As You Ponder the Many Looming Call-Ups and Additions, Here's a Name to Remember: Chris Coghlan

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As You Ponder the Many Looming Call-Ups and Additions, Here’s a Name to Remember: Chris Coghlan

Chicago Cubs

The Cubs are going absolutely nuts on depth. Trying to keep track of every possible avenue they’ve taken to make sure they have redundancy upon redundancy upon redundancy is difficult, to put it mildly, and that was before they were out there signing guys like Jaime Garcia today (at the deadline to do so in order that he could theoretically be playoff-eligible if they wanted).

To that end, though, most of the depth we’ve focused on recently has been on the pitching side of things. Guys like Garcia and Jorge De La Rosa and Allen Webster and Danny Hultzen – all either contributing already or plausibly doing so in the near future, juuuuuuuust in case they have something in the tank and there’s a need – are all worth getting involved this time of year if you’re a contender. Arms break down.

On the positional side, though, the Cubs have also done a good job of creating that same kind of depth, which will be further expanded dramatically when Kris Bryant and Addison Russell return. This month, the Cubs have added Daniel Murphy (not, himself, a “depth” guy, but he pushes everyone else back a spot), Terrance Gore, and Bobby Wilson. Obviously the Cubs needed Murphy’s bat, and you never know when you’ll need a speed guy or a veteran defensive catcher.

How about a depth bat, though? A guy who could maybe lengthen the bench a bit, and/or provide some cover in the outfield if there were a rash of injuries (Jason Heyward, you’ll note, injured his hamstring last night). A guy who has been with the Cubs before. A guy who has done nothing but hit when he was in a Cubs uniform.

A guy who was clearly THE driving force behind the 2016 World Championship.

OK, so I’m being a little over-the-top here, but the Cubs do already have a depth bat like that available to them if they want: Chris Coghlan.

The 33-year-old lefty was signed to a minor league deal before the season, and then was out for a very long time with an injury from which he only returned in mid-June. Coghlan struggled mightily in the minors for a good long while – shaking off the rust, perhaps? – but he’s been plenty hot lately. Going back to August 7 – a completely arbitration cut-off designed to maximize his numbers because I am a Chris Coghlan fanboi – Coghlan is hitting .300/.437/.500 with a 152 wRC+, a 17.0% BB rate, and an 11.4% K rate (no, I didn’t accidentally flip those numbers). That’s been 88 plate appearances, so it’s not tiny.

Hey, so I’m not going to tell you that Coghlan definitely needs to come up for the Cubs in September, and I’m definitely not going to tell you that he’s going to hit like he did in his earlier years with the Cubs. In fact, I wouldn’t even tell you that he would see much playing time at all.

But as a depth guy, he’s really a good one to have around. And if there’s room on the 40-man roster when the shuffling within the next few days, it seems like he’s seeing the ball well enough to come up and be a nice piece on the bench.

Best of all? Just imagine him doing this to Yadier Molina in the final series of the year:



Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.