Chicago Cubs: Jesse Chavez giving Cubs bullpen a much needed boost

(Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
(Photo by David Banks/Getty Images) /

Despite the strength of the Chicago Cubs bullpen, it has been one of the most taxed in the game. In need of reinforcements, the club turned to Jesse Chavez.

This season, the revamped Chicago Cubs bullpen has been a huge key to their success. To this point, their 3.21 ERA is the third-lowest in all of baseball.

Despite that success, they have been relied on heavily for much of the season, maybe too much. So far this season, Cubs relievers have pitched 392 2/3 innings, which is the seventh-most of any bullpen.

Relievers Steve Cishek, Pedro Strop and Justin Wilson have all made 40 plus appearances and pitched 40 plus innings. Based on how much they have been used, they are all well on their way to surpassing their career-highs in both categories.

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Injuries have also hurt the Cubs bullpen this season. Carl Edwards Jr. missed significant time while closer Brandon Morrow is dealing with his second stint on the disabled list.

Cubs bullpen gets some relief.

Looking for some help, Theo Epstein traded for right-handed reliever Jesse Chavez from the Texas Rangers on July 19. Chavez may not have been a big name to watch at the deadline, but he is looking like a steal for the Cubs so far.

As a Ranger, Chavez appeared in 30 games and pitched 56 1/3 innings. He posted a 3.51 ERA while striking out 50 batters and walking just 12.

Since coming over from Texas, Chavez has been lights-out on the mound for the Cubs. The reliever has not allowed a run in his eight innings pitched so far. He’s surrendered just four hits and one walk while striking out nine batters. Although he’s only pitched in five games so far, Chavez has already lowered his ERA to 3.08.

In a 6-2 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday, Chavez saved the Cubs bullpen with a great performance. The righty entered the game in the fourth inning and tossed three scoreless innings while giving up no runs and just three hits, all of which were singles. Chavez did allow one walk but also struck out two batters.

Chavez’s presence will be felt the most just by being on the mound and eating up innings. He has been a workhorse this season, pitching a total of 64 1/3 innings, which is the third most of all relievers. Chavez seems capable of pitching multiple innings quite frequently which would allow the Cubs other relievers to get more time to rest.

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With how much the Cubs bullpen has been used, they were in desperate need of some help before they completely ran out of gas. Chavez arrived at a perfect time to provide some much-needed aid down the stretch to a fatigued Cubs bullpen.