Chicago Cubs: White Sox versus Cubs series preview

CHICAGO, IL - JULY 22: (L-R) Ian Happ
CHICAGO, IL - JULY 22: (L-R) Ian Happ /
3 of 7
ATLANTA, GA – JULY 17: Jon Lester
ATLANTA, GA – JULY 17: Jon Lester /

Since the break, the rotation has been solid

In nine starts since the All-Star break, the Cubs’ starting staff has logged 56 innings, while allowing 15 earned runs. That means the rotation has recorded a 2.41 ERA in those games, while striking out 52 and walking 11.

That solid play by the rotation has allowed the Cubs to out-score opponents 56-33 since the break.

While the addition of Jose Quintana has no doubt provided the rotation with a boost, the numbers still look ugly. Jon Lester, who is leading the Cubs in ERA, owns a 3.95 mark which is more than a run and a half higher than his ERA last season. Despite his elevated ERA, Lester has pitched masterfully in his last two starts. In a combined 15 innings, Lester has allowed three earned runs, six hits and has only issued one walk while striking out 16.

In addition to Lester’s recent success, Jake Arrieta seems to have found a groove. Over his last 12 2/3 innings pitched, Arrieta has yielded just four runs (three earned) on nine hits. The right-hander has also walked three batters and struck out nine in the same amount of innings. With that success, Arrieta has lowered his season ERA from 4.35 to 4.11, while recording a 2.13 ERA in the month of July.

The Cubs’ rotation is about to receive another boost

With Kyle Hendricks set to make his return to the rotation on Monday, the Cubs will get another reinforcement for their rotation.

Hendricks was placed on the DL in early June with tendinitis in his right hand. What was thought to be a minor injury has resulted in an almost two month DL stint for the 27-year-old.

The young right-hander had his coming out party in 2016, posting a 2.13 ERA with 170 strikeouts and 44 walks in 190 innings pitched. While he led the majors in ERA, Hendricks finished third in the NL Cy young voting behind Max Scherzer and Jon Lester.

After having a great 2016 campaign, Hendricks got off to a rough start in 2017. In 11 starts before his injury, Hendricks posted a 4.09 ERA in 61 2/3 innings pitched.

Even though Hendricks got off to a slow start, the Cubs hope he can turn it around now that he is healthy. Cubs fans will not have to wait long to see Hendricks as the youngster is slated to start the first game of the series.