‘So far, so good’: Rookie Greg Deichmann adjusting to big-league life with Cubs
No matter what happens from here, Greg Deichmann will always have his name in Cubs history books.
When the rookie outfielder made his MLB debut Friday against the White Sox at Wrigley Field, he became the 57th different player used by the Cubs this season. That set a new franchise record, surpassing the previous high of 56 players during the 2013 season.
Of course, Deichmann wants to be more than just a footnote in Cubs history. The 26-year-old came over to the organization two weeks ago when the Cubs dealt Andrew Chafin to the Oakland A’s.
Deichmann appeared in 7 games for Triple-A Iowa before getting the call to “The Show” and spent most of his first weekend at Wrigley simply taking in the moment.
“The past few days have been incredible,” Deichmann said. “Everything is an amazing experience so far and I’m looking forward to keep it going.”
This actually isn’t his first time playing at Wrigley Field. When he was in high school in 2014, he received the opportunity to partake in the Under Armour All-America game.
However, Friday’s atmosphere around “The Friendly Confines” was quite a bit different as 39,539 people packed the stadium for the Crosstown rivalry.
Deichmann singled in his second at-bat and drove in his first career run in his next start (Sunday) with a bloop hit to the outfield.
He is saving the ball from his first hit as well as the lineup card and his jersey. He plans to put them all in a frame or shadow box some day to commemorate the moment.
Deichmann admitted the environment took him out of his gameplan for a bit but he locked back in quickly.
“This year, I’ve been trying to be more consistent,” he said. “Just an all-around better hitter — using the whole field, making consistent contact, not trying to do too much. Just staying with my approach and what works for me.
“You can get away from that from time to time, especially the first night here with 40,000 [fans]. I think we got away from what worked for me a little bit, but that’s to be expected. It’s sticking to your gameplan and learning to adjust on the fly, no matter the level.”
It has certainly been a whirlwind for the outfield prospect who actually found out from a fan that he was traded during the middle of a Triple-A game at Salt Lake on July 26.
As he was running in from the outfield in the 7th inning, a fan was yelling at him that he was on the move to a new organization. Then in the dugout, a teammate came up to him and wished him luck. But his manager came over to tell him to stay locked into the ongoing game, so his head was all over the place.
“I’m sitting on the railing and I’m talking to one of my teammates and I’m like, ‘I’m so rattled right now,'” Deichmann said, laughing. “So I start running on for the 8th inning and I probably make it to the pitcher’s mound and the manager calls me back in. Immediately, I’m just like, OK, one of two things — I got traded or I’m going up [to the majors].
“I get back in the dugout and I’m walking through and all my teammates are just staring in the field. They’re not even looking at me. I’m like, ahhh, I got traded.”
Of the players the Cubs acquired in the massive trade deadline selloff, Deichmann is the first to arrive in Chicago. He was hitting .300 with a .433 on-base percentage with Oakland’s Triple-A team prior to the trade and the Cubs have so far utilized him in right field against right-handed pitchers.
The left-handed-hitting outfielder has come within a few feet of some big moments throughout his short time in the big leagues.
He flew out to the warning track Sunday evening against the White Sox and in the first game of Tuesday’s doubleheader, he flew out his first three trips to the plate. In the 3rd inning, he drove a ball the other way with the bases loaded but Brewers left fielder Tyrone Taylor ran it down on a full sprint.
Deichmann struck out with the bases loaded to end Game 1 Tuesday but fouled off a couple of close pitches and put together a good, 6-pitch battle before it was said and done.
“It’s a simple approach,” David Ross said of Deichmann’s offensive profile. “I think there’s probably some more power in there for me so far. The nice thing that I’ve recognized early on is there’s a quality to the at-bat with not a lot of results. He’s choking up with 2 strikes; he simplifies things.
“He’s maybe gotta take some more risks early on but I think so far, so good. You want some results, you want some of those balls to fall, you want some of those balls to get out of the ballpark. He’s hit a couple to the warning track just off the end I think.
“Backing the ball up a little bit more with the 2-strike [approach], using the big part of the field is something we’ll take to him. But you want to let a guy settle in and get some at-bats under his belt before you start bringing a lot of stuff to him to assess once he gets some real ABs.”
One thing’s for sure: Deichmann will definitely get some “real ABs” down the stretch as the Cubs determine which players could become pieces for 2022 and beyond.