Chicago Cubs News

Chicago Cubs: Did the Cubs find their “sixth” starter?

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Jun 24, 2016; Miami, FL, USA; Chicago Cubs relief pitcher Trevor Cahill (53) throws during the sixth inning against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 24, 2016; Miami, FL, USA; Chicago Cubs relief pitcher Trevor Cahill (53) throws during the sixth inning against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports /
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It’s no secret that the Chicago Cubs have been looking for a “sixth starter” in the second half to lighten the workload of the main five. After a few attempts, the Cubs may have found the guy they are looking for.

As the Chicago Cubs get closer to clinching the NL Central division, they are definitely going to want to rest some of their starters down the stretch to keep them fresh for the playoffs. This includes the starting rotation, which has the lowest ERA in baseball.

With the Cubs rotation poised to pitch over 1,000 innings this year, a little rest in September will go a long way to keeping them fresh for the playoffs.

When the second half of the season began, the Cubs mentioned that they wanted a sixth starter, who can make some spot starts and lighten the load on the rest of the rotation.

The Cubs inserted RHP Brian Matusz into that spot in late July and it went horribly. Matusz allowed three two-run homers in just three innings and was promptly released the next day.

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Right-hander Trevor Cahill, who helped the Cubs in the bullpen down the stretch last year, has done a good job pitching out of the Cubs bullpen this year. Cahill is 1-3 with a 3.07 ERA in 33 appearances out of the Cubs bullpen this year. But his season was slowed by a knee injury that landed him on the DL in mid-July.

Cahill was being stretched out and started six games on his minor league rehab assignment. It was quickly announced that Cahill would start Tuesday afternoon against Milwaukee. Cahill, 28, is no stranger to starting.

Trevor has made 174 starts over the length of his career and had an All-Star season in 2010 with Oakland when he went 18-8 with a 2.97 ERA. Cahill had the opportunity to sign with another club in the offseason. Where we would have gotten an opportunity to start.

Instead, he chose to stay with the Cubs, knowing he was primarily going to be used out of the bullpen.

On Tuesday, Cahill finally got his opportunity to start, his first start in over a year. Tossing five shutout innings while allowing just two singles and striking out three. Cahill passed all the tests for the Cubs and he will presumably get more starts down the stretch.

Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer will have to make a roster move today to keep Cahill on the team. As he was added as the 26th player for the doubleheader yesterday.

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With John Lackey battling some shoulder tightness, it’s possible the Cubs could call on Cahill. This will allow Lackey to pick up some extra rest. Which also means the Cubs may have found their sixth starter that they were looking for in the second half.

With the Cubs poised to clinch the division by mid-September, Cahill could get some starts down the stretch to give guys like Lackey, Lester, and Arrieta rest. Hopefully, he will continue the success he had in his first start.

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