Attention Chicago Cubs fans, or anyone else who has watched a lot of Cubs games in 2016. I have a question for you.
What is wrong with Jason Heyward, and can he bounce back?
Someone recently asked me for my opinion about this, but during the regular season my attention is so focused on the minor leagues that I don't usually pay attention to issues of this nature for established players.
Brent Minta at Baseball Info Solutions wrote this article back in the middle of August, describing the changes in Heyward's swing in 2016 compared to 2015 and earlier seasons. This seems like a good starting point for discussion. Minta points to two major changes: the addition of a toe tap, and a switch in the position of his hands that in Minta's view is the main culprit behind Heyward's struggles.
. . .his swing is still too long because of his hand positioning, and that is why he’s still not hitting with any consistency.
That all makes sense to me, but lets break this down into a three-part discussion question.
A) Do you think Minta is correct about the nature of Heyward's problems?
B) Is it fixable?
C) If Heyward is NOT fixable and continues to hit poorly, what should the Cubs do with him? Does he just become a very expensive fourth outfielder and defensive sub?