The starting five
Honestly, we know four of the five starting rotation members already.
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Jon Lester will likely start Opening Day, after an 18-win season, followed by Jake Arrieta. The performance of Kyle Hendricks in 2016 may move him ahead of Arrieta, but, regardless, it’s a formidable trio. Consequently, John Lackey will round out the top four and will hope the defense aids him as much as it did a season ago. Should he lock in and command the edge of the plate, it will be another great year for him.
That leaves the fifth spot in the rotation. Although some believe Chicago Cubs’ manager Joe Maddon will use six starters at times, the team appears likely start with five. It seems like Mike Montgomery is the leading candidate due to his performance in the rotation and during playoffs boosting his chances. The team then signed Brett Anderson to a one-year contract.
An veteran of eight years, Anderson holds a 3.86 ERA in 127 games, with 115 starts. However, 2016 was a wash as he spent most of the time on the disabled list or in the minors rehabbing. He also finished the 2015 season injured. To get the starting nod, Anderson will need to prove that the back, wrist and blister concerns are a thing of the past.