Chicago Cubs: This starting rotation could be even better than in 2016

(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs just need Tyler Chatwood to not be John Lackey

Okay, maybe that’s oversimplifying things. But at the end of the day, there’s truth there.

John Lackey was one of the worst starting pitchers in baseball last season. He served up home runs like he was flipping burgers at McDonalds. His WAR ranked among the lowest in baseball for starting pitchers and, well, good riddance.

In steps Tyler Chatwood.

What gives him such a great upside is the pure stuff. He brings a mid-90s fastball and devastating breaking stuff that could turn him into the bargain of the offseason. But, as I’ve said time and time again, he is your undisputed number five guy heading into Spring Training.

Don’t hurt the team. Do that on a daily basis and you’ve fulfilled your duties. And, to be frank, I think the infrastructure around him and the defense behind him are going to change him from a fringe pitcher to one of the biggest surprises in the National League.

So, there it is. This rotation is certainly more than capable of matching what the team did two years ago. And it’s a weight that can be distributed evenly. We don’t need a Cy Young winner. We need every guy to take the ball and turn in quality starts more often than not – and let the defense do its job.

Next: PECOTA looking for big things from Cubs' Schwarber

Seems simple enough, right?