Chicago Cubs Rumors: Team pivoting away from Zach Britton?

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(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs Rumors: Adding much needed backup to the mix

Remember when Dylan Bundy represented one of the premier pitching prospects in the game? Yeah, those days are gone. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing – especially if you’re the Cubs.

Bundy enters Tuesday with an unsightly 4.86 FIP, 1.9 HR/9 and 1.302 WHIP. He’s allowed nearly a hit per inning this season (106 hits in 108 innings of work spanning 19 starts) but is putting up the best strikeout-to-walk ratio of his career (3.31).

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Primarily, he’s a fastball-slider guy. He throws one of those two pitches roughly 80 percent of the time. In my mind, at least, that makes him ideal to become an all-out reliever as opposed to a starter. His opponents’ highest OPS come in their second and third times through the order. Meanwhile, first time through, he has limited batters to a .235 clip.

With Mike Montgomery in the rotation filling in for an injured Yu Darvish, the Cubs desperately need a guy out in the pen who can eat innings. The O’s right-hander could slot in perfectly with this group, giving Chicago a workhorse capable of giving the short-relief arms a much-needed blow.

His fastball velocity has declined in each of the last three years. Now, there is hardly any differentiation between his heater and slide-piece (92.1 MPH on his fastball, 92.0 MPH on his slider this season).

Could all-out efforts in bursts out of the pen make him more productive? It wouldn’t be the first time such a solution has panned out and helped reshape a guy’s career.