Chicago Cubs: Will the real Brian Duensing please stand up?

CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 11: Brian Duensing #32 of the Chicago Cubs stands on the mound in the eighth inning during game four of the National League Division Series against the Washington Nationals at Wrigley Field on October 11, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 11: Brian Duensing #32 of the Chicago Cubs stands on the mound in the eighth inning during game four of the National League Division Series against the Washington Nationals at Wrigley Field on October 11, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images) /

A few months after the excitement of a World Series championship, the Chicago Cubs brought in relief help in the form of Brian Duensing. Last season, Duensing was superb. This season, however, he has been unable to find his groove.

The offseason of 2016 saw the Chicago Cubs make one of the more under-the-radar moves in bringing in left-handed relief pitcher Brian Duensing. The deal itself was excellent. A one-year deal worth just $2 million, giving the club a low-risk investment with potential upside out of the bullpen.

It manifested into just that, as Duensing finished his 2017 campaign with a very respectable 2.74 ERA in 62 1/3 innings. Duensing rode the success of the regular season into the postseason as well, allowing just one earned run in 5 1/3 innings pitched. Not a significant sample size, but regardless he displayed consistency.

The hope for 2018, then, was for Duensing to once again produce at a consistently high level, or at a consistent level for his age. Unfortunately, this has been far from the case as he has posted a disappointing 7.18 ERA in just 31 1/3 IP along with a horrendous 6.15 FIP. So, the question remains, what has changed between last season and this season?

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