(CBS) For all the questions about shaky up the batting order as lead-off man Kyle Schwarber and some others have struggled and for the concern about his rotation being subpar in the season’s first month-plus, Cubs manager Joe Maddon is more focused on another aspect of his team.
Playing better defense.
“It’s been leaky,” Maddon said in an interview with Spiegel and Parkins on 670 The Score on Tuesday ahead of the Cubs facing the Rockies in a doubleheader. “That’s not what we were last year. That last game (Sunday) against the Yankees, there were three plays there that we didn’t make. I think maybe one was counted as an error, maybe possibly two after we have it reviewed. And then the fly ball that wasn’t caught. There’s three plays there that we normally make that, again, lead to our demise.
“That’s what I’ve been talking about since spring training began. We’re talking about rearranging lineups right now. I just prefer that we catch the ball. We pitch the ball like we can, we catch the ball like we can, and then there’s going to be enough offense filtered around that.”
The 2016 Cubs had what advanced metrics classified as one of the greatest defense of all time, but it hasn’t been close to the same this season. The Cubs are 12th in Fangraphs’ UZR rating and have committed the seventh-most errors in baseball entering play Tuesday.
“We’ve been a little bit leaky,” Maddon said. “We got to do something about that. Why? I don’t know. The work is the same, the guys are the same. I really want to believe we’re going to get back to that excellent level, it’s within us.
“It’s even beyond errors. It’s about plays that you normally make that you don’t.”
Listen to Maddon’s full interview below.