It has been a rocky first half for the Chicago Cubs. From bats going cold to the pitching staff being unable to prevent runners’ from scoring – something has got to give.
At the end of the day, the Chicago Cubs are a great baseball team. Let’s just ignore the fact they’re sitting in fourth place with an 18-19 record. This club has what it takes to reach the postseason despite a slow start.
Yes, their offense has lacked in some games and their pitching staff hasn’t been top notch. However, the amount of talent on their roster seems to be missing something other than consistency.
For instance, Joe Maddon‘s starting rotation. Last year, Maddon had multiple pitchers rank in the top 10 when it came to earned run average. Meanwhile, Jon Lester and Kyle Hendricks racked up a handful of wins.
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Two National League Cy Young hopefuls turned in outstanding campaigns only to fall short of regular season honors. Surely, they prefer wearing a World Series ring. Things aren’t so great for Hendricks this time around.
Following his 16-8, 170/44 K/BB ratio, and 2.13 ERA showcase, Hendricks staggered out of the gate. In his first couple outings, he allowed 11 earned runs on 15 hits over the course of 16 innings of work.
Luckily, the Cubs won two games out of those three starts but his record currently stands at 2-2 with an ERA of 3.40. As for the entire staff in general, the Cubs hold the 10th-worst earned run average which just so happens to be 3.78.
Also, they have only managed to turn in 14 quality starts which are equal to the New York Mets and Chicago White Sox. With Brett Anderson‘s strong start derailed by multiple injuries, what will the Chicago Cubs do to improve?
Yes, Eddie Butler pitched one heck of a game against the St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday but it only makes up for one spot in the rotation. Maybe, just maybe, the Cubs go out and find themselves another pitcher like they did in closer Aroldis Chapman.
Could that name be 2009 American League Cy Young winner, Zack Greinke? According to Keith Law, it may be. Greinke has been moved several times since debuting with the Kansas City Royals in 2004. His six-year tenure with the Royals allowed him to make a name for himself, becoming one of the best pitchers in the league.
He spent a few years in Los Angeles with both the Angels and Dodgers following a stint with the Milwaukee Brewers. Shortly after, he signed a massive six-year deal worth $206 million.
That’s one important bit of information that could have fans of this organization not wanting to pick him up. On the other hand, he appears to be returning to ace form in 2017. In eight starts with the Arizona Diamondbacks, Greinke has yielded only 16 earned runs in 51 1/2 frames.
Greinke’s 58 strikeouts are seventh-best in the league while the closest Cubs are Arrieta and Lester with 49 at No. 19. Now, why would this deal even happen? That’s an easy decision — it all comes down to what the Cubs have and that’s a ton of talent.
And if you have been watching SportsCenter lately, Arizona has been bitten by an injury bug, mainly in the outfield. Arizona could be looking to swap Greinke and his contract for some big league ready prospects.
Possibly even Ian Happ. As much as I hate to say it, Happ is going to be targeted by general managers across the league. Right now, no discussions or connections between the two teams have been confirmed.