Chicago Cubs: Young pitching depth performing remarkably well this year

(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
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Chicago Cubs: More quality innings from their depth guys

This season the Cubs have gotten more meaningful contribution from their Triple-A pitching depth. Luke Farrell has pitched the most (17 1/3 innings) and he has a 3.63 ERA. Amongst those appearances are the five scoreless innings he pitched in a 14-inning win against the Mets on June 2.

Randy Rosario (ERA 1.76, 15 1/3 IP, Justin Hancock (ERA 1.50, 12 IP), Cory Mazzoni (ERA 1.17, 7.2 IP), Anthony Bass (ERA 1.29, 7 IP) and Rob Zastryzny (ERA 0.00, 3 1/3 IP) all have sub-2.00 earned run averages. Along with Farrell, those six pitchers have combined to throw 62 2/3 innings with a cumulative ERA of 1.45.

Those numbers are fantastic. However, their performance might not be sustainable. For instance there are some things in Rosario’s peripherals that indicate he might not be able to continue to getting such good results.

Some names you might not see

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But not all of the pitching depth has been throwing well. Shae Simmons is another name that is supposed to be included in the list above. He was a candidate to make the Opening Day roster. Simmons is already on the 40-man roster. But so far he hasn’t even been pitching well at the Iowa.

Tseng made another start this season, but only lasted two innings this time and gave up three runs. After pitching well, Adbert Alzolay seemed a likely arm to reach the bigs.

After reaching Triple-A Iowa, all signs pointed to an eventual date at Wrigley Field. But the team’s top pitching prospect suffered a lat strain, costing him the rest of the year.

Guys to keep an eye on

The depth in the system remains, even with so many young arms joining the big league club. Dillon Maples hasn’t appeared in the majors yet this season. Jed Hoyer recently said that Maples has been pitching well recently. If you think that the Cubs should give him another chance, you aren’t the only one.

The Cubs traded Donnie Dewees to the Royals for Alec Mills after the 2016 season. Unfortunately he missed most of the 2017 season due to injuries. But this season he is healthy and Mills has been pitching well recently as a starting pitcher with Iowa.

Chicago has two other pitching prospects who are already on their 40 man roster. Duance Underwood Jr. is already at Iowa While Chris Gimenez was there, Underwood benefited from working with the veteran catcher.

Oscar De La Cruz is also on the Cubs 40-man roster. He is currently pitching for Tennessee. Without pitching at Iowa, De La Cruz seems far less likely to see Chicago this year.