Chicago Cubs Rumors: Starting pitching a need, but an ace isn’t

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
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Chicago Cubs: Rotation boasts tremendous talent, depth

It only makes sense to start with the Cubs’ ace. Jon Lester is 11-2 with a sparkling 2.45 ERA in his 18 starts. A two-time 19-game winner, could this be the year he finally cracks the 20-win plateau?

Sure, wins are quickly becoming an antiquated way of evaluating starting pitchers, but for a veteran like Lester, a 20-win season still means a lot. Especially at 34 years of age. After a tough 2017 showing, many thought he was quickly headed down the back nine of his career. Instead, he’s rebounded with his fifth All-Star selection.

The “Professor,” Kyle Hendricks might need to go back school and rewrite his dissertation or doctoral thesis. Hendricks finds himself at 5-8 with a 3.93 ERA in 18 outings. Thankfully, he comes off his best start in well over a year. That gives him plenty to work off in his final first-half start.

It seems like teams are starting to figure out his plan of attack, so with that thought in mind it will be up to Hendricks and pitching coach Jim Hickey to find a way to re-write his textbook, but for a guy who doesn’t overpower hitters that might be easier said than done.