Chicago Cubs: Slow second half start has team looking for a spark

(Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
(Photo by David Banks/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
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Chicago Cubs: Issues with the rotation

The departures of Jake Arrieta and John Lackey meant the Cubs knew they would have two holes to fill in the starting rotation.  That brought Yu Darvish and Tyler Chatwood to the North Side. As we know, both have struggled tremendously from the word ‘go.’

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Chatwood, plagued by control issues, issued a career-high number of walks and posted a career-worst WHIP.  Though he initially managed to work around those walks by giving up a paltry amount of hard contact, the walk rate was ultimately unsustainable as his strikeout rate began to decline.

Darvish, bitten twice by stints on the DL, this latest time with tendinitis, has appeared in just eight game, in which he pitched to a 4.95 ERA, a career-worst 1.425 WHIP and 4.87 FIP.  His recovery has been slow but is showing signs of gaining steam.  Still, there is no word on when he will return to the mound.

Starters Kyle Hendricks and Jose Quintana have also put up career-worst marks in ERA, WHIP and FIP.  This has added pressure to a bullpen that has been the steady rock of the team.  Nonetheless, the pitching struggles led Theo Epstein to trade for relievers Jesse Chavez and Brandon Kintzler and veteran southpaw Cole Hamels.