Chicago Cubs: Who would be the No. 3 starter in the playoffs?

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Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

As fans, we’ve made a lot about the Cubs needing a solid No. 3 next year. But when you look at these three pitchers, the numbers aren’t horrendous. There are many teams that would be excited to have their third starter win 10 games or at least be in the position to do so. None of them are shutdown guys, but can occasionally toss a gem. Wouldn’t expect it in the playoffs, but you just never know.

As I mentioned earlier, there’s an outside chance that Maddon could turn to Richard or Wood in a spot start, possibly due to matchups. That hasn’t really been openly discussed, but it’s Joe Maddon so I don’t count out anything.

With a 25-man roster, it will be interesting to see what route Maddon decides to go should the Cubs move on to the NLDS. Making a spot start is risky. If that starter fails to go very deep, say four innings, you may end up burning several arms in a short series. And you can’t carry extra arms if you want to play the matchup game of the bench.

This decision will trickle down to many other decisions for the playoff roster. But again, just speculation. The Cubs still have to take care of business this last week and then the Wild Card game. Nothing is ever guaranteed. A 3-1 lead against the Marlins in 2003 taught me that.

Next: Should Cubs consider a reunion with Samardzija?