Chicago Cubs News

Chicago Cubs’ bullpen is taking on a whole new look

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Jul 9, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher Aroldis Chapman (54) delivers in the eleventh inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 9, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher Aroldis Chapman (54) delivers in the eleventh inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports /
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Jun 18, 2016; Minneapolis, MN, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher Aroldis Chapman (54) pitches to the Minnesota Twins in the ninth inning at Target Field. The Yankees win 7-6. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 18, 2016; Minneapolis, MN, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher Aroldis Chapman (54) pitches to the Minnesota Twins in the ninth inning at Target Field. The Yankees win 7-6. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports /

Aroldis Chapman

At least until the end of October, Chapman is going to be the key piece of this Cubs bullpen. The flamethrower is a dynamic, generational talent that gives the Cubs legitimacy at the back-end of their bullpen they simply didn’t have before.

They could always get a good inning out of Hector Rondon or Pedro Strop, bring in Travis Wood at any point but the lack of consistency in the group was frustrating. At his best, Chapman was striking out 18 batters per nine innings and is averaging 12.6 K/9 this season with the Yankees.

His fastball has topped out at 105 miles per hour, and if that’s not enough he has a slider that moves in the 90s. The guy is simply a freak of nature, and the Cubs’ chances of winning close games are fortified because of his ability to shut down hitters.

He’s walked just eight batters this season, proving that when he comes in the game, he throws strikes, and more often than not, hitters can’t do anything with it. That’s the type of asset that vaults you from a contender to a World Series favorite.

Next: Rondon

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