Chicago Cubs: Get used to seeing Luke Farrell on the mound

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

Luke Farrell picked up his first MLB win Monday night. Despite limited big league experience, he could become a key cog in the Chicago Cubs’ bullpen.

Luke Farrell might just be the Chicago Cubs most unknown player. Regardless, seeing the right-hander on the mound could become a common sight as the season progresses.

The Cubs claimed Farrell, 26, off waivers from the Cincinnati Reds in October 2017. Entering 2018, he had just 10 games under his belt as a big leaguer. Now, Farrell, the son of former MLB manager John Farrell, is making a name for himself with the Cubs.

A lot to like about Farrell

While he has pitched in just three games for the Cubs this season, Farrell has a lot of likable qualities. The Northwestern product has seven strikeouts in just 3 1/3 innings this season. Of those seven, three have come throwing a four-seam fastball.

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Not only does Farrell strike batters out, but he does so with a four-seamer that can hit the mid-90s. Farrell’s ability to blow pitches by hitters is a perfect quality to have as a reliever. He has already demonstrated the ability to come into games and shut opponents down.

If the Cubs are ever in a tight spot, Farrell can throw strikes and get outs in a pinch. This is not to say other Cubs relievers can’t do this. However, having numerous relievers capable of this never hurts.

High-praise from the skipper

Joe Maddon had many great things to say about Farrell after Monday night’s 3-2 win over the Colorado Rockies.

"“That guy has got as good a makeup as anybody on this team. Anybody,” Maddon said. “He comes from a great pedigree, he’s been around it, he’s pitched in the big leagues. I am really impressed with his way, the way he is, the way he handles himself.”"

Not bad praise to receive from your manager, huh?

Maddon noted Farrell’s slider; like his four-seamer, the reliever has used to strikeout three opponents this season. Ultimately, Farrell gets batters out, proving last night that he can do so in high-leverage situations.

"“That could really pay us dividends down the road,” Maddon said. “That was 93, 94 [mph] with carry, and he’s got that other thing that he throws off the slider, and he’s not afraid. Those are great qualities.”"

High-leverage shut down

With two outs in the sixth inning Monday, Maddon brought Farrell in for Jon Lester. Lester struck out the last batter he faced, Rockies’ pitcher Kyle Freeland. However, he left the game with runners on first and second.

Farrell took the mound less than a half inning after the Cubs tied the game at 2-2. The Rockies were in striking distance of reclaiming the lead with the top of their order up. Instead, Farrell got Ian Desmond to hit into a fielder’s choice, ending the threat.

The sample size is small, don’t get me wrong. However, there is a lot to like about Farrell. The Cubs could send him back to Triple-A Iowa when Eddie Butler returns from the 10-day disabled list.

Next: Cubs top Rockies for fifth-straight victory

At the very least, though, Farrell is giving the Cubs something to think about ahead of Butler’s (4.30 ERA, six appearances) return. It will be interesting to see which direction the team goes in come that point.