Chicago Cubs: Walks continue to plague the bullpen
Who is to blame for all the walks?
The answer to that question has multiple answers. Edwards has issued the most walks of any full-time Cubs reliever this season with 29. That number is staggering because the right-hander has only logged 44 innings this season.
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Looking at his 2016 season, one can see the right-hander is allowing an increased number of walks this season compared to last. In 36 innings pitched last season, Edwards allowed 14 walks and registered a 3.71 strikeout-to-walk ratio. This season, on the other hand, Edwards has issued 15 more walks than he did last season in just eight more innings. Even though the 25-year-old has struck out 63 batters, his strikeout-to-walk ratio sits at 2.17 because of the uptick in walks.
Besides Edwards, Justin Grimm, Wade Davis and Pedro Strop have 20, 19 and 18 walks -respectively.
Looking deeper into Grimm’s numbers, one can see he is having the same problem as Edwards. Just a year ago, Grimm walked 23 batters in 52 2/3 innings and recorded a 2.83 strikeout-to-walk ratio. This season, Grimm, as stated above, already has 20 walks in 40 innings pitched. For this reason, Grimm’s strikeout-to-walk ratio has dipped to 2.10.
Issues at the back end
In addition to Grimm and Edwards, Davis and Strop are also experiencing spikes in the number of walks issued. Davis, who walked just 16 batters in 43 1/3 innings pitched last season and 20 more in 67 1/3 innings a year prior, already has 19 walks this season.
As is the case with Davis, Strop has also surpassed his walk total from a year ago. In 47 1/3 innings pitched last season, Strop walked 15 batters and struck out another 60. In just 41 innings this season, Strop has issued 18 free passes and struck out just 46.