Chicago Cubs: Potential rotation outlook with a Yu Darvish return

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(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
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Chicago Cubs: Is Darvish a legit starter come October?

The postseason is a whole other thing to tackle. A Darvish return would give you five guys to choose from to fit in a four-man postseason rotation. If the season ended today with Darvish out, it is easily a rotation of Lester, Hendricks, Quintana and Hamels. A healthy Darvish gives Maddon something to think about if indeed they make it.

Lester, Quintana and Hendricks are pretty much locks, with that fourth spot up for grabs. On one hand, Darvish was signed to a big contract to perform in the regular season and October. On the other hand, Hamels has tons of postseason experience. In 16 starts he has a 3.48 ERA, 1.09 WHIP and was the 2008 World Series MVP. Can he still be a big-game postseason pitcher? That remains to be seen, but his resume could help his case.

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Overall the biggest two things to evaluate down the stretch are: Darvish’s health/rehab, Hamels’ effectiveness and Montgomery’s effectiveness. One thing is for certain, Yu Darvish will be in the rotation when he returns. He is not going to the bullpen. Either additions or subtractions will be made to the current rotation when he comes back. Maddon will cross that bridge when he gets to it.