Chicago Cubs: Walks continue to plague the bullpen

MILWAUKEE, WI - JULY 29: Carl Edwards Jr.
MILWAUKEE, WI - JULY 29: Carl Edwards Jr. /
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Chicago Cubs
MILWAUKEE, WI – JULY 29: Carl Edwards Jr. /

After issuing four more on Saturday, the number of walks allowed by the Chicago Cubs’ bullpen is becoming an increasingly troubling problem.

The Chicago Cubs entered the 2017 season with a great collection of bullpen arms. Despite losing Aroldis Chapman to free agency, the Cubs aquired Wade Davis from the Kansas City Royals.

Davis joined a group headlined by young flamethrower Carl Edwards and more experienced relievers Pedro Strop and Koji Uehara.

Despite having an abundance of talent in the bullpen, a problem soon bubbled to the surface. In 78 1/3 innings pitched by the bullpen in the month of April, the pen issued 36 walks. To put that into perspective, in April 2016, the bullpen walked just 18 batters.

In the month of May and beyond, things did not get better for the Cubs’ bullpen. After walking 46 batters in 108 1/3 innings pitched in May, the bullpen issued another 35 free passes in June. Keeping with the theme, the bullpen set a season-high with 52 walks in 85 2/3 innings pitched in the month of July.

Five games into the month of August, the Cubs’ bullpen has already amassed eight walks, including four in Saturday’s win against the Washington Nationals.

While it is tough to identify the reason behind the influx in the amount of walks, we can see how the Cubs stack up against other teams in this category. Right now, the Cubs rank fourth in the majors with 173 free passes. Only the Brewers, Marlins and Reds have issued more walks this season.