Jul 20, 2014; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox starting pitcherJon Lester
(31) throws a pitch against the Kansas City Royals in the first inning at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
In 2014, the Chicago Cubs entered the regular season with the likes of Jeff Samardzija, Jason Hammel, Edwin Jackson, Travis Wood and Carlos Villanueva as the starting rotation. Jake Arrieta was sidelined on the 15-day disabled list and Kyle Hendricks had not yet made his big league debut – an event that would come later in the season.
This year, with a new head on the snake in the form of coveted southpaw Jon Lester, Chicago has a mix of both new and old names projected as members of the starting rotation. Behind Lester, Arrieta, who broke out in a big way in 2014, is penciled in, followed by Hammel, who returned to Chicago after being traded to Oakland mid-season, sophomore right-hander Kyle Hendricks and veteran southpaw Travis Wood.
There are several other names in the mix should injuries become a concern or production is not where it needs to be for any of those five names, including Jackson, Jacob Turner, Tsuyoshi Wada, Dallas Beeler and Dan Straily. We’ll take a look at the Cubs starting rotation options, their output last season and their projected numbers in 2015 in the slides that follow.