Why Cubs' David Ross, Joc Pederson not worried about offense yet

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Tim Stebbins
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Why Cubs not worried about offense's slow start originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

Tuesday night, outfielder Joc Pederson and Ian Happ exchanged a few texts.

“[Happ] says, ‘Yeah, I'm bringing the waffle maker. Gonna waffle some balls,’” Pederson recalled Wednesday. 

Happ and Tommy La Stella introduced the waffle maker back in 2018. Hitting a ball hard is considered waffling it, so the Cubs began handing them out to one another in the dugout after big hits.

Happ handed Pederson a waffle maker Wednesday. The new Cub crushed a game-tying home run in the eighth inning against the Brewers, his first hit with the club following an 0-for-15 start to the season.

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But while Pederson snapped his cold streak, the Cubs bats were quiet again in a 4-2, 10-inning loss to Milwaukee, tallying three hits in total.

Pederson acknowledged there’s some frustration in the Cubs’ dugout.

“Definitely,” he said postgame. “I think everyone’s just trying to get comfortable. Hitting is contagious. And as a whole, we all can be a little bit better.

“But it’s still super early.”

Over the course of a 162-game season, a few down offensive games in the middle of the summer aren’t nearly as magnified as a similar stretch to start the year. 

But when it happens out of the gate, it’s easier said than done not to put pressure on yourself, Pederson noted.

“If I were to go 0-for-12 or whatever, 14, in the middle of the year when I'm hitting .280 with 25 homers, it's kind of like, all right, no big deal,” he said. “But when it’s the start of the season it's just added.

“The start of the season’s weird. You have to get in your grooves, your routine and just build off that.”

Like most managers, David Ross looks beyond the pure results, which includes a .124 average (last in MLB) through six games. He’s looking at the quality of the at-bat and the pitching matchups of a given day.

The Cubs are among the league leaders in walks (27) and have veteran players with track records.

And, again, it’s early.

“We have 500 plate appearances and we're at a really small number right now,” Ross said pregame Wednesday. “You’ve got to let guys settle into the season. This is a really good group.”

The alarm bells might be sounding on Cubs Twitter, but the club is confident the offense will turn things around

“We have some really talented people in the group and when we get clicking it’s going to be fun to be a part of,” Pederson said. “And it’s coming soon. So just enjoy the show.”

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