Chicago Cubs: How does the rotation shake out?

(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Cubs starting rotation in 2017 undoubtedly took a step back. It was a combination of fatigue and age, but in 2018, the rotation will look to rebound, and the Cubs’ brass hopes to have brought in the proper reinforcements.

In December, the Chicago Cubs signed Tyler Chatwood to a three-year deal worth $38 million. Aside from some bullpen additions, the Cubs stood pat until early February. On February 13, the Cubs inked Yu Darvish to a six-year deal, worth $126 million, plus incentives that can push it to $150 million. The Cubs rotation now consists of Jon Lester, Jose Quintana, Kyle Hendricks, Darvish, and Chatwood. Chatwood and Darvish are certainly an upgrade from John Lackey.

More from Chicago Cubs News

Chatwood’s numbers certainly don’t jump off the page to anybody. But keep in mind he pitched in Colorado.

Better away from home

When away from Coors Field in 2017, Chatwood pitched to a 3.49 ERA, with an opponent OBP of .299. The road FIP was 4.79, but compare that to 5.11 at Coors; it’s a pretty sizable difference.

Darvish has been a very consistent, outstanding pitcher since coming over from Japan in 2012. Darvish has become known as a strikeout pitcher, becoming the fastest pitcher to 1,000 strikeouts in Major League history.

The new strikeout king?

Darvish is averaging 11 K/9 over the course of his Major League career. Darvish has posted a 3.42 ERA with a 3.30 FIP, an excellent addition to an already decent rotation.

Jose Quintana sparked the Cubs turnaround after the All-star break last season. Q’s strikeout rate was a career high last year, at 9.8 K/9, compared to his career average of 7.8 K/9. Quintana’s results on the field are pretty close to accurate regarding metrics. He has a 3.53 career ERA with a 3.51 FIP. Quintana has been the face of consistency for years now, and the Cubs have him.

Next: Dario Alvarez is a good insurance option

Hey, speaking of consistency, how about Kyle Hendricks and Jon Lester? Aside from a few games a year, both guys will give good performances night in and night out. There isn’t a hole in this Cubs rotation. Add that to an already stellar offense, and this year could be close to a particular team in 2016. The official rotation prediction for this season is:

  1. Jon Lester
  2. Yu Darvish
  3. Jose Quintana
  4. Kyle Hendricks
  5. Tyler Chatwood

Lester gets the Opening Day nod because of his experience and familiarity, but really, there is no wrong answer. Kyle Hendricks as a  No. 4 starter is more than okay in the eyes of Cubs fans.