Marlon Byrd's name was linked in trade rumors during the offseason and spring training, but the veteran outfielder has not played like a desirable trade piece right now.
Byrd, the Cubs' lone 2010 All-Star, has still flashed a good glove in center field, using good reads and jumps to stay at the top of his game at 34 years old.
But things are different story at the plate.
Byrd is just 2-for-28 to start the season, good for a microscopic .071 batting average. That mark is third-worst in the majors among qualifying players. Only Pirates second baseman Neil Walker (1-for-21) and Mets first baseman Ike Davis (1-for-23) boast worse averages.
The good news is Byrd has only struck out six times of his 26 outs. His batting average on balls in play (BABIP) is a miniscule .105, a good 150 points below the league average.
Which means Byrd is clearly unlucky right now. He should rebound, and there's no indication the trade rumors are hurting his play.
However, his confidence may have been down coming into the year. Without Aramis Ramirez and Carlos Pena gone, this Cubs lineup entered 2012 lacking punch in their lineup.
Even with those two big boppers last year, Byrd still spent almost all of the season hitting third, fifth or sixth. In 2010, his first year with the Cubs, he spent most of his time in the three-hole.
Yet this season, with a lack of proven sluggers, Byrd has not climbed above seventh in the lineup and has actually seen more at-bats hitting eighth.
In his first two seasons in Chicago, Byrd has made just six starts hitting any lower than sixth in the Cubs lineup.
It's easy for a player to be discouraged after seeing their name drop in the batting order, so it's possible Byrd could be lacking confidence at the plate as a result.