Chicago Cubs: 2008 team built drastically different than this year’s club
By Jake Misener
A solid rotation: through and through
The 2008 Chicago Cubs featured a pair of 17-game winners atop the rotation. Of course, those came in the form of Ryan Dempster and Ted Lilly. In the last decade, the way we evaluate pitchers has drastically changed. Wins now mean much less than they once did – at least in certain circles.
That being said, both men turned in over 200 innings, were above-average in terms of ERA+ and notched just under 190 strikeouts apiece. Carlos Zambrano followed them in the rotation, turning in a 3.91 ERA out of the three-spot. Jason Marquis and Rich Harden, picked up at the deadline, rounded things out.
Harden was absolutely lights-out down the stretch for Chicago, but fell off in a big way in 2009 – similar to the Cubs team, as a whole. Marquis served in a role similar to John Lackey last year. He ate innings and tried to keep the team in the ballgame. He did just that.
With Tyler Chatwood in the mix for 2018, the Cubs boast three solid starters with a potential fourth in their new right-hander. A rotation headlined by Lester, Hendricks and Quintana is very strong. If they bring in an Alex Cobb or Yu Darvish, this year’s club will blow the ’08 team staff out of the water.
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If they don’t the two could be eerily similar with a noted drop-off at the back end. Time will tell with a little over a month till Spring Training workouts begin.