Chicago Cubs: Kyle Barraclough should be on Cubs’ radar
Keeping opposing hitters off-balance
From 2015 to 2016, his contact management took a nice step forward, but then those numbers took a step backward in 2017:
- 2015 – 18.0 Soft%, 50.0 Med%, 32.0 Hard% (league average – 18.6, 52.5, 28.8)
- 2016 – 19.7 Soft%, 51.7 Med%, 28.6 Hard% (league average – 18.8, 49.9, 31.4)
- 2017 – 16.5 Soft%, 57.1 Med%, 26.5 Hard% (league average – 18.9, 49.3, 31.8)
With the significant improvement from his first to second year, and the significant regression from his sophomore year to 2017, it’s plausible the shoulder injury marred his results. Regardless, he remains an intriguing arm that could be available.
Barraclough’s three-pitch arsenal consists of a plus fastball, plus slider and noteworthy changeup. Those three pitches make the pitcher affectionately and appropriately nicknamed “Bear Claw” one of the highest upside arms in the league that nobody has heard of.
At age 27 and only 163 innings of mileage on his arm, he has one year before he hits arbitration and won’t reach the open market until 2022. He represents a young, cost-controlled, high-upside bullpen stud. I reckon that having an opportunity to play under new Cubs pitching coach, Jim Hickey, will help him cut down on the walks and possibly unlock even more potential.
The Marlins have already parted ways with Giancarlo Stanton (Yankees), Marcell Ozuna (Cardinals) and Dee Gordon (Mariners) and players like Christian Yelich and J.T. Realmuto may be the next ones to go despite recent reports:
Another Marlins trade chip? Don’t count it out.
It’s very possible that the Marlins will hold onto someone with as much upside and control as Barraclough, but if slashing payroll is the objective, then maybe they’ll want to avoid arbitration altogether with a player that will certainly be looking for a pay raise. Maybe they’ll try to get something of value out of him while the team is clearly in a rebuild.
Next: Are the Cubs partly to blame for Miami tear-down?
If that’s the case, you can bet your bottom dollar that the Cubs will be interested in his services. He’d fit into Chicago’s bullpen perfectly and would join Morrow and Cishek as the newest additions to the bullpen. Those three along with Mike Montgomery, Carl Edwards Jr., Justin Grimm, Justin Wilson and Pedro Strop would form a very good, albeit a very unheralded bullpen.