A look at the 2015 Chicago Cubs starting rotation options
Aug 15, 2014; New York, NY, USA; Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Travis Wood (37) against the New York Mets during the sixth inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports
5) Travis Wood
- 2014 statistics: 8-13, 5.03 ERA, 1.532 WHIP, 31 GS, 173.2 IP
- 2015 projected: 9-10, 4.36 ERA, 1.37 WHIP, 27 GS, 153 IP
In 2013, Travis Wood was a National League All-Star. In 2014, he was one of the most inconsistent starting pitchers not only in the Cubs starting rotation, but in all of Major League Baseball.
2015 figures to be somewhere between the two, according to projections, that have him around .500 with a mid-4.00’s earned run average. After last season, Joe Maddon and Chris Bosio would no-doubt be thrilled with those measures. After starting the year out in a fashion very similar to where he left off in 2013, posting a 3.52 ERA and 4.43 strikeout-to-walk ratio in March and April, Wood fell to pieces in May, pitching to a 6.62 ERA and 1.93 K/BB ratio.
This back-and-forth trend continued from month-to-month all season long, culminating in a disappointing month of September during which his 9.24 ERA led to the team looking to rookies in the season’s final weeks rather than stick with the struggling southpaw. That being said, one cannot fault Wood for his gutsiness, as he pitched at least 30 innings and made either five or six starts in every month apart from September – a testament to his grittiness – a characteristic that will likely be valuable as more young arms make their way up.
A back-end slot seems best for Wood, where expectations will be low – giving him the opportunity to return to form and eat innings, which is all the Cubs can really ask for. That being said, if he falters again, the likes of Jacob Turner, Dan Straily, Tsuyoshi Wada and Edwin Jackson are all waiting in the wings to take up the mantle.