Chicago Cubs: Pitching could be this team’s biggest strength in 2018

(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
(Photo by David Banks/Getty Images) /

What we’ve learned

The only thing left to do here, really, is to put a fine point on something I suspect anyone who is being honest with themselves will know anyway:  the National League Central is still the Cubs to lose. We can also check the box that we have validated the Pirates are not going to be very good. Between those extremes, however, there seems to be considerable wiggle room and a handful of very impactful questions.

Will the Brewers find a long-term answer at second base? Will the young Orlando Arcia grow at shortstop to where he can help buoy their top-heavy lineup? Can the Reds start reaping the rewards of having a farm system full of solid pitching prospects who, up until now, haven’t been ready to contribute at the big league level? Would that be enough to catapult them into the Wild Card race?

Can the Cardinals succeed over the full season without a lockdown closer? What, if anything, will the teams behind the Cubs do before and during the season officially kicks off to help level the playing field?

Next: Darvish could become a next-level pitcher in 2018

Which brings me to the very best assertion this article makes:  we will soon find out what happens next, as Spring Training is finally upon us.