Mike Tauchman Making a Case to be an Everyday Player for Cubs

Heading into this season, it was unclear what role Mike Tauchman would play on the Chicago Cubs. A strong start has added some clarity to the situation.

PITTSBURGH, PA - MAY 11: Chicago Cubs designated hitter Mike Tauchman (40) bats during an MLB game against the Pittsburgh Pirates on May 11, 2024 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Heading into this season, it was unclear what role Mike Tauchman would play on the Chicago Cubs. That role is starting to become very clear as the season continues.

When the season started, Tauchman was kind of the odd man out. The Cubs had re-signed Cody Bellinger to play center field while Seiya Suzuki and Ian Happ would man the corner outfield positions. The DH spot was not going to be Tauchman’s either. This means Tauchman’s role early on would be a platoon guy that plays to give one of the outfielders some rest.

Tauchman’s Role Revealed Early

Tauchman, a native of the northwest suburbs of Chicago, stepped into the starting lineup for good in mid-April. With Bellinger going down to an injury, and Suzuki getting injured, someone had to step up. In fact, the Cubs have put quite a few players on the IL this season. The Cubs did call up Pete Crow-Armstrong and Alexander Canario, but Tauchman has played every game since April 10th. That is 35 straight games played for him.

The Cubs desperately needed someone to step up in the outfield, and Tauchman has been that guy. As mentioned, the Cubs had Bellinger and Suzuki go down with injuries, but Happ and PCA are just not performing well at the moment, either. Tauchman ended up being the man to step up, and he has been rewarded because of it.

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Tauchman’s Hot Start

How did Tauchman become an everyday man for the Cubs? Well, in the month of April, the 33-year-old hit .315 with an OPS of .960, three home runs, 10 RBI, and 12 walks to 17 strikeouts in 25 games played. May has not been as kind to him as he is batting just .210 with an OPS of .605. However, his full season stats are still very good. He is batting .263, his OPS is .798, he has four home runs, 13 RBI, and 25 walks to just 35 strikeouts in 42 games played. In fact, Tauchman was able to help the Cubs not get swept by the Braves with this lead-off home run on the first pitch of the game May 15.

On the defensive side of things, Tauchman has been good. He is not going to win a Gold Glove, but Tauchman has added a success rate of 10 percent in the outfield, so he is making some of the harder plays. With his performance at the plate, the Cubs do not need him to be a lockdown defender, though. The Cubs would love to see him have some more power, but Tauchman is doing his job, and he is securing himself a spot in the starting nine everyday moving forward.

Tauchman and the Cubs Moving Forward

The Cubs are going to continue to need Tauchman. All their outfielders are healthy, but as mentioned, Happ and PCA are struggling at the plate. Both of those players are probably a little bit better than Tauchman defensively, but Craig Counsell needs someone who is going to be a threat at the plate. Tauchman has been that guy, and he will continue to be moving forward if he stays healthy. Whether it is in the outfield or as the DH, expect to see him a lot more this season.