Mike Tauchman MLB Return Exceeds Expectations

Cubs' Outfielder Mike Tauchman's Remarkable Journey Back to MLB.

by Nouman Rasool
Mike Tauchman MLB Return Exceeds Expectations
© Michael Reaves/Getty Images

On the east side of Great American Ballpark's visitor's clubhouse, there was palpable excitement surrounding Cubs outfielder Mike Tauchman. The environment was electric, mirroring the feel of a personal hype party, as reporters eagerly flocked to his locker.

Amidst the jovial chaos, teammates hollered nicknames and loudly voiced their support. Patrick Wisdom, ever the jester, admitted to an attempt to ruffle Tauchman, who confidently responded with, “I’m unflusterable”.

That sentiment underscores Tauchman's journey back to the MLB. A mere two years prior, he had all but reconciled with the notion that his Major League Baseball days were behind him. Yet, here he was, basking in the afterglow of the Cubs' 11-8 triumph over the Giants, marking his 87th MLB game this season.

Having played an instrumental role in rejuvenating the Cubs' offense in June, Tauchman has been an invaluable asset ever since.

Ross Praises Tauchman's Resilience

Manager David Ross shared his admiration for Tauchman, noting, “His undivided attention to the game, coupled with his professional demeanor and high baseball IQ, is commendable.

Mike's tumultuous journey has instilled in him a gratitude that resonates every time he steps onto the field”. Facing the uncertainty of the MLB season due to the lockout, Tauchman found himself at a crossroads last winter.

An enticing offer from the Hanwha Eagles of the Korean Baseball Organization beckoned. Despite the allure of substantial financial security and an adventurous spirit, the decision wasn't straightforward. South Korea was uncharted territory; a 10-month commitment with language barriers and cultural nuances.

Drawing upon advice from KBO veterans, Tauchman learned to embrace the unique challenges of the KBO. The league, in its infancy compared to the MLB, hadn’t embraced analytics in the same vein. However, it was in this environment that Tauchman reconnected with his prowess at the plate.

His stint in the KBO served as a form of therapy, allowing him to shed past setbacks, including a challenging 2021 MLB season marked by injuries and trades. In the KBO, Tauchman felt liberated, saying, “The experience was therapeutic, allowing me to reset and refine my craft”.

The thought of returning to the KBO for another season was strong until a conversation with Justin Stone, the Cubs’ director of hitting, changed his trajectory. Presented with an opportunity closer to home and the allure of playing at Wrigley, Tauchman chose to embrace another chapter in his MLB journey, proving that every setback might just set the stage for an even grander comeback.