Chicago Cubs: Five players who need big seasons in 2017

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Oct 26, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; Chicago Cubs player Kyle Schwarber hits a RBI single against the Cleveland Indians in the 5th inning in game two of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 26, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; Chicago Cubs player Kyle Schwarber hits a RBI single against the Cleveland Indians in the 5th inning in game two of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /
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Apr 13, 2017; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Brett Anderson (37) delivers a pitch during the first inning of the game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Caylor Arnold-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 13, 2017; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Brett Anderson (37) delivers a pitch during the first inning of the game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Caylor Arnold-USA TODAY Sports /

Brett Anderson, SP

In January, the Cubs signed left-hander Brett Anderson to a one-year deal. He was brought in to compete for a rotation spot after the departure of Jason Hammel. Anderson won the spot in the rotation, and will need to be solid for the Cubs in 2017.

Anderson missed much of the 2016 season while a member of the Dodgers due to back surgery. As a result of that operation, Anderson made just three starts for Los Angeles last season.

Chicago Cubs
Chicago Cubs /

Chicago Cubs

The 29-year-old Anderson tossed 180 1/3 innings in 2015. That was the high water mark for the lefty’s career, as he made 30+ starts in a season for only the second time in a big league uniform.

Two starts into the 2017 season, and so far Anderson is making Joe Maddon look even more like a genius. Anderson is 1-0 with a 0.84 ERA and six strikeouts in 10 2/3 innings.

So far, so good for Brett

Right now, Anderson seems like the right choice in the rotation. Mike Montgomery, Anderson’s biggest competition for the spot this spring, has walked five batters in six innings.

Brett Anderson needs to have a good season for many reasons. First off, it would put him back on track in his career, and possibly earn him another deal with the Cubs after the 2017 season. Secondly, Chicago needs him to step up and fortify the back-end of their starting rotation.

If Anderson can approach 200 innings this season, and keep the ball in the ballpark, he can be a good option for the Cubs moving forward after they lose John Lackey, and possibly Jake Arrieta at season’s end.

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