history of 59-103. We ought to embrace this though. Instead of hanging onto marginal pieces for marginal wins, the Cubs made moves to improve the future of this ball club. That is something that has not happened on the northside for a very long time.
The Cubs this season have played with one of their longest lineups in almost 25 years. Going by baseball age, the Cubs have had two regular positions at or over 30 years old. You have to go back to 1988 to find a lineup with less than 3 players at or over the age of 30 years old with the most starts to fill out the lineup. The average age of batters this season was 28.4 which was the youngest lineup since 1995. The pitchers have an average age of 28.5 which is the youngest staff since 2006.
And yet those numbers really don’t reflect the current roster which has only three players over the age of 30 (technically Joe Mather and Justin Germano are both 30 now but it is their age 29 season still). If you take the average age of position players on the 25 man roster it is 26.4 and the average age of the pitchers 26.8. You have to go back to 1962 to find a roster with a younger lineup and pitching staff than the current Cubs do.
So yes a very bad Astros team blew out the Cubs last night. And yes the results are not likely to get any better in the near future. But the Cubs are in the middle of something that they have not tried in a very long time. They are actually building a young team right now that will be fun at times to watch, but more often than not painful. It is the nature of rebuilding, but this is not the same plan that has been tried for the past twenty years.