Chicago Cubs: 5 players that need a bounce back year in 2018

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Chicago Cubs
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Hector Rondon, RHP

Hector Rondon is the other reliever from the bullpen that has had, well, a fall from grace is the only way to put it. In 2014 Rondon saved 29 games. Then, in

2015 he saved 30 while posting a 1.67 ERA. In 2016, he had 18 saves, but the Cubs felt that the one place they could improve was the backend of the bullpen. So they went and traded for the fireballer, Aroldis Chapman. Rondon took the addition in stride, saying he’d do whatever the team needed.

Rondon hasn’t been able to get back to the form he had pre-Chapman. And in a similar story to Grimm, it’s been walks and home runs. Rondon’s WHIP rose to 1.221, up from 0.98 the year before. His K/9 is still a solid 10.8, but walking 3.1 hitters/9IP has been a big part of his downfall.

For a Rule 5 pick, the Cubs have gotten their value out of Rondon. If they could get him right again, he could be a solid seventh or eighth inning guy. But Joe Maddon‘s faith in him isn’t there–or anywhere outside of Wade Davis, for that matter. For each of these guys, it’s about throwing strikes consistently.